Hey, California: There is Much More to be Concerned About with Glyphosate than Cancer: Glyphosate is Autismogenic

AS IF CONCERN OVER CANCER  from Glyphosate, the chemical used in herbicides such as Roundup™, Rodeo™, and Pondmaster™ would not be enough to keep the citizenry of California active in the war against chemicals  in their environment, mounting evidence points to a second grave concern for Glyphosate:


Glutamate is an ‘excitatory amino acid’ – excesses of which in the brain signal microglial cells to change shape, from nice little neuron-looking cells to amoeboid macrophages. And in that shape, they do what macrophages do: they eat.

Activated microglial cells are fantastic – without them we would all die from bacterial invasion of our brains. When there are no viruses and bacteria or damaged brain tissue around to scarf up, but glutamate signal is up anayway, they eat anything. They munch away at dendritic extensions, neural precursor cells, and other healthy tissue. They cause apoptosis, and the release of more cytokines that indicate that there is damaged tissue. While in this brain-tissue ravenous state, from which they cannot escape in the face of glutamate excesses, they are  incapable of doing the other things that microglial cells do in their inactivated state: Negotiating and facilitating proper synapse connections.

Repeated instances of excitotoxicity impair the brain’s ability to signal the microglial cells to calm down. This leads to a condition known as Chronic Microglial Cell Activation, or CMA.

The result of CMA?

An imbalance in the number of Excitatory/Inhibition (E/I) synapses.

If one looks at autistic brains, guess what we find?

-Excess glutamate
-Lifelong microglial cell activation
-E/I ratio imbalance
-Alerted neuron shape
-Lack of functional specialization of brain areas
-Build up of glial filaments at the cell surface
-Minicolumnar white matter microstructural aberrations

Basically, you end up with a sparsely connected brain. This can happen at any age.

This process is called ‘excitotoxicity’. You will want to learn it. You will be hearing A LOT about it in 2016.

I’m not the first to describe CMA, no. The earliest loudest clarion calls I know of are those from Dr. Russell Blaylock. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for having the foresight to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Sure, he didn’t know all that’s known now about CMA.  But he sure knew a lot of it.

And we know a lot more now, too.

The science that shows that glyphosate can cause autism includes the following:

(1) The herbicide glyphosate causes glutamate induced excitotoxicity (Cattani et al., 2014). That’s more than enough reason for concern for me. But wait, there’s more:

(2) Roundup(TM) but not glyphosate alone was found to depress mitochondrial  respiration by 40% due to partial inhibition of Complexes II and III, but not IV (Peixoto, 2005). (The surfactant that Monsanto apologists say is MORE TOXIC than Glyphosate alone may interact with glyphosate, that’s not a good thing!) [THANK YOU T.L. for catching an error past version]

Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs in around 5% of cases of ASD due to genetics causes, and up to an additional 15% due to environmental causes.

But is there exposure?

Germany’s Green Party reported that breast milk in German mother is unsafe after finding high amounts of  glyphosate in the range of 0.210 and 0.432 nanograms per milliliter (the safe limit in drinking water a quantity of no more than 0.100 nanograms).

If you don’t trust the Moms of the world in their testing of their own breast milk, listen to this guy who says that because glyphosate was designed to kill plants, it does not effect animal metabolism:

“Glyphosate controls weed growth by interfering with the metabolism of plants; it has no effect on the metabolism of humans and animals…”

Such stalwart logic. There are a few problems with this statement…

Like this study:

Gallegos C et al.. 2015 Exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide during pregnancy and lactation induces neurobehavioral alterations in rat offspring. Neurotoxicology. 53:20-28. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2015.11.015.

They found that glyphosate likely alters mechanisms or neurotransmitter systems that regulate locomotor activity and anxiety… Sounds a bit autismal to me. Oh, and rats are animals, not plants.

And this one:

Hernández-Plata I et al., 2015. The herbicide glyphosate causes behavioral changes and alterations in dopaminergic markers in male Sprague-Dawley rat. Neurotoxicology. 2015 Jan;46:79-91. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2014.12.001.

Hmmm, I’ve heard about dopaminergic issues in ASD quite a bit while researching for my next book. Although it’s important for understanding some important pieces of the ASD puzzle, I’ll spare you for now.

Because this one is ever more impressive:

Mesnage R et al. 2015. Transcriptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure. Environ Health. 14:70. doi: 10.1186/s12940-015-0056-1

They concluded: “Observed alterations in gene expression were consistent with fibrosis, necrosis, phospholipidosis, mitochondrial membrane dysfunction and ischemia, which correlate with and thus confirm observations of pathology made at an anatomical, histological and biochemical level.”

They noted mTOR signaling disruption, which, for the nervous system, means loss of macroautophagy, i.e., a dearth of microglial pruning of dendritic processes by microglial cells.

And then there is this one:

Chłopecka M et al., 2014. Glyphosate affects the spontaneous motoric activity of intestine at very low doses – in vitro study. Pestic Biochem Physiol. 2014 Jul;113:25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.pestbp.2014.06.005.

Ok, ok. So Glyphosate can cause some  liver damage, kidney damage, gut issues. What’s the big deal, right?

Enteric microglial cells.

From Verheijden et al. (2015)

“Intestinal macrophages are strategically located in different layers of the intestine, including the mucosa, submucosa and muscularis externa, where they perform complex tasks to maintain intestinal homeostasis. As the gastrointestinal tract is continuously challenged by foreign antigens, macrophage activation should be tightly controlled to prevent chronic inflammation and tissue damage. Unraveling the precise cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the tissue-specific control of macrophage activation is crucial to get more insight into intestinal immune regulation. Two recent reports provide unanticipated evidence that the enteric nervous system (ENS) acts as a critical regulator of macrophage function in the myenteric plexus. Both studies clearly illustrate that enteric neurons reciprocally interact with intestinal macrophages and are actively involved in shaping their phenotype. This concept has striking parallels with the central nervous system (CNS), where neuronal signals maintain microglia, the resident macrophages of the CNS, in a quiescent, anti-inflammatory state. This inevitably evokes the perception that the ENS and CNS share mechanisms of neuroimmune interaction. In line, intestinal macrophages, both in the muscularis externa and (sub)mucosa, express high levels of CX3CR1, a feature that was once believed to be unique for microglia. CX3CR1 is the sole receptor of fractalkine (CX3CL1), a factor mainly produced by neurons in the CNS to facilitate neuron-microglia communication. The striking parallels between resident macrophages of the brain and intestine might provide a promising new line of thought to get more insight into cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling macrophage activation in the gut.”

CX3CR1 is a chemokine receptor expressed by microglia in the brain. In mice lacking the gene, microglial cell numbers were decreased and synaptic pruning was delayed (Paolicelli et al., 2011).

Basically this means that glyphosate is likely to cause macrohpagic activation in the gut, and microglial activation in the brain.

The importance of these findings for gastrointestinal issues in ASD are obvious.

We can also pay attention to the fact that glyphosate is among the chemicals found to be on the increase over the period of time when autism has been increasing (Nevison, 2014).

But wait, there’s even more.


Aluminum alone is sufficient to cause excitotoxicity. There are many studies that show this, but here is a good one:

Abdel-Hamid et al., 2013. Effect of vitamin E and selenium against aluminum-induced nephrotoxicity in pregnant rats. Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 51(4):312-9. doi: 10.5603/FHC.2013.0042.

Why bring up aluminum?

Glyphosate also creates unique complexes with aluminum (Shaw et al., 2014), and together they influence pineal gland pathology (Seneff et al, 2015).

And aluminum use in vaccines is also among the chemical exposures that have increased over the same period of time as autism, in a manner consistent with a causal factor (Nevison, 2014

Detractors will of course blow their lid on “But that’s correlation, not causation!” Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Ok, finished?

I hasten to remind them that every single retrospective epidemiological study that the CDC cites showing that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” has another name: they are also called “Ecological Studies”. And a third name: they are called “Correlative Studies”. And fourth name: “Observational Studies”.

Every. Single. One.

So every time you try to impeach observations and analyses that match trends, remember: you are impeaching the CDC’s own handiwork at crafting negative association results from positive ones.

A positive result in a correlation arrived at by objective means is a minimal criterion for causal inference, but it is still there. Nevison (2014) found other candidates as well.

So I’ll bet Nevison’s correlative studies plus the other studies showing Glyphosate’s ability to be an Autismogen against the CDC’s observational, correlative retrospective studies anytime.

This is in no small part because Dr. William Thompson revealed that the CDC omitted results and fudged the results from these types of studies as a matter of routine.

No one has stepped forward claiming that Dr. Nevison fudged her data. And they won’t. Because she didn’t. Her data are publicly available, and the results can be easily reproduced.

California, be concerned about Lifetime Cumulative Exposures to Neurotoxins that can Induce Chronic Microglial Activation (CMA).

And be especially concerned about the synergistic interactions between aluminum and glyphosate in causing autism.

If I lived in California, I’d contact my representatives and shut down Monsanto’s attempts to stop the government from listing Glyphosate as a carcinogen.

In fact, I’d send them this blog article and implore them to ALSO list Glyphosate as a suspected cause of autism.

Along with aluminum.

And while I was at it, I would demand while they are at it that they outlaw the use of aluminum in vaccines in California.

They may have forced coerced vaccinations, but you can still ban the use of aluminum in vaccines.

Oh, and I almost forgot:

Here’s the report  from the compendium of experts that concluded that Glyphosate should be considered carcinogenic:


Guyton KZ et al., 2015. Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate. Lancet Oncol. 16(5):490-1. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)70134-8.

That’s the study that Monsanto wants California and wanted the WHO (World Health Organization) to ignore (they didn’t), and they wanted the Lancet to retract. That would be a rather difficult trick, I would imagine as it is simply a report of the studies showing likely carcinogenicity of Glyphosate. And other chemicals.

In other words, it’s just a report on the Science. The Lancet would not dare retract Science?

Would they?

Not right while everyone is watching?


James Lyons-Weiler, PhD

Dr. Lyons-Weiler is the President & CEO of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge located near Pittsburgh, PA.

He is also the author of three books:

Ebola: An Evolving Story (World Scientific, 2015)

Cures vs. Profits: Successes in Translational Research (World Scientific, 2016)


The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism (Skyhorse Publishing, 2016)

He is available for speaking engagements and interviews. Contact ebolapromo@gmail.com

Cattani D et al., 2014. Mechanisms underlying the neurotoxicity induced by glyphosate-based herbicide in immature rat hippocampus: involvement of glutamate excitotoxicity. Toxicology. 320:34-45. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2014.03.001.

Nevison CD. 2014. A comparison of temporal trends in United States autism prevalence to trends in suspected environmental factors. Environ Health. 13:73. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-13-73.

Peixoto F, 2005. Comparative effects of the Roundup and glyphosate on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Chemosphere. 61(8):1115-22.

Seneff S et al., 2015. Aluminum and glyphosate can synergistically induce pineal gland pathology: connection to gut dysbiosis and neurological disease. Agricultural Sciences 6:42-70.

Shaw CA et al., 2014. Aluminum-induced entropy in biological systems: implications for neurological disease. J Toxicol. 491316. doi: 10.1155/2014/491316.

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