My alarm goes off at 5:45 am. My alarm used to be set to play “Wanna Be Starting Something” by Michael Jackson, but horror stories from a recent documentary make me think it’s not the best energy with which to start the day. On my drive to San Francisco, I am seriously feeling Florence and the Machine’s Shake it Out – particularly the lyric: “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” I do believe that dawn is coming.
The links of glyphosate to NHL are horrific, but there are so many more ways in which this herbicide has been damaging our bodies.
For over a year now, I have been asking leading scientists and physicians in the area of celiac and gluten sensitivity to please study the connection between glyphosate/Roundup and zonulin. Responses have ranged from vague disinterest to outright dismissal. Even Dr. Fasano, the brilliant scientist who discovered zonulin (and a friendly, attractive Italian man), doesn’t find the study to be a priority. Meanwhile, I know there absolutely has to be something happening here – WHY aren’t these specialists looking at the obvious glyphosate elephant in the room?
Could someone please give me an honorary PhD so that I can run this study? I promise that no one can buy my opinions nor scientific research conclusions. I’ll trade you an honorary MBA, a degree that is getting me nowhere fast in my crusade to get glyphosate off our food and out of our lives. Ironically, the MBA could get one a well-paying strategy job at Bayer.
To better understand the potential connection between glyphosate, zonulin, and disease, I offer a quick overview of the medical buzzword “intestinal permeability” (and it’s twin from the functional medicine world “leaky gut”). It really sounds nastily feces laden, but doesn’t directly involve feces. If you are interested in the more comprehensive description, read here.
There is a barrier that separates the contents of the intestine from the rest of the body. This barrier is composed of a single layer of cells that prevents the entry of harmful substances into the body and acts as a selective filter to facilitate the uptake of nutrients, electrolytes and water. See this image:
Permeability of the barrier is regulated by “tight junctions.” Intestinal permeability is modulated by CXCR3 receptors in cells in the barrier, which respond to zonulin. Zonulin is a protein that modulates the permeability of tight junctions between cells of the wall of the digestive tract. Gliadin, the protein found in wheat, activates zonulin, leading to increased intestinal permeability. Disruption of the intestinal tight junction barrier can act as a trigger for diseases. It can result in an activation of the immune system and secretion of inflammatory mediators.
Imagine my thrill to read Dr. Zach Bush’s Instagram post today. He writes:
Glyphosate damages the gut lining by suppressing it of oxygen (this is called a hypoxic injury). One of the results of this, is the over expression of CXCR3, a receptor to the gluten compound. Once this happens, gluten is broken down, and produces something called zonulin. Zonulin opens up the tight junctions of the gut, and then you get an “unzippering” of the whole gut lining and now you have leaky gut.
We’ve been able to have gluten in our diet for thousands of years without any measurable immune impact. Suddenly in the 1990s, 15-20% of the American population became gluten sensitive. Now, about 50-60% of the U.S. population has some form of gluten sensitivity.
Thank GOODNESS someone with a “Dr.” in front of his name has highlighted the glyphosate/zonulin issue. I’m hoping that he is running substantial research right now to prove this to be so, because it will dramatically change the way even the most skeptical, non-functional of western doctors approach gluten sensitivity and modern disease. Maybe even the EPA will eventually listen.
I arrive at the courthouse to find that there will be no trial today. A juror is sick. Moreover, if the juror is sick another day, Chhabria will excuse him/her and we will be down to just six jurors.
The other journalists and I groan over this inconvenience.
Chhabria will be hearing arguments from the attorneys this morning on several pressing topics.
PATHOLOGY FAST ONE
Last Friday, Monsanto very smoothly tried to pull a last-second fast one. They indicated that their pathologist Dr. Daniel Arber would be discussing how pathology can prove that Hep C most likely caused Hardeman’s cancer.
Chhabria took the weekend to look over the relevant expert report, and states: “I looked over Arber’s reports and I’m not sure what you were trying to feed me on Friday. But, whatever it was, it was inconsistent with what he said in his reports.” The opinion that Monsanto attempting to offer is not admissible.
Chhabria says that the Monsanto-damning Parry Report was initially excluded based on an assumption that Monsanto would not claim that glyphosate is non-genotoxic. Because Monsanto contested the genotoxicity opinions during the Portier cross-examination, it opened the door for Plaintiff to tell the jury about the Parry Report as per pre-trial orders.
Chhabria initially suggests that some of the Portier testimony on Parry’s glyphosate genotoxicity report should be shared with the jury. He also considers that upcoming Plaintiff expert Dr. Weisenberger could briefly discuss IARC’s conclusion regarding genotoxicity. Monsanto leaps to argue that IARC shouldn’t be mentioned because of the rabbit hole it opens. Chhabria agrees and says he’ll bookmark the IARC report idea.
Monsanto attorney Stekloff begins an intense monologue in an impressive effort to right their course. In fact, he argues so passionately that he is briefly left wordless. Like, there are simply no words left to spend.
Despite Stekloff’s best efforts, Chhabria thinks that it is reasonable for the Plaintiff to share that someone from inside Monsanto, Dr. James Parry, considered glyphosate/Roundup to potentially be genotoxic.
PREPARATION FOR PHASE 2
Chhabria reminds the attorneys that there won’t be a ton of restrictions on evidence in Phase 2. He also instructs both sides to prepare their Opening Statements for Phase 2, because they will take place the morning after deliberations on Phase 1. Of course, this assumes that the jury determines that Roundup can cause cancer. Otherwise, I guess we all pack our bags and go home to cry.
The Plaintiff intends to bring in an exhibit of the sprayer that Hardeman used to apply Roundup. Monsanto attorney Johnson argues that the presence of the actual sprayer could lead the jury to incorrectly speculate on how the sprayer impacted Hardeman’s exposure. In a serious tone, Chhabria states “One helpful guidance is that the Plaintiffs are not allowed to spray you with the sprayer, or spray me with the sprayer.”
In the end, Chhabria allows the Plaintiff to have the sprayer present during Hardeman’s testimony.
Agent OJ on the case Tuesday! No coverage on Wednesday. Back in court on Friday.
Things are going our way – I feel it. Darkness before the dawn.
© 2019 Kelly Ryerson ALL RIGHTS RESERVED