Biological effects of Glyphosate remain unknown

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Glyphosate has been used as a herbicide for the past 40 years without fully understanding its biological effects. During the past decade biologist have focused their attention on bacteria in the human gut and have discovered at least 1000 separate species of bacteria live in each human large intestine; the total population being over 100 trillion.

Gut bacteria have DNA codes for over 150 times as many genes as their host. Gut bacteria synthesize vitamins, network with immune cells in the gut wall, extract energy from non-digestible plant and animal metabolites that are resistant to human enzymes and defend against toxic substances. The union of gut bacteria genes allied with human genes defines a 'super organism' with a 'super-genome.'

One fifth of the carbon fixed by plants flows through their shikimate pathway. The shikimate pathway is a sequence of metabolic biochemical reactions first discovered in the Japanese flower shikimi. Glyphosate kills plants by blocking one stage of the shikimate pathway. GMO plants have altered the gene for the blocked shikimate stage, hence glyphosate doesn't kill GMO plants; the resulting end product is glyphosate contaminated GMO food.

Twenty amino acids are used to build protein and the shikimate pathway synthesizes three of them: phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. The shikimate pathway is found in algae, bacteria, fungi and plants and exists in all human gut bacteria. Glyphosate contaminated food is not safe.

With the shikimate pathway blocked, the three missing amino acids must come from: (1) food we eat, our diet, (2) from recycled protein within cells, (3) from recycled protein from 'dead' cells, and in extreme cases, (4) by cannibalizing body tissue. A false economy has been created by neglecting the externalized costs of poisoning Islanders with glyphosate-laden food, air and water.

Tony Lloyd,

Mount Stewart

Geographic location: Mount Stewart

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