Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Monsanto erroneously claims that glyphosate (RoundUp™) is toxic only to plants but not to humans. This is not accurate because in the human gut we have billions of symbiotic plants (beneficial bacteria) which help maintain our health and prevent leaky gut syndrome as well as the consequent auto-immune diseases.
Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D. writes the following on this lethality of glyphosate:
Glyphosate is poison and it is in your food so detoxifying is essential. Why is glyphosate dangerous? MIT senior scientist Stephanie Seneff forwarded me this analysis of a paper published recently:
Terrifying new paper just published.
I think many in this group are aware that several recent papers have shown that there are major problems with CRISPR technology in that several surprising other changes take place besides the intended ones to induce an oncogenic response through RNA signaling mechanisms.
Now there is a new paper out, conducted by a group of researchers at the newly joined DowDupont largest chemical company in the world.
Desensitizing plant EPSP synthase to glyphosate: Optimized global sequence context accommodates a glycine-to-alanine change in the active site.
This paper is amazing and terrifying. First off is that it shows conclusively that there is a glycine residue at the active site for PEP binding in EPSP synthase which MUST be either remapped to alanine in the DNA code or crowded/impinged by a genetic mutation in a nearby amino acid in order to prevent glyphosate from disrupting the protein. In other words (my words), glyphosate wreaks its havoc on EPSP synthase by substituting for this glycine residue (96 in E coli, 101 in maize) during protein synthesis.
Multiple species of weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate by changing the code for this glycine residue to code for alanine instead. Alanine has an extra methyl group that interferes with PEP fitting into the cavity, but this can be fixed by mutating other nearby amino acids as well to make more room for PEP. However, glyphosate is still unable to fit in the cavity even though there’s plenty of room. That’s because glyphosate doesn’t need to fit in the cavity – it only needs to fit IN PLACE OF the glycine residue. Once the code no longer codes for glycine, glyphosate is completely ineffective in suppressing EPSP synthase.
The second thing about this paper is what makes it terrifying. These authors have shown that you can alter the genome of a crop plant by tweaking it using CRISPR technology so as to emulate the version of the protein that a weed has come up with that offers resistance to a toxic herbicide. The results are remarkably successful to produce CRISPR modifications to the native gene which can then bypass GMO regulation, because the regulators have recently decided that CRISPR is NOT a GMO process.
What this means (I think) is that DowDupont is going to roll out a whole suite of patentable seeds that will allow just about any crop to be resistant to glyphosate. Not to mention the increased risk to cancer due to the CRISPR modification itself. As far as I am concerned, this is the end of the world as we know it.
Also from Stephanie:
Brad, I don’t need another explanation for why glyphosate disrupts the
shikimate pathway. It’s very simple. Glyphosate substitutes for glycine
(at residue 101 in Maize EPSP synthase) and its extra methyl phosphonyl
group bulges out into the cavity where PEP is supposed to fit snugly. As
a consequence, PEP can’t gain access to its site and the reaction can’t
This paper just confirms that I am right, because all of the natural
mutations in the weeds involved getting rid of glycine at location 101.
They then had to tweak some other parts of the PEP binding site to allow
PEP extra space, in the face of an extra methyl group protruding into
the binding site from the alanine that is now coded for at location 101
instead of glycine.
Their position has always been that glyphosate competes for PEP as
substrate, but if this is the case, why is it that, with the expanded
shape of the pocket, PEP fits fine but glyphosate still has little or no
access? It’s because glyphosate can’t swap in for glycine during protein
assembly because glycine is no longer there in the EPSP synthase peptide