Glyphosate – the active chemical found in herbicidal products such as RoundUp® – has been implicated in causing several health problems in humans and animals such as cancer, kidney toxicity, fatty liver disease, alterations to gut microbiota, neurotoxicity and oxidative stress. The list is honestly endless.
Much of the research has focused on the environmental effects of glyphosate on the body. These examine people or animals that are or have been directly exposed to high levels of the chemical.
But, what would be considered indirect, long-term exposure such as dietary sources? Indeed, more research needs to be conducted on the long-term health risks of glyphosate (as well as other herbicides and insecticides) through ingestion. Thus far, studies to date suggest that increasing organic food consumption will lead to reduced incidences of cancer, decreased risk of diabetes and improved fertility outcomes.
(Why organic food? In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) strictly prohibits the use of approximately 900 pesticide and herbicide active ingredients in organic food production for them to be certified as organic. Glyphosate is one of them.)
Bear in mind, the previously mentioned studies investigating consumption did not intervene in diets but simply compared the organic diets to non-organic diets in select populations.
Nowadays, several studies have compared pesticide and herbicide concentrations in urine after diets were replaced partially or completely with organic foods.
A two-part study was recently completed in which the researchers observed significant reductions in fourteen out of fifteen pesticides including glyphosate with organic diet interventions.
Although small, we are highlighting this study due to its simplicity, geography, diversity and thoroughness. We encourage you to read both parts that are available online for free. The first-part was published by Hyland et al. in 2019 and is titled, “Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults”. The 2020 second-part by Fagan et al. is called, “Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary glyphosate levels in U.S. children and adults”.
Are you wondering what this has to do with your companion pets? At Hemopet, we posted a blog on January 13, 2019 called, “Glyphosate and Companion Pets”. In it, we spotlighted an ongoing voluntary glyphosate in companion pet urine study happening at the Health Research Institute (HRI) Laboratories, which analyzed the urine samples in the Fagan et al. study.
HRI Labs puts it this way:
“We aim to find answers to why animal exposure to glyphosate is measuring much higher than human exposure.
Results will help you determine whether to change diet or environmental exposures. Your voluntary survey response will help you and others when study results are published.
HRI Labs is offering animal testing coupled with a voluntary exposure study because we’ve seen unexpectedly high results in animals tested so far. We would like to know why this is the case, and we’ll share the answers with you.
Could the source be oats, soy, lentils, chick peas or other ingredients known to be sprayed with large amounts of glyphosate? Could it be activity in grasses and fields? Could it be an unexpected source like pets consuming deer poop (ugh, yes, we know!)? Help find out by participating.”
To participate, please click here.
Are you wondering what you are going to do about your companion pet’s food if the glyphosate test results are high? First and foremost, please remember to continue to avoid foods to which your pet is sensitive or intolerant. Secondly, several pet foods are available that are made with some if not all organic ingredients. Before purchasing, definitely check the label.
Another option is to cook your companion pet’s food. In this instance, we suggest working with a certified veterinary nutritionist, or an experienced animal nutrition expert.