A pilot study by Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse found the chemical used in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup in breast milk samples. Though more study is needed, this initial result indicates that this chemical may build up in our bodies over time, which negates Monsanto's repeated claims that it immediately evacuates our bodies.
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Sometimes it feels overwhelming, what we're doing to ourselves, our bodies. Sometimes it all feels so insane and terrifying I just want to say "screw it" and ignore everything. I think maybe I'll just hide my head in the comforting mantra, "Well, they wouldn't sell it if it were that bad." I consider telling myself it's OK. It must be. The people controlling our food sources are humans too, right? I mean they must have the best interests of humanity in mind, right? Our planet?

But then I think about my life, my body, the only one I get. I think about my kids' lives and their bodies, and I think about cancer and other diseases, all on the rise. And I read. I read a lot. I read about GMOs and dying honeybees and global warming. And I flip to the other side: "We're never eating a non-organic item again."

I take a solemn oath. I don't actually. That was a joke.

If I don't take care of myself and my family, who will?

But that's not easy either. It's expensive. It's a remarkable commitment. I'm already tired: Pregnant, three kids, working. It feels pretty huge to embark on an all GMO-free, organic diet.

And yet, the fact remains: If I don't take care of myself and my family, who will? It's becoming increasingly obvious that one's head must be buried deep, deep, deep to ignore the reality of what's happening here.

Roundup in your breast milk?

Recently, Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse published results of their pilot study that found glyphosate herbicide (found in products like Monsanto's Roundup) in three out of the 10 mothers' milk samples they tested. When they tested urine samples, they found glysophate levels "over 10 times higher than in Europe" (source).

While this is clearly not substantial evidence and was not meant to be a "scientific" study, these initial results are significant enough to warrant further research and raise some doubts about Monsanto's claim that glyphosate does not bio-accumulate (build up in the body over time): "Monsanto and regulatory bodies worldwide have based all of their regulations on the assumption that glyphosate is not bio-accumulative. Senior Monsanto scientist, Dan Goldstein, even recently stated (2), "If ingested, glyphosate is excreted rapidly, does not accumulate in body fat or tissues, and does not undergo metabolism in humans. Rather, it is excreted unchanged in the urine" (source).

These breast milk results suggest glyphosate may bio-accumulate. That means that our body tissues might be exposed to higher levels than the so-called safe levels set by regulators. So the regulations are not protecting us.

The presence of the herbicide in breast milk may signal that this information is false, and the regulations surrounding glysophate are thus misguided: "Earth Open Source Research Director Claire Robinson said, 'Regulators and industry always say it is the dose that makes the poison, and even the increasing levels of glyphosate currently found in food and feed and the environment are not a problem. However, that argument only holds true if glyphosate doesn't build up in the human body and is excreted as fast as we take it in. These breast milk results suggest glyphosate may bio-accumulate. That means that our body tissues might be exposed to higher levels than the so-called safe levels set by regulators. So the regulations are not protecting us (source)."

What now?

So, here I am again, thinking, "I have to clean up my diet!" I'm not an alarmist. I'm not particularly dramatic, and I'm certainly not one to blindly hop on some bandwagon because it's popular. Honestly I'm way too lazy for that sort of thing. But I'm also not willing to ignore what appears to be an increasing body of evidence that we are systematically destroying our bodies and planet. If I need evidence of the danger of chemicals like these, I need only remember PCBs or DDT or Agent Orange.

Sometimes I wonder where exactly we think we're going to go if good ol' earth becomes a giant cesspool of Roundup. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Until then, particularly because I'll be breastfeeding an infant for the next two plus years (I'm expecting a baby in a few weeks), I think I really will take that oath, for me, and that newborn.

More on food contamination

If the bees die, we die
What's really in your child's vitamins?
5 Reasons you should care about GMOs

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