...the post sharing the writing project I completed last fall. And, why my findings convinced me that we should completely avoid consuming non-organic corn and soybean products, and will never be spraying Round-up on our lawn (ever!).
After originally turning to a gluten free diet over six years ago to resolve digestive issues in my nursing infant son, it seemed that there was more going on than a simple isolated food sensitivity. It also seemed that many, many other mothers I talked with shared stories of their children having similar intestinal issues, or “reflux”. With my Agriculture/Soils education and research background in agriculture, it made sense to start looking from the ground up (no pun intended) for clues. Was there something going on at the soil/agronomic level that was influencing the foods we were eating (or having to avoid at this point)? For over five years, I conducted literature searches looking for current research, information or clues to an environmental trigger.
This past December was finally the right time to write up all the research I had gathered. New research was coming out every month it seemed, and none of it contradicted what I had been finding. I knew in my gut that there was something going on and the pieces hadn't yet been put together. Celiac rates have been increasing at an alarming rate, and just last month (March 2013) in a Fox News story Dr. Fassano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, noted again that "something in the environment seems to be triggering the various genetic and biological factors that drive celiac disease." The environmental factors behind the increase in celiac have remained elusive thus far.
Developments in agricultural within the past 25 years have resulted in a majority of crops utilizing new biotechnology; including glyphosate, genetically modified corn containing Baccilus Thuringensis (Bt) and Roundup Ready (RR) genes, and Roundup Ready (RR) Soybeans. Residues from these biotechnologies in the crops have been detected in humans and may provide a clue to the environmental factor. The potential role of this residue on the increase in celiac and gluten intolerance is what I investigated. A recent study (2011) showed that the retinoic acid cycle could be disrupted in mice, causing celiac. Interestingly, Glyphosate (commonly known as Round-Up, a weed killer), has been shown to disrupt this very retinoic acid cycle. The result of the literature searches conducted, led me to the thesis that glyphosate and genetic modifications may be a contributing environmental factor in the development of celiac. More details and cited research of what I found are included in the paper. It is my hope that the information gathered contains clues to the future direction of celiac research, diagnosis, treatment, and potentially prevention.
The paper is titled, Glyphosate and Bt genetic modifications may be a contributing environmental factor in the development of celiac. The clickable link will take you to a .pdf file of the paper that includes all references and citations.