Asenior research scientist at MIT sounds the alarm on the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other agrochemicals.
Seneff takes us on a shocking biochemical journey through the deleterious effects of glyphosate on the environment and humans. The author clearly explains the ever growing body of scientific evidence of the insidious consequences of its continued, massive application across the world. As Seneff shows, the herbicide is the common denominator to a swath of environmental and human health problems, from obesity to autism to toad die-offs. The herbicide disrupts the uptake of minerals by plants and kills the bacteria, fungi, and other organisms that have symbiotic relationships with plants for mutual health. The direct effect on humans is dire, as glyphosate damages the gut microorganisms our bodies use to synthesize the amino acids that build body proteins. This affects everything from liver and kidney functions to fertility and autoimmunity. Seneff is precise about the biochemistry involved, but she is a genial, attentive guide. “I know this is technical but stay with me,” she writes. When she ventures into new, even controversial work, she is diligent in her analysis but candid about such territory: “I propose…,” “may be damaging…,” “Autism is not due to glyphosate exposure alone….” The two most salient—and devastating—points that Seneff highlights: First, glyphosate, which shows up in our soil, water, and even air, is disturbingly pervasive….ubiquitous…nearly impossible for even the most diligent person to avoid.” Second, the agricultural industry, taking a page from the tobacco industry’s playbook, does everything it can to hide the dangers: Monsanto and other companies censor research and proliferate junk science, raking in profits by turning a blind eye to the chronic illnesses resulting from glyphosate use. Comparisons will be made to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring—and they should be. We can only hope Seneff’s work goes on to rival Carson’s in reach and impact.
A game-changer that we would be foolish to ignore.