If Bigfoot’s still a bit fuzzy, consider these words from Dr. Alessio Fasano, founder of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Celiac Research, in a 2011 interview with the gluten-free website livingwithout.com:
“Gluten and autism, gluten and schizophrenia—is there a link or not?” he asked rhetorically.“I have a hard time believing that gluten has absolutely nothing to do with these behaviors.”
Many, though, do. “There is no link between Roundup and celiac,” says Dr. Stefano Guandalini, founder and medical director of the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center, in response to Samsel and Seneff’s review. “The whole story is preposterous and finds a cause/effect relationship when there is none.”
Other critics have been harsher, while supporters embrace the review as evidence of what’s been plaguing them and/or their children. Already an emotional issue, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that affects upwards of 3 million people in the U.S. alone. It is triggered by gluten, the protein in wheat, barley, and rye. As yet there is no cure.
Linking celiac disease to glyphosate also stems on the belief (and a growing body of scientific literature that seems to back it up) that glyphosate, and aminomethylphosphonic acid, or AMPA, the compound glyphosate breaks down into as it decays, affects the balance of our gut microbials. These changes to our bacteria can then lead to disease, obesity, autoimmune deficiencies—and maybe even the bee-colony collapse.
“You have this very broad, extremely powerful broad-spectrum chelator that causes a tremendous level of dysbiosis,” says Dr. Huber. “When you disrupt your intestinal microflora, you’re not a happy individual.” Or healthy.
Part of the reason it’s so easy to castigate Samsel and Seneff (and others like them) with the bigfoot brush is that, as they admit, many of their observations are anecdotal and their research is based on making correlations. Seneff graphed Roundup and its use in corn and soy and the rise of celiac disease (and other autoimmune disorders) and came up with A + B = C.
“People have been trained to dismiss these types of correlations, but they’re there,” asserts Seneff, a senior research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. “The data are there. You just have to connect the dots.”
And the picture she has painted—glyphosate leading to celiac disease and a plethora of other maladies and autoimmune diseases—is far from pretty.
(Michael Hansen, a senior staff scientist with Consumers Union, denied that the dots match up so well. “If you don’t understand biology, you’d go, Wow! They match up perfectly. If you do understand biology, those graphs don’t show anything. They’re nonsense.”)
“They looked at the biochemical impact of glyphosate relative to the biochemical impact of various diseases and found a perfect fit—they didn’t have any problem connecting the biochemical dots,” explains Dr. Huber, who warns that our “wake-up call” is just around the corner.
In the meantime, while Samsel and Seneff’s review may not yet be fully accepted, their work, and others’, should lead to better, more convincing studies, something both Dr. Huber and Krimsky agreed is worth pursuing. And Hansen, who’s still leery of embracing any link to celiac disease, notes that there are “absolutely potential adverse health effects from glyphosate,” but that the strongest data is in cases of birth defects and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
“There are growing suspicions that this supposed non-toxic pesticide is more toxic than we realized. Especially when used with the ‘inert ingredients’ it comes with—surfactants that help the chemical force its way into plant tissues,” says Pollan. “There are also reports on illness around the big round-up soy fields in Brazil and Argentina. To me it seems like a lot of smoke and I wouldn’t be surprised to find fire.”
Until then, voices in the wilderness like Samsel and Seneff and Dr. Huber will continue to proselytize about the evils of their personal Bigfoot, and hope to prove Pollan right, and vindicate their theories. “The proof isn’t there,” says Seneff, “but the innuendo is.”
Source | OutsideOnline