Are High Autism Rates Linked to a Popular Weed Killer?

While researching Autism, I came across a fact that shocked me. Did you know that 30 years ago, 1 in 2,000 children were diagnosed with autism? Today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is 1 in 68.  

Numbers don’t lie, but that doesn’t mean that those numbers come without controversy.  Many will say that advances in medicine have made it easier to diagnose autism or we have learned more in recent years. Regardless of what the reason is for the extreme climb in diagnosis’…this is a serious problem. A senior researcher at MIT, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, predicts that half of children in the country will be diagnosed with autism by 2025. 

Dr. Seneff and many others believe that there is a connection between autism and the rise in the use of the chemical herbicide glyphosate. 

What is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is the main chemical in a widely used weed killer, Roundup. Manufactured by Monsanto, Roundup is one of the most popular herbicides used in US agriculture. 1.2 billion pounds are used per year. 

90% of the corn, soy and wheat is treated with Roundup and it is found in many GMO (genetically modified organisms) food. Glyphosate has also been found in baby formula, prenatal vitamins and vaccines. Now how does this affect you and your family’s health? It’s been reported that glyphosate induces inflammation, and can lead to fertility issues, endocrine and liver problems, as well as cancer. Not to mention that the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized glyphosate as a possible carcinogen. 

The Connection to Autism

There are many theories that link autism and glyphosate. One, coming from Dr. William Shaw, which says that glyphosate induces changes in gut bacteria and these changes damage mitochondria. Damaged mitochondria can affect the brain and behavior. Dr. Shaw conducted a study with triplets (two with autism and one with a seizure disorder) who were found to have elevated urinary glyphosate levels. 

Another theory comes from scientist Anthony Samsel who has extensively studied pesticides, herbicides and other air and water pollutants. His theory is that glyphosate disrupts enzymes, specifically the liver enzyme P450; which is necessary for the detoxification of foreign chemicals in our system.

Samsel concludes that glyphosate can prevent digestive enzymes from functioning properly.  This can affect our immune system and lead to serious illnesses.

The way glyphosate works is that it interrupts the shikimate pathway, a metabolic function in plants that allows them to create essential amino acids. When this path is interrupted, the plants die. Human cells don’t have a shikimate pathway so scientists and researchers believed that exposure to glyphosate would be harmless. The problem is that bacteria DO have a shikimate pathway and we have millions of good bacteria in our guts – our “gut flora.” (source)

Dr. Stephanie Seneff’s theory is that glyphosate blocks the digestion of gluten. She believes that glyphosate is to blame for the the gluten allergy and sensitivity that many people experience. She has been working closely with Dr. Nancy Swanson on studying the endocrine disrupting properties of glyphosate. They suspect it leads to neurological disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. 

What Can We Do?

One of my recommendations, which seems to be the easiest, is to pay attention to the food your buying for your family. Look for “Non-GMO” labels, but organic whenever available, and avoid processed foods. 

When it comes to produce, if it’s not possible to grow your own, purchase from an organic farmer. Farmer’s markets are all the rage, take advantage of them.

If your family is suffering from chronic health conditions, then my 30-Day Family Health Makeover may be just what you need.   In this comprehensive program, you will learn how to rid your family of the toxic foods and products that are wrecking their health. You’ll discover how to incorporate clean, wholesome options in 9 easy steps. 

What are your thoughts on glyphosate and autism rates? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Leann Forst, MBA, CHC — Family Health & Cancer Coach

Leann is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, holding a Master’s degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University. Leann is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. And she is an award winning author of 2 books How to Get Your Kids to Beg for Veggies and 100 Ways to Lose Weight”.

Born and raised as an Iowa farm girl, she moved to Texas in 1998 where she lives with her husband and 2 kids.

As a wife of a brain cancer survivor, Leann has a special interest in anti-cancer nutrition and detoxification. She works with individuals and groups, and speaks regularly at hospitals, schools and organizations to teach people how to attain optimal health by getting to the root cause of chronic and inflammatory conditions, while using healing modalities such as essential oils. Click here to get Leann’s free report, “37 Cancer Facts You Should Know…But Probably Don’t”. And take Leann’s Nutrient Deficiency Quiz here.

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