I came across an article by Dr. Mercola (mercola.com) titled, “Environmental toxins linked to rise in autism,” and thought it relevant to the recent discussion about the potential dangerous effects caused by the spraying of our crops with the chemical called “glyphosate” that wreaked havoc on our farmers in Valley of Peace. Their problem is financial; the rest of us consumers have to think about our health, especially considering that there may be poor monitoring of what the Mennonite farmers are doing on their farms, whose products come to our market and then to our dinner tables.
Below is an excerpt from Mercola’s article dated April 2, 2014.
Fluoride and Glyphosate—Two Toxins That Need to Be Urgently Addressed
When you consider how pervasive those 12 toxins are (not to mention the thousands of others, which we still know little about), it’s no wonder so many children are born with severe health problems and disabilities. Fluoride alone, which is still being added to many public water supplies around the US, can contribute to a seven-point drop in a child’s IQ score, on average!
Why in the world are we still adding fluoride to water supplies? Even if ingesting fluoride had a benefit on teeth (which it clearly doesn’t), is it really worth sacrificing intelligence for fewer cavities? Fluoride isn’t the sole culprit, of course. According to a 2012 paper published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Americans have collectively “forfeited” a whopping 41 million IQ points as a result of lead, mercury, and pesticide exposure.
All of these brain-harming toxins also take a massive toll on aging Americans. According to recent research, the annual death toll from Alzheimer’s disease (a severe form of dementia) is now estimated to be 503,000, making it the third most lethal disease in the US. Approximately 200,000 of these deaths occur in those under the age of 65, who develop early onset of Alzheimer’s.
Recent research has also linked exposure to the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. The use of DDT began during the second half of World War II, when it was liberally sprayed to control diseases such as malaria and typhus. Once the war was over, it began being used as an agricultural pesticide. (Monsanto was one of more than a dozen companies that manufactured the chemical.) It was eventually banned in 1972, when the health risks revealed in the book Silent Spring led to public outcry.
The suggestion that DDT exposure may contribute to Alzheimer’s, decades after exposure, hint at what the ramifications of glyphosate are likely to be in the years to come. According to Dr. Don Huber, an expert in an area of science that relates to the toxicity of genetically engineered (GE) foods, the harmful effects of glyphosate actually surpass those of DDT! It’s quite clear that the toxicity of this weed killer has been grossly underestimated.
Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) was approved in 1974 in the US, and has been aggressively used since then. An estimated ONE BILLION pounds of it is used on crop fields each and every year. As with DDT, we’re now seeing research linking glyphosate exposure to dramatic jumps in disease rates, including autism. The primary difference is that the effects are showing far sooner, and appear more evidently linked than in the case of DDT.
Soy Formula Associated with Seizures in Autistic Children
In related news, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found a possible link between infant soy formula and increased rates of seizures in autistic children. According to Medical News Today:
“The study found excess seizures among girls and in the total sample of 1,949 children. The soy-seizure link reached borderline significance among boys, who comprised 87 percent of the children described in the database under study. Seizures – caused by uncontrolled electrical currents in the brain – occur in many neurological disorders including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, and autism…
[C]hildren with autism who were fed soy formula had 2.6 times as many febrile seizures as the children fed non-soy formula in the database… [T]hat increase is worrying, [Cara] Westmark says. ‘The prevalence of autism is increasing and currently affects one American child in 88. Soy is a widespread ingredient in many food products and 25 percent of infant formulas are soy based, so this is something that needs to be studied. If the child is lactose intolerant, there are alternatives that a pediatrician can recommend.’”
Parents Beware: Infant Soy Formula Can Cause Severe Harm
This certainly isn’t the first time infant soy formula has been linked to health risks. It’s often touted as an ideal alternative for colicky babies or those who are unable to tolerate milk based formulas, but evidence actually suggests that soy formula may be one of the absolute most dangerous foods you can give your child, whether he or she is autistic or not. For starters, it’s been estimated that infants who are fed soy formula take in three to five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day, depending upon the particular batch of formula and whether your baby is a big eater. As a result of such astronomical amounts of this female sex hormone, infants who are fed soy formula have an increased risk of:
Food allergies Thyroid disorders
Behavioral problems Early puberty and fertility problems
Infants who are fed soy formula are also at increased risk for developing behavioral problems due to the phytates found in soy, which block the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, all which are crucial to the proper brain and emotional development. Phytates also cause poor bone development. Besides that, soy infant formula also contains another dangerous element: manganese. While manganese is an essential nutrient found in soil and ground water, it becomes highly toxic when consumed in excess, and can adversely affect your child’s intelligence if consumed during the stage of early brain development. Last but certainly not least, the vast majority of soy grown in the US is genetically engineered soy, which has its own health risks over and above those associated with Roundup….