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The Glyphosate Crisis - Gut Health, Mental Health & More - Episode 37

podcast Jul 24, 2022

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We are in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to the quality of human food supply, especially when it comes to the topic of pesticides and herbicides on our food.  On one hand, we literally can’t feed the entire planets population of 7.7 billion people on purely organic food and food cycles, it’s impossible.  And any time a government such as just yesterday where here in Canada the Trudeau government says it’s going to get harder on their campaign on lowering pesticide use in the country, it was met with uproar from the agricultural community. Farmers know that we’ve weakened the plants to the point where only a small amount will survive without them, which I’ll explain to you more later as to how that’s happened.  YET, especially with the glaring evidence I’m going to present to you today, it also seems that right now of all times, we need to take as much action as we can to educate ourselves and devise a plan, at the very least starting within our own homes on how we can make the best swaps and adjustments in our products and foods to lower the accumulation of what feels like a constant barrage of a toxic load. 

I’ve been droning on about chemical farming and chemical use in our ecosystem since 2017 after listening to my first piece of content featuring Dr Zach Bush - who specializes in internal medicine, endocrinology and hospice care, was speaking about hydration and gut health for increase muscle mass and glutathione production.  In that podcast episode many years ago, Dr. Bush exposed me to the truth about how the chemicals on our food, in our water, and even in the air are hindering our performance, longevity, and perhaps can even be a large reason for the continuously growing mental health epidemic. 

I hope that this episode really leaves a mark in your mind, and although some of the topics I might cover may have you needing to pause, process and reflect, I do hope that the information sticks with you.

What we know about the gut and a person’s gut health is that it’s essentially one of the most critical breaking points between healthy and unhealthy humans.  Now I understand that’s a humongous generalization and quick way to simplify an extremely in-depth topic, but it needs to be brought up, because over the past 30 years, we’ve seen illness within the human population increase to a rate at which if we we’re a species of fish, we might even be considered an endangered species.

There was an uptick in certain illnesses in the 1980’s, but something really began to happen in the 1990’s that seemed to have changed the course of world health.  Suddenly, autism skyrocketed in 1995 from every 1 in 1000 kids being diagnosed to only 5 years later  in the year 2000 1 in every 500, now in 2022 where 1 in every 36 kids being on the autism spectrum.  At this rate, by 2035, 1 in 3 kids are projected to have autism. Over time, this will completely destabilize and cripple our society and financial system.

And it’s not just autism.  Alzheimer’s and dementia, Parkinson’s disease, childhood bipolar disease, and celiac disease among others began to steeply rise at an alarming rate, some as early as the 1980’s, but an awfully strange and eerily coincidental sudden spike all synchronizing in the mid 1990’s.  




Dementia incidence increased 117% globally from 1990 to 2016

Deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increasing

Above Source: Causes of death, Statistics Finland



But before we get into any speculation as to why this happened, let’s take a step back even farther in history, in fact, to the early 1900’s.  What you first need to understand is that crop rotations are critical for soil health.  Crop rotating dates back thousands of years, and is the practice of planting different crops season after season or year after year on the same plot of land to improve soil health, optimize nutrients in the soil, and combat pest and weeds.  The problem is that it’s far more economical to do what’s called mono-cropping, which is the method of only ever planting and harvesting a single crop on land year after year.  So you plant the most profitable crop, using the same seeds, machinery, growing methods and pest control across the entire farm land – therefore creating a replicable and more profitable process.  mono-cropping kills soil health, leaving dead dirt.  But with the onset of a severe economic depression of the time before the war, almost all farmers resorted to this practice of mono-cropping for maximum profits.  However, combined with the extended droughts and unusually high temperatures of the time, these poor agricultural practices resulted in the death of the soil, and wind erosion then causing what is known as the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s.  The Dust Bowl continued until 1936, with many people starving in the process, and the great depression continued until 1939…and that’s when world war two started.  After the war, there was so much leftover petroleum from the war industry.  Scientists learned how to convert many of the compounds in petroleum into the world’s first chemical-based fertilizers.  They then took these chemical fertilizers to the farmers who already couldn’t keep their crops alive due to poor farming practices and some environmental factors, and then showed farmers how they could use these chemicals to keep their farms alive.  And it worked! 

These chemical fertilizers were a breakthrough, which then triggered what’s now known as the green revolution of the 1960’s.  The plants were flourishing, but what we didn’t know is that the plants weren’t the same.  The plants lacked the nutrients they once had.  Not only that, but the plants were also weak.  Much like how humans have an immune system, plants do as-well.  So while the plants now are weak, the weeds creep in, the insects and pests creep in, and they begin killing the plants.  When this starts happening, the chemical companies then began approaching the farmers with pesticide sprays, and different weed killer sprays that they could use in conjunction with the chemical fertilizers to keep the farm running.  Although this is a morally wrong, yet brilliant business move that is still making them billions of dollars hand over fist in this very day and age, the chemical fertilizer companies essentially created a dependency for the farmers to continue buying all these chemicals and sprays from them in order to keep their plants alive. 

Shortly after, in 1974 Glyphosate was first registered for use in the U.S, patented by The Monsanto Company, an American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, AKA, a huge fucking chemical company.  Now what is glyphosate?  Glyphosate is the active water-soluble ingredient in the chemical RoundUp and other ready-to-use chemical spray products, in the US alone it’s in over 750 products.  Glyphosate is a herbicide used to kill weeds and grasses and in 1992 (note the date…) it began being used as a desiccant to dry and accelerate ripening before the harvest.

As of right now in present time most crops around the world have been or are being genetically modified to become resistant to glyphosate, and that’s partly because an estimated 4.5 BILLION POUNDS of glyphosate is used worldwide.  I remember when I was young in school and my mom, who by the way has always been WAY ahead of the curve on most health related topics, shoutout to Barb, was visibly upset when I told her we couldn’t go out to play on the field at lunch because they were spraying chemicals.  She knew what was up.  And to this day I still get upset when I see city worker trucks with massive reservoirs on the back spraying it down the highway, or my neighbour, bless his soul, tending to his gardens with Roundup.  Immediately I rush to shut the windows and turn on an air purifier, and that’s not out of some irrational anxiety, it’s because due to the fact that we pour nearly 5 billion tones of it onto the planet each year, 75% of the air we breathe and water we use is contaminated with glyphosate.   As I mentioned before, glyphosate is water-soluble, which means it dissolves effortlessly into water.

So when we pour it into the earth, as it binds with water and evaporates into the air, into the clouds, and then rains back down onto the earth.  We as humans rely on water.  Remember, water makes up about 55% of the female body, and about 60% of the male body.  That’s due to the fact that lean tissue such as muscle carries more water, and on average it’s more natural for men will have slightly more muscle and less fat than women.  Now you can see that if water makes up 55-60% of the body, and we introduce a toxic chemical into the body that has been shown in investigations that glyphosate can cross and affect the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and cause various types of short-term or long-term disturbances in the human nervous system…this can be a problem.  Although the body contains over 20,000 chemicals, the harmonic symphony can slowly be set off by a few bad instruments.  I’ve explained this before but I’ll mention it again.  Picture a beautiful symphony playing, and in this case, 20,000 instruments playing.  If we introduce a whiny instrument that is just belting out as loud as it can, completely off beat and in an entirely wrong pitch, we might not notice it over the other 20,000 instruments playing in que.  But that one instrument will eventually annoy some of the surrounding ones.  They might get angry, stop playing and try to deal with the invader.  As they move off the beat, the loud and rude instrument slowly becomes louder, and louder and louder.  This may take a long time, but eventually, the symphony may begin to fall apart.   This is an oversimplified example, however may help give a visual as to the effect it could have. 

In reality, this is what happens: 

Among other issues, glyphosate has been shown to disrupt our detoxification pathways, starting by lowering the sulfate levels in your body, creating a cascade of negative effects.  Sulphate is critical, as it helps to produce glutathione, your body’s detoxifying superstar against xenobiotics, which are simply harmful environmental compounds such as heavy metals which I spoke about on episode 15, pesticides, as well as herbicides.

Now here’s what’s interesting, when glyphosate was registered for use back in 1974, it was patented as an antibiotic drug, claiming the now widely used weak killer as a medicine.   Now I’ll try to keep this as simple as I can, but they knew that they could call it a antibiotic drug of sorts because it functions to block enzymes in plants, therefore killing the specific plants such as weeds it’s meant to kill, even though it’s obviously effecting the surrounding plants, hence why they’re trying to modify them to become glyphosate resistant. This matters because if enzyme pathways are being blocked in plants, (it’s called the shikimate pathway) the essential amino acids in these plants are being blocked by the glyphosate.  These essential amino acids are essential because we have to get them from food, our body doesn’t have a shikimate pathway that can create them.  So if we begin to lack these essential amino acids, this will affect thousands of protein structures, the building block structures in our body.

So you might ask, “OK Denon, but how do we know all sudden rises in health issues in the mid 90’s which just so happen to coincide with the beginning of it’s commercial use in 1992 as a desiccant and crop ripening chemical ACTUALLY are the results of Roundup and glyphosate?”

Well I’m glad you asked! 

Here I have here another graph that plots the same use of glyphosate applied to corn and soy from 1991 to 2010.  On this graph is another line that then plots the number of children from 1991 to 2010 between the ages of 6-21 years old with autism, plotted against the RoundUp use on corn and soy.

As you can see, THE LINE MATCHES PERFECTLY.  Every single year, the more glyphosate used is perfectly proportionate to the increases in autism. 

Human health changed dramatically in the mid-1990s, oddly enough, right around the time in 1992 when glyphosate, the main compound in RoundUp, began being used heavily in crops.

When we look at graphs that compare the year by year increase of the glyphosate sprayed on crops and the number of children between the ages of 6 and 21 years old, there is a PERFECT match to the amount of glyphosate used, and the rise in children being diagnosed on the spectrum.

Now you might say “well perhaps they just got better at diagnosing and identifying cases” maybe, but it’s not just autism!

 Next, here’s a graph that illustrates the same plot line measured this time against deaths from senile dementia…and not shockingly, the data is PERFECTLY aligned with the increase in glyphosate use. 

Again, a graph of Parkinson’s, and another of diabetes both matching the use of glyphosate. 

And I want to make sure I give credit again, all of this information has been documented for years by Dr Zach Bush, and these are graphs I’ve borrowed from presentations of his, and I will link to him in the notes as well.

NOW…although these all may look like proof, again, it could all just be happenstance and the result of a completely missing link.  Thankfully, back in 2012 while Dr.Zach Bush and colleague Dr John Gildea (who specializes in molecular biology and genetics, and is the Chief Science Advisor of the University of Virginia) they were working on chemotherapy development, and to make a long story short, along with studies coming out during the same time, they realized that although the target of glyphosate is to target the enzymes of the shikamate pathway and theoretically shouldn’t harm humans since we don’t have that within our cells, however, data was beginning to show clear off-target effects that increased the permeability of the gut membrane, harming the tight junctions that separate pathogens, toxins, microorganisms and allergens from out blood stream, tight junctions that are also found…in our brain. Which again, when we compare the data from sudden onset of neurological issues such as I told you about before on the graphs autism, MS, autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer’s suddenly increasing, I really don’t know how this is arguable.   So yes, data indicates that exposure to high level of GPH may result in neurological damage via an opening of the blood-brain barrier.

NOW…that might seem like a huge downer.  However, in order to provide some levity and hope, action is being taken by our planet, and our legal system…sort of.  Let’s start with the planet.  Luckily, our planet has bacteria and fungi that can break down and digest this toxic chemical.  The issue is that if we just cold-turkey stopped spraying the 4-5 billion tons of glyphosate we spray each year onto the planet right now, it would still take 50 years for the levels to return to a below toxic level.  ­Unfortunately for our generation, we are the ones that need to stand up and take responsibility for our children and children’s children.  At the moment, glyphosate is really just a part of our ecosystem.   You can’t wash it out or cook it out  the small amounts that it would be in your food, because it’s absorbed into them.   In that case NOW is the time to start putting your money where your mouth is, and choose to only buy foods that are certified organic.  The less and less they sell of the inorganic products, the less and less they will make.   At the end of the day, your money talks!  Look for organic labels and farms that pride themselves of not using glyphosate.  I know one small farm where I used to live that boasted about how they were glyphosate free and used ladybugs inside their greenhouses to help reduce pests.  For that, I gave them my business.  And don’t be afraid to reach out to farms in your area and straight up ask, “what pesticides and herbicides do you use, and is your farm glyphosate free?”.  The market always wins, but you need to speak up.


Next, action is being taken legally, albeit slow, and let’s be honest, fighting multi-billion dollar corporations with endless pockets in the court system is a game they’re willing to drag on forever.   On September 14th, 2016, the Bayer corporation purchased Monsanto for $63 billion dollars, which although seems like a lot of money, was actually only a fraction of the estimated value.  The reason for this is because they knew that lawsuits had begun, and Bayer would have to take on the lawsuits.   And as expected, based on tens of thousands of claims linking RoundUp to cases of non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer and much more, the lawsuits came, and Bayer was ready.  In 2020 Bayer agreed to pay out 10 billion dollars to settle tens of thousands of claims, all while the product is STILL on shelves, and sold in bulk to the agriculture industry. The settlement was reported by the New York Times to have covered an estimated 95,000 cases, and as of 2020 still included over a billion dollars for potential future claims for customers who may develop the rare form of cancer, while there are still over 26,000 claims in the tube.   

Our government and lawmakers won’t make the changes we need to make happen, as it seems their number one goal at the moment is to create a weakened society, so sick and numbed down by entertainment that they have to rely on the government hand-outs to sustain themselves, while the dictatorship rule only grows stronger.  In 2020 a California judge overrode the Prop65 act which if you’ve listened to episodes 15-17 you’ll know how strict that was, but the judge overrode that there needs to be warning labels on pesticide products such as RoundUp.  The FDA website under the glyphosate Q&A section even says “As part of a glyphosate registration review, the EPA issued a Draft Human Risk Assessment for Glyphosate, which concluded that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic (cancer causing) in humans.”.

BUT on a positive note, in early 2022 the mayor of Montreal was on record saying that stores selling glyphosate will be fined, however it can still be found in stores even though it’s banned in Montreal.

And to be completely transparent with you, I’m not sure what the right steps forward for humanity are.  On one hand, if the data is correct, the continued use of these chemicals WILL bring society to it’s knees in the coming 40-100 years.  However, there is also a huge possibility that by removing these crutches that are keeping many of the large crops alive, it also poses the risk of mass starvation.  It seems like no matter which direction; it has to get worse before it inevitably gets better.  I mean like, the first thought that pops into my head as I’m sitting here kinda just recording my stream of consciousness is that if we did succeed in removing the majority of these chemicals, for a short period of the future I feel like we are technologically advanced enough to avoid mass famine by getting by with nutritional interventions in supplements for the population when the food supply inevitably lowers.  A short term sacrifice to succeed for our children’s and grand children’s generations to re-strengthen the soil and plants to allow humanity to continue to thrive for thousands of years to come.

At the end of the day, like in all things, it’s we as the people that need to take responsibility for our own livelihoods, and use our wallets and purses to direct how we want the world around us to be built.   I remember how even 10 years ago, organic food was barely a part of the conversation.  Now, I’m shocked every month on some of the health forward options you’re beginning to find in more and more common grocery stores.   We are starting to make a difference.  There was leaked data from inside the Monsanto corporations marketing analysis department before they sold the Bayer, and it said that right now some communities are only operating at 1 percent organic, while others are creeping up to 4-5 percent of the food being sold is organic.  From the alleged leaks, if the world gets up to 16 percent of the food being sold being organic, without the use of glyphosate, Bayer will lose it’s financial stability. 

Now is the time to learn how to build your own greenhouse, learn how to plant and tend to your own food, even if you just start with a couple of tomato plants on your deck!  Start small, but start to take action on what you put in your body.

A rising tide raises all ships, so although this episode was pretty heavy, I hope that it helps you change your perspective on the importance or organic, and why its SO MUCH MORE than just a trendy supermarket label for hipsters to talk about at Whole Foods.

To spread the information, I kindly ask that you please share it with your sphere of influence, drop us a 5 star review, and if you really loved it, subscribing for more awesome and cost-free content.  Sarah and I will be back as the dynamic duo next week, and if you have questions or podcast guest requests, please reach out to us on Instagram at Embodied Wellness Co. 

Smile, breathe, be grateful you’re alive, and have an amazing weekend everyone! See you next week.


This podcast is for information purposes only.  The views and discussions from guests or hosts is for educational purposes , and should not be taken as medical advice.  Please contact your medical provider for more information on anything you may have questions about.  The views and discussions on this episode are not a political stance on any topic.  

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