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"Could you please make sure the eggs aren't runny? I'm pregnant."
At their first prenatal appointment, pregnant women are doled out a list of NO's including deli meats, fish, and unpasteurized cheese. There is a growing awareness of the fact that this list may be dangerously NON EXHAUSTIVE (and largely misguided, especially when it comes to unpasteurized dairy and eggs).
Even a recent, bold pronouncement by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, attempted to sound the alarm about chemical exposures with recommendations for "unproven" but potentially harmful exposures. They describe the importance of considering chemicals in personal care products, over the counter medications and supplements, metals and industrial pollutants in fish, and pesticides. However, they dilute their message by making statements such as "Realistically, pesticides are so rigorously regulated that human exposure via food residues is usually minimal, even in non–organic products."
Unfortunately, the concept of "dose makes the poison" is no longer operative in a world of multiple, synergistic chemical exposures, the toxicity of which appears to be contingent upon each individual's endocrine and immune system.
The limitations of human resilience are revealed in the vulnerability of a growing fetus. A mystically orchestrated process, conception, embryogenesies, and the interplay of an incalculably vast number of variables defies our ability to comprehend how these "instructions" could be folded into two cells, the egg and the sperm.
The study of epigenetics, or the environmental influence on genetic expression, has given us a keyhole look into this vast room of fetal development. We have learned that availability of nutrients, presence of stress hormones, and even beneficial bacteria all contribute to optimal expression of fetal genes. This expression is relevant not just for the proper growth of fingers and toes, but for the long-term health of the offspring. This concept is called the fetal origins of adult disease, and has helped to elucidate the early underpinnings of chronic diseases like cancer and obesity. To date, toxicologists are ill-equipped to assess for these long-term epigenetic effects, but animal studies are revealing transgenerational inheritance of pesticide-induced defects.
The Birth Defect-Causing Properties of Roundup (glyphosate) Hidden for Decades
In 2010, after a dramatic increase in reports of birth defects in Argentina (a four fold increase) since 2002, a lab study was performed that found low doses of the active ingredient in Roundup known as glyphosate, the most prevalent herbicide worldwide, causes birth defects in frog and chicken embryos. This study was followed by others demonstrating cardiac anomalies, embryonic death, and multifocal malformations suspected to be related to oxidized vitamin A toxicity caused by glyphosate. A more recent study in tropical fish has echoed this dose-related concern with harrowing outcomes:
"survival and hatching percentage decreased as glyphosate concentration increased. Absence of pectoral fin(s) and cornea, permanently bent tail, irregular shaped abdomen, and cell disruption in the fin, head and abdomen are among the common teratogenic effects observed."
These studies represent only the tip of a vast, submerged iceberg of research, which clearly show glyphosate causes birth defects, and that the pesticide industry has known about for a suprisingly long period of time.
Earth Open Source, A group of independent scientists (think not paid to scientifically support corporations) published a compendium of literature that they called "Roundup and Birth Defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?" stating, "The pesticide industry and EU regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s-1990s that Roundup, the world's best selling herbicide, causes birth defects – but they failed to inform the public."