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Dr. Huber Lays it All Out: Roundup is Killing Us

Lips quivered on ashen faces. Hair stood on forearms. Heads shook and, in some cases, tears formed.

The forum, at the Acres USA conference in Columbus, Ohio, last Friday, lasted two and a half hours. For 150 minutes, Dr. Don Huber dispassionately laid out fact after fact, more research than was possible to digest, with almost surgical precision that led to the same unavoidable conclusion: “Roundup is the most widely abused product in American history.”

Don Huber addresses the Acres USA conference on Friday.

Don Huber addresses the Acres USA conference on Friday.

The result, he said, is the death of agriculture, our livelihoods and the planet as we know it. A pesticide product which was supposed to just be killing weeds, he stated bluntly, is systematically killing us.

When he was done, I snapped a photo of his final slide with my iPhone (above) that talked about our children’s futures. I knew I would soon be heading home to enjoy a holiday weekend setting out decorations, cutting down a tree and sipping hot chocolate with two precious little girls — yet I also knew my life would never quite be the same.

“Future historians may well look back and write about our time, not about how many pounds of pesticide we did or did not apply; but by how willing we were to sacrifice our children and jeopardize future generations based on false promises and flawed science, just to benefit the “bottom line” of a commercial enterprise.”

You simply can’t hear what Don Huber had to say and then go blindly about your life. At least I can’t.

Last Christmas . . . my daughter kissed my grandmother for the last time.

Last Christmas . . . my daughter kissed my grandmother for the last time.

So this weekend I shuddered when I looked at the base of the Christmas trees . . . where Roundup had been sprayed to make things look “clean” for holiday lumberjacks. I scowled at the shelves of the garden center where the poinsettias stood like bright sentries announcing the season at hand. At the end of the row canisters of Roundup awaited spring, when they would be as eagerly gobbled up by customers as the Christmas flowers were on this day.

We sang Christmas carols. We baked cookies and set our tree in its stand, yet as I draped lights and hung ornaments, Dr. Huber’s words echoed in my ears. I kept thinking about the fact this would be my first holiday season without my grandmother and my aunt, both of whom were claimed by Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Huber told the audience the incidence of Alzheimer’s is expected to skyrocket in the next 20 years — probably because Roundup robs so many essential micronutrients from our food.

Our friends Mary, left, and Michael.

Our friends Mary, left, and Michael.

As we talked of our holiday plans and the friends and family we’ll visit, our hearts ached for our lovely, amazing friend, Mary, who will spend Christmas week tethered to a chemotherapy drip. She’ll make it through, because she’s a ferocious fighter. But why should she have to fight so hard? Is it because when we inhale Roundup it then targets our livers, our kidneys, our hormones, our bones, our thyroids and our sex organs . . . and Roundup is literally everywhere in the air and water we breathe?

It’s impossible not to take this personally if you let yourself think about it. Do you know anyone with autism, ADHD, endometriosis, Crohn’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s? If so, then you know someone who has been affected by the atrocities of Roundup. Do you know anyone who’s overweight, even obese? Of course you do, since one in three Americans now fall into that category. Well, it’s probably not because those people are lazy, or want to eat too much, or because their grandparents were fat and the gene was passed down. It’s more likely because people don’t get enough essential nutrition in their meals each day, so they eat more to compensate.

And why don’t the meals have enough nutrition? It’s because most of our food is grown while being sprayed with Roundup, which reaches into our bodies and soils and steals things like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, copper, and especially iron, manganese and zinc. Whether you understand bodily function, or not, all you need to know is that without these essential elements in their daily essential amounts, your body stops working properly. Disease becomes rampant.

And whether you understand soil science, or not, understand this: Mother Nature is pissed off . . . and Mother Nature always wins.

Dr. Huber told the audience last Friday that his life changed profoundly the day he allowed SafeLawns to “leak” his letter to the Secretary of Agriculture to the general public last February. In that letter he warned that a newly studied soil organism was capable of living among plants, and animals, and that it was causing spontaneous miscarriage in humans. He warned that the appearance of the organism was heightened when Roundup was sprayed, as if Mother Nature were fighting back.

He was vilified. Mercilessly. Often by academics who had been his colleagues for decades.

This unnamed soil organism is suspected in the increased incidence of spontaneous miscarriage in cattle and humans.

But on Friday the 75-year-old emeritus professor — who was widely regarded in all circles as one of the planet’s most respected scientists until he began pointing out a rather inconvenient truth about Roundup — showed us pictures. They were images of a sinister organism that appears to be wreaking havoc that is perhaps irreversible.

“I have practically begged our government to invest more resources into studying this organism before it’s too late,” he said. “To date, I’m not seeing any action being taken.”

roundup_cancer

Since the government won’t act against the manufacturer, Monsanto, or the sellers like Scotts Miracle Gro or your local garden center, that means it’s up to you to vote with your wallet by not buying the stuff. It’s up to you to understand that approximately 80 percent of our commercial food supply is grown in a “Roundup Ready” environment — and that to support organic food and farming is to support a planet without Roundup.

Maybe instead of Christmas cards this holiday season, you can send a strong message to your elected officials that foods genetically modified to resist Roundup ought to be banned as they are in many European communities — where they call our sustenance Frankenfood.

The world has a lot of problems these days and it can come off as hyperbolic ranting to suggest that so many problems are the result of a weed killer that comes in a ready-to-use spray bottle at your local hardware store. There’s lots of other bad stuff out there. The thing about Roundup, though, is that unlike many maladies it’s a problem we can control. We don’t have to use Roundup. We don’t have to eat the food produced with it.

And if we stop doing that, the problem could conceivably go away.

For our children’s sake we need to make this happen. Now.

In the meantime, don’t just take it from me. Here’s a great interview with Dr. Huber:
http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/gmo/gut_flora_1210110827.html. It encapsulates many of the similar points he made last Friday before the audience, numbering in the hundreds, stood for a long, almost sobering, standing ovation. It wasn’t the kind of raucous applause we lavish on Broadway actors or athletes on a field, but rather a respectful, somber homage to a man who is daring to try to save us from ourselves.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

Number of Entries : 1023
  • Mike Serant

    Powerful article, very dynamically written. It is a call to arms and what we bear witness to is the survival of mankind. Not only from the onslaught on Round Up but the destruction of our natural capitalism and the rise of Earth’s temperature. Most people are asleep and are completely unaware of the destruction raining down us. Perhaps the poor nutrition we eat is a primary cause and then one could speculate that certain powers want us to be poorly fed on purpose.

  • http://www.mowgreen.us Dan Delventhal

    Paul,
    Thanks. Beautiful treatment of an ugly topic and it must happen, so thanks again.
    So many people who think they are savvy about survival and sustainability are nonchalant about using Roundup. Hard to figure.
    Best,
    Dan

  • Ron Gartner

    Extraordinarily well written. I’ve seen Dr. Huber speak as well and it’s perplexing as to why our government would allow this to continue with Roundup, when the evidence is so clear. We have to all take matters into our own hands.
    R. Gartner, Biloxi

    • Pat Smith

      Hi Paul,
      Pesticides are designed to kill but they are not clever enough to target only certain organisms. It can, and will, kill pets and people. When will we ever accept this fact and stop the widespread use of these dangerous products? Silent SPring rang the alarm. Agent Orange took a huge toll on veterans and their offspring as well as citizens of Viet Nam. The research on Gulf War Syndrome also points to pesticides.
      I have a personal interest because, like you, I was poisoned by a pesticide. We must stop the madness!

    • Dianna

      The Government allows it because the same people who are on the boards at Monsanto are the same people who are on government agriculture boards because Monsanto paid Boo-Coo Bucks with Lobbyists to get them into government so they could approve all of Monsanto’s pesticides.

  • Cassandra McKinney

    Hi Paul,

    My father is a farmer and 10 years ago, while an undergraduate at
    Western Washington University, I wrote a paper about effects of
    pesticides on human health. I can say that while it did not entirely
    change how he operates our small family farm, it did open his eyes. I
    described to him how exposure to pesticides can increase the risks of
    bone cancer – of which his father was suffering from and eventually
    died from. I also described to him how exposure to pesticides can
    cause birth defects, miscarriage, cancer, decreased sperm count in
    males as well as deformed sperm, and more. But peer pressure from his
    daughter is not enough, the market forces still demand a certain yeild
    of crop in order to stay competitive and afloat. If you o not meet
    these demands, one will lose the farm to the bank and creditors. Farm
    subsidies are partly to blame. Look at the growth of corporate farms,
    look at who is receiving the share of the farm subsidies, then look at
    who still values the farming way of life. The corporate farms are
    driving the demand for the products, the small farmer is merely trying
    to survive even when desiring change.

    Change isn’t going to be easy and before change can occur, we need a
    fundamental shift in consumer behavior. Consumers demand a certain
    type of product. They have an artificial image of what an apple
    should look like – al shiny, perfect, free of blemishes, and covered
    in wax. Or how about lettuce – green and crisp and free of bug damage.
    If this is what we demand and any thing less than perfect is
    unacceptable, change will not take place. We also need change in the
    way we ship product. The average amount of time food is in transport
    is 7-14 days. That means that in addition to the food being robbed of
    nutrients during growth, they are rapidly loosing nutritional value as
    they are shipped. However, this also realizes local greed and
    political pressures. In the County I live and work we have been
    trying for years to obtain funds for farmland preservation. Farmland
    preservation makes people feel good, but no one will invest in it. So
    as our County in NE Illinois continues to grow, and the demand for
    local farm fresh food continues to grow and the awareness of the
    benefits of organic also increase, our farmland is being gobbled up by
    developers and destroyed.

    The problem of Roundup is deeper than just the product and the
    Chemical company that produces and supplies it. The problem of
    Roundup and any chemcial use for that matter is one of greed,
    corruption, a standard of perfection, lack of awareness, and more.

    It is up to us to keep our children safe and to pave the way to a more
    sustainable future for one and for all.

    Sincerely,
    Cassandra McKinney

    • Cherlynn

      Cassandra,

      Some very good additional points to Paul’s informative blog!!!

      You’ve said it all with the following:

      “The problem of Roundup is deeper than just the product and the
      Chemical company that produces and supplies it. The problem of
      Roundup and any chemcial use for that matter is one of greed,
      corruption, a standard of perfection, lack of awareness, and more.”

      A big…THANK YOU! to Paul and everyone involved in Safelawns for their continued efforts to inform us as we move to a more sustainable lifestyle.

  • A. Reynolds

    Thank you for all the hard work you do in educating us.
    A. Reynolds

  • Heydon

    Excellent article. I consider Dr. Huber a real “Hoosier Hero.” I fear that too many of Dr. Huber’s former colleagues are still on Monsanto’s payroll. It would be interesting to know the amount of grant money Monsanto and other biotechs provide to Purdue U. ag. research, either directly or through off-shore accounts.

    I do wish that Dr. Huber’s talk had been videotaped. Many of us living at a distance would enjoy seeing it.

  • Jane Cutter

    Kudos to Dr. Huber. What a brave soul and a real hero to us all on planet earth!
    Until garden centers stop selling and promoting RoundUp as “safe” we will continue to have a real problem. The truth has to get out there, somehow. I pass it along but am told “Oh, RoundUp is safe, didn’t you know that?” There’s a lot of denial in our society and this is one of the greatest examples!! Also, folks listen to big corporations with the power of being able to convince with lies and propaganda! It’s unconscionable!
    Keep up the good work, it IS making a difference!
    Cheers and Merry Christmas!
    Jane Cutter
    Scarborough

  • j. michael carney

    read this on my birthday . couldnt believe that one person would have the balls to come clean with the truth about round up . did you know that asian people pay more for veg and fruit that is bug eaton. if the bugs wont eat it you shouldnt. wait till you here about the bees but we shouldnt get ahead of ourselves. the government will comeout with some cover story like the ailens that run monsanto did this for our own good . future generations will look back on monsanto and the governments work to undermine natural organic farming with pride. there are many lawyers lining up to sue everybody in connection with this mess but we should have listned to nuts that were telling everybody this stuff wasnt any good in 94. well we only have one world and i believe that greed seems to be the god of today ive never been religious about gardning but this comming year i have a acre to farm with organic seeds its what i can do (spread the word dont be shy ) dividingcricker

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