New Study Shows Glyphosate Does Cause Tumors and Birth Defects, and More

Exposure to relatively small amounts of a glyphosate-based herbicide has been found to impair fertility in rats and cause birth defects including retardation and malformation in second generation offspring, according to a new study from Argentina.

Argentinian researchers added glyphosate to the rat’s food. They administered the herbicide in two doses. The lower dose was 2 mg per kg of body weight daily, which is supposed to be safe to ingest on a daily basis over a lifetime.

A reference dose (RfD), or estimate of daily exposure that would not cause adverse effects throughout a lifetime, of 2 mg/kg/day has been proposed for glyphosate, based on the developmental toxicity studies described above.” – EPA

Related: How to Avoid GMOs in 2018 – And Everything Else You Should Know About Genetic Engineering

The higher dose of glyphosate was 200 mg per kg of body weight daily. Industry reports claim that up to 100mg per kg daily have no adverse effects. At the studied dosages, the rats in either category should not have come under any harm. But as GM Watch reports,

Exposure to environmentally relevant doses of a glyphosate-based herbicide during pregnancy has been found not only to impair female fertility in rats…Argentinian researchers tested the glyphosate-based herbicide – one commonly used in Argentina – in pregnant female rats at two doses, which were added to their food. The rats were mated and dosed from the 9th day after conception until their pups were weaned. This first generation of offspring and their offspring in turn (second generation) were followed and monitored for reproductive effects.”

Related: Gluten Intolerance, Wheat Allergies, and Celiac Disease – It’s More Complicated Than You Think

Glyphosate-based herbicides did seem to damage the embryo or cause abnormal maternal or nursing behaviors. It did not alter weight gain for the first generation offspring. All glyphosate-exposed first generation female rats were impregnated, but they had fewer “implantation sites of fertilized eggs,” compared with the non-glyphosate-fed control rats. The subsequent generation of offspring from both the low-dose and the higher-dose glyphosate exposed groups had delayed growth and abnormally small fetuses.

But that’s not all.

Malformations occurred within the higher-dose population in the second generation of offspring, including conjoined fetuses and abnormally developed limbs.

F2 offspring from both GBH groups showed delayed growth, evidenced by lower fetal weight and length, associated with a higher incidence of small for gestational age fetuses. In addition, higher placental weight and placental index were found in F2 offspring from GBH-HD dams. Surprisingly, structural congenital anomalies (conjoined fetuses and abnormally developed limbs) were detected in the F2 offspring from GBH-HD group. In conclusion, perinatal exposure to low doses of a GBH impaired female reproductive performance and induced fetal growth retardation and structural congenital anomalies in F2 offspring.” – Study: Perinatal exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide impairs female reproductive outcomes and induces second-generation adverse effects in Wistar rats

 




The Zika Epidemic – What You Should Know, Without the Hype

Zika History and Current Spread

The Zika virus was first identified in 1947 by scientists who were researching yellow fever in Uganda. They placed a caged rhesus macaque in the Zika forest. After it became sick with a fever, the researchers isolated the virus from its blood. In 1954, in Nigeria, the virus was first isolated from a human. Up until 2007, confirmed human infections were rare and were limited to Africa and Southeast Asia.

In 2007, an outbreak in Micronesia resulted in 49 confirmed cases and 59 unconfirmed cases. The infections were relatively mild with no associated deaths or hospitalizations. In 2013, the disease reached French Polynesia. In 2014, it reached Brazil and has continued an explosive spread through South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

In most cases, the infection is mild. However, a possible, perhaps probable, link between the virus and microcephaly, a severe birth defect whereby an infant is born with an abnormally small head and incomplete brain development, has catapulted this disease from obscurity to the status of a public health emergency and worldwide headline news. Brazilian health authorities have reported more than 3,500 microcephaly cases between October 2015 and January 2016.

…genetically modified mosquitoes are responsible for either the spread of the virus or the rise in birth defects is baseless…

On their website, the World Health Organization states, “Agencies investigating the Zika outbreaks are finding an increasing body of evidence about the link between Zika virus and microcephaly. However, more investigation is needed before we understand the relationship between microcephaly in babies and the Zika virus. Other potential causes are also being investigated.” However, Colombia’s President, Juan Manuel Santos, says there is no evidence that the virus has caused an increase in microcephaly in his country, though they have diagnosed 3,177 pregnant women with the virus.

In January, 2016, The CDC issued a level 2 travel alert to areas where virus transmission is active: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. By February, the virus has been found in 20 countries in the Americas.

countries and territories with confornmed cases of Zika virus 2015-2016

On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Zika is now considered a public health emergency of international concern. They estimate that the virus will spread throughout the Americas and will infect up to 4 million people by the end of 2016.

How is Zika Spread?

The primary method of transmission is through mosquito bites. There have also been confirmed cases of sexual transmission. The virus is found in saliva, urine, and semen. Semen has been proven to spread the virus. It is not known whether the virus can be transmitted from females to males during unprotected intercourse or through body fluids other than semen.

Some are suggesting the birth defects are due to Brazil’s practice of vaccinating pregnant women with both the DTP and the MMR…

Symptoms of Zika Disease

The Zika virus is typically a mild infection. Up to 80% of those afflicted do not exhibit symptoms. General symptoms are a mild fever, a skin rash, conjunctivitis, headache, muscle and joint pain, and general malaise lasting for 2-7 days. More serious cases can involve neurological and autoimmune complications including Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune illness in which the immune system attacks the nervous system causing paralysis. (Most people afflicted with Guillain-Barre syndrome recover, though some retain muscle weakness.)

The treatment for most cases is the same as another other mild virus – rest and plenty of fluids.

Spread of Zika Virus to the United States

To date, all of the reported cases of Zika disease in the U.S. are from travelers who contracted the disease outside of the country and brought it home. One man was exposed and infected but had not yet exhibited symptoms before coming home and engaging in unprotected sex with his wife. Both tested positive for Zika when they become ill. A woman in Hawaii gave birth to an infant with a small head after catching the disease while visiting Brazil. There are no known cases of infections due to mosquito bites occurring in the U.S. as of February 7, 2016.

How to Protect Yourself from Catching Zika Disease

The same protocols for eliminating the threat of any mosquito bites apply. First, eliminate breeding grounds. Clean, cover, or get rid of containers that capture standing water. Use screens on windows, keep doors closed, and if you live in an area with a lot of mosquitos, consider sleeping under a mosquito net.

Long sleeves, long pants, and light covered clothing are helpful. You will be told to use insect repellent. Rather than cover your body with insecticide, make your own safe, mosquito/tick repellent.

If your partner has been exposed and you are pregnant or have been trying to become pregnant, use condoms. Scientists do not yet know how long the virus can be contracted after an infection, but this information should be common knowledge soon.

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes and the Zika Virus

Spraying reduces mosquito populations by 30%-50%. The recent release of GM mosquitoes in the CECAP/Eldorado district in Brazil resulted in a 90% reduction in the mosquito population. The release, made before the sudden Zika virus explosion, was targeting mosquitos that carry dengue and chikungunya. These are the same mosquitos that carry Zika. The dengue infection plummeted from 144 cases the previous year to only 1 case after the release of the mosquitos.

The popularity of the belief that genetically modified mosquitoes are responsible for either the spread of the virus or the rise in birth defects is baseless. Male mosquitoes feed on flower nectar; females feed on blood. Only male mosquitoes are genetically modified before being released into the wild. They are equipped with a “kill switch” that successfully kills their offspring before the larvae reach maturity (and can feed on anyone).

It is expected that millions of GM mosquitos will be released to combat the current epidemic.

Conclusion

The Zika virus is a mild virus, one that usually results in no symptoms at all or a low fever and a mild rash. Suddenly this disease is linked with causing a devastating birth defect. This correlation may or may not be causation. Many critics are questioning the probability, especially when comparing Brazil’s outcomes against Colombia’s. Some are suggesting the birth defects are due to Brazil’s practice of vaccinating pregnant women with both the DTP and the MMR vaccines and reminding us that rubella and pertussis components in the DPT vaccine are known to cause microcephaly. Other doctors suggest that a pesticide, Pyriproxyfen (manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese ‘strategic partner’ of Monsanto), which has been added to drinking water tanks to kill mosquito larvae since 2014, may be the source.  And of course, some continue to blame the new genetically modified mosquitoes. Although it seems unlikely that genetically modified mosquitoes are a factor, the outcome of these experimental practices remains unknown. What is clear is that something is not adding up. As always, we need to follow the money and see who is benefitting from the situation or who has something to hide. Unfortunately, the list of possible suspects continues to grow.

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Birth Defect Gastroschisis Is on the Rise

The CDC reports a frightening birth defect, gastroschisis, is on the rise both worldwide and in the United States. Its cause is unknown.

What is Gastroschisis?

Gastroschisis is birth defect that occurs when the muscles of the abdominal wall fail to form correctly and a hole (large or small) results. The infant is born with intestines and sometimes other organs outside of the body.

In addition to the necessary corrective surgery, the infant may be challenged with damage to the intestines. Exposure to amniotic fluid in utero can cause the intestines to shorten, twist, or swell. Children with large protrusions or multiple organ exposure may require several surgeries to correct the defect. Gastroschisis increases the risk of medical complications and mortality. Long-term complications include digestive issues and difficulty absorbing nutrients.

What Is the Cause of Gastroschisis?

The cause is unknown and the reason for the rise in this defect is also unknown. The CDC reports, “A 2008 review noted that risk factors associated with gastroschisis, after adjusting for maternal age, have included lower socioeconomic status, lower body mass index and other indicators of poor nutrition (lower intake of high-quality nutrients and dietary fats), smoking, use of illicit drugs, alcohol, or analgesic medications, and genitourinary infections. Additionally, among multiparous and multigravida mothers, a change in paternity since the previous pregnancy has been associated with gastroschisis. Studies have also indicated possible age-specific associations between gastroschisis and prior pregnancy loss, as well as with certain infections.”

But these factors do not always apply. Megan Lehman shared the following on Facebook: (Quoted with permission)

I have always wondered what caused my precious baby boy to be born with this condition, and let me tell you, it was not alcohol, drugs, or poverty that they are now discovering increases the risk. What I did do, and very early on in my pregnancy before young and stupid me knew better, was ride on a tractor while my husband worked the fields on his family farm.”

…expectant mothers need to be warned of pesticides, chemicals in our foods, and maybe even in the prenatal vitamins that we take so carefully. An increase in incidence means something is causing it and likely many other issues as well.”

How Prevalent Is Gastroschisis?

The prevalence of gastroschisis has been on the rise since the 1980s and has risen in every category of race/ethnicity and maternal age group. Collected data showed the number of cases doubled during 1995–2005 compared to earlier reports. Reports comparing 1995-2005 with 2006-2012 show another 30% increase. Prevalence has risen from 3.6 per 10,000 births to 4.9 per 10,000 births. (Based on data collected from 14 states’ surveillance programs.)

Over the past 30 years, Utah has seen a ten-fold increase in gastroschisis” – IBIS

During the period 1995- 2012 the increased was:

  • 68% for infants born to young white mothers less than 20 years old.
  • 268% for infants born to young black mother less than 20 years old.

trends - gastroschisis 1995-2005 - CDC

This alarming increase in prevalence among young black mothers does not denote higher overall numbers in this racial group. White and Hispanic young mothers report higher overall incidences.

Incidence Per 10,000 Births by State

  • Arizona – 5.5 per 10,000 births (1:1818)
  • Arkansas – 6.3 per 10,000 births (1:1587)
  • California – 5.4 per 10,000 births (1:1852)
  • Colorado – 4.4 per 10,000 births (1:2273)
  • Delaware – 6.1 per 10,000 births (1:1639)
  • Florida – 4.4 per 10,000 births (1:2273)
  • Georgia – 4.5 per 10,000 births (1:2222)
  • Illinois – 4.0 per 10,000 births (1:2500)
  • Indiana – 4.5 per 10,000 births (1:2222)
  • Iowa – 5.1 per 10,000 births (1:1961)
  • Kansas – 5.0 per 10,000 births (1:2000)
  • Kentucky – 3.6 per 10,000 births (1:2778)
  • Louisiana – 5.0 per 10,000 births (1:2000)
  • Maine – 6.2 per 10,000 births (1:1613)
  • Maryland – 5.1 per 10,000 births (1:1961)
  • Massachusetts – 3.5 per 10,000 births (1:2857)
  • Michigan – 1.7 per 10,000 births (1:5882)
  • Minnesota – 3.8 per 10,000 births (1:2632)
  • Mississippi – 2.9 per 10,000 births (1:3448)
  • Nebraska – 5.6 per 10,000 births (1:1786)
  • New Hampshire – 2.2 per 10,000 births (1:4545)
  • New Jersey – 2.2 per 10,000 births (1:4545)
  • New York – 2.4 per 10,000 births (1:4167)
  • North Carolina – 4.4 per 10,000 births (1:2273)
  • North Dakota – 9.0 per 10,000 births (1:1111)
  • Oklahoma – 6.5 per 10,000 births (1:1538)
  • Puerto Rico – 5.1 per 10,000 births (1:1961)
  • Rhode Island – 4.2 per 10,000 births (1:2381)
  • South Carolina – 1.2 per 10,000 births (1:8333)
  • Tennessee – 5.7 per 10,000 births (1:1754)
  • Texas – 5.9 per 10,000 births (1:1695)
  • Utah – 5.1 per 10,000 births (1:1961)
  • Vermont – 2.5 per 10,000 births (1:4000)
  • Virginia – 1.3 per 10,000 births (1:7692)

* States not listed did not report to the study or did not report gastroschisis numbers.

Statistics listed copied with permission from the Avery’s Angels Gastroschisis Foundation website. Their cited source is the National Birth Defects Prevention Network October 2013, Birth Defects Research Part A, Clinical And Molecular Teratology Vol. 97 Number 10, and the 2013 Congenital Malformation Surveillance Report.

Conclusion

We do not know what is causing this birth defect, but we do know our ever-increasing chemical exposure is wreaking havoc on our health and that chemical exposure including pesticide exposure causes birth defects.

We are now faced with chemical exposure in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, in our indoor environments in homes, schools, and offices. We use soaps, lotions, shampoos, toothpaste, and perfumes filled with chemicals. We dye our hair and our bodies. Genetically modified foods with their high levels of pesticides are found in all of our processed foods.

If we do not return to a clean, safe, organic lifestyle, common sense dictates birth defects of all kinds will continue to affect our children in rising numbers.

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How to Get the Right Nutrition While Pregnant and Reduce the Risk of Birth Defects

Birth defects are some of the most puzzling health conditions that plague our modern society. In fact, experts can’t pinpoint the cause of nearly 50% of these congenital disorders.

That might seem terrifying to an expectant mother, but we need to look at the silver lining. That stat could be looked at in a different way. We know—and can prevent—more than half of all birth defects.

What Causes Birth Defects?

There are various situations that can cause congenital disorders. One of the most common instigator is poor prenatal nutrition. Various birth defects have been linked to vitamin deficiencies.

Fortunately, by eating a vitamin-rich diet, an expectant mother can keep her baby safe and reduce the risk of birth defects.

Let’s look at some of the most dangerous prenatal vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Vitamin B2

Several health reports have found a correlation between a pregnant mom’s vitamin B2 (riboflavin) deficiency and congenital heart disease. This is especially true if the mom combines the deficiency with an excess of saturated fats.

A riboflavin deficiency has also been linked to recurrent cleft lip and cleft palate among siblings.

To add more riboflavin to your diet, make sure you eat plenty of the following foods:

  • Spinach
  • Eggs
  • Asparagus
  • Almonds
  • Turkey
  • Milk (and other dairy products)

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is more commonly known as folate (in supplement form, folic acid). A vitamin B9 deficiency can cause spina bifida and anencephaly (a fatal condition in which the brain and skull fail to develop).

Because these deficiencies usually develop within the first three to four weeks after conception, they are more difficult to prevent. In most cases, the damage has been done before the mom knows she is pregnant.

A diet rich in vitamin B9 would include:

  • Lentils
  • Beans (Pinto, Garbanzo, Navy, Black, and Kidney)
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli

Vitamin B12

Another dangerous vitamin deficiency is a shortage of vitamin B12. Pregnant women who don’t consume enough vitamin B12 during pregnancy often deliver babies with neural tube defects (like spina bifida and anencephaly) or congenital diaphragmatic hernias (a tear in the infant’s diaphragm which allows part of the abdomen to enter the thoracic cavity).

Since vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, vegan and vegetarian moms need to be especially attentive to their nutrient levels.

Vitamin B12 can be found in any animal product, but it’s in abundance in these foods:

  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Milk

Iron

The World Health Organization reports iron-deficiency anemia is the most common nutrition-based ailment in the world.

Research also shows a pregnant woman with an iron deficiency is five times more likely to have a baby born with spina bifida.

Add more iron to your diet by eating these foods:

  • Liver
  • Clams
  • Oysters
  • Beef
  • Sardines
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Veal

Magnesium

Magnesium is a nutrient we don’t hear about too often. But just because it isn’t one of the front-runners in the media doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

Studies show increasing the amount of magnesium can reduce the odds of cerebral palsy by 45%.

To boost your magnesium levels, try eating more:

  • Halibut
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Cocoa
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds

Do It For Your Baby!

Being pregnant is a wonderful—but stressful–time. Closely monitoring our nutrient consumption can be exhausting. But, it is important to note what is at stake if our good eating habits start to slip.

If you are worried about a nutrient deficiency, talk to your doctor. Supplements (usually in the form of a multi-vitamin) might be necessary.

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