Pesticides causing health problems are appearing in study after study. A recent study found that higher glyphosate levels in pregnant women is associated with lower birthweight in the babies and higher risk of admission to neonatal intensive care units.
Studies find that almost all pregnant women have detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies - which of course reaches the fetus. In this study by Univ. of Indiana researchers it was detected in 99% of the women during the first trimester! Higher levels resulted in reduced fetal growth. This is very concerning.
Glyphosate is found in the popular herbicide (weed-killer) Roundup. The use of glyphosate has increased substantially with genetically modified crops (e.g., Roundup resistant crops such as corn and soybeans) and with its preharvest use in conventionally raised crops (preharvest guide). It's found on many regular oats, wheat, soybeans, canola, lentils flax, etc.
This is why with each new study higher levels are found in people. It's in our food.
What else is glyphosate doing to us? It has been linked to a number of human health effects, such as cancer, endocrine (hormone) disruption, liver and kidney damage, preterm birth, and even having a negative effect on our gut microbiome - by killing off certain important species of gut microbes. There is much we still don't know about chronic exposure to low levels of the pesticide.
By the way, the United States FDA allows higher levels of glyphosate residues in food and humans than other countries, including European countries. Of course this is due to the pesticide industry lobbying the FDA real hard, political interference, and then think of all those cushy pesticide industry jobs government workers eventually get as a reward. (Yes, it's revolving door from the government to industry jobs...)
Organic farmers are not allowed to use glyphosate. So if you want to avoid the pesticide - eat as many organically grown foods as possible.
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers are learning more about the effects of herbicide exposure during pregnancy, finding glyphosate in 99 percent of the pregnant women they observed in the Midwest. In the study, published recently in Environmental Health, higher glyphosate levels were associated with lower birth weight and may also lead to higher neonatal intensive care unit admission risk.
This is the second small-scale study the researchers have conducted with significant findings. The team's previous study, published in 2018, was the first study to confirm glyphosate in 93 percent of pregnancies which found associations with shortened pregnancies. Other recent studies have also confirmed their findings.
"Pesticide exposure in pregnancy, especially in early pregnancy, can imprint DNA and alter gene expression," said Paul Winchester, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics and the study's lead author. "But little is known about how these chemicals can impact fetal development in humans."
Glyphosate is a chemical, commonly found in Roundup, used to kill weeds. It is used by farmers and homeowners across the United States, but especially in the Midwest on corn and soybeans. Previous studies have shown people can be exposed to glyphosate in all the foods they eat, even packaged or organic foods.
Over the course of several years, researchers observed a cohort of 187 pregnant women in Indiana, collecting urine samples in the first trimester of their pregnancies. All but one of the women had glyphosate detected in their urine.
Winchester said previous studies have shown a variety of negative effects of pesticide exposure in animal models, but not much is known about the impact on fetal development in humans.
"As a neonatologist, I'm seeing more and more infants with problems like low birth weight as well as mothers with issues like obesity or gestational diabetes," Winchester said. "We need to keep studying these herbicides long term to find out how they could be causing these issues and what we can do to prevent them."