Dr. Jeffrey Dach: Is it Zika Virus or Glyphosate Exposure?

Spraying Glyphosate / Roundup

Spraying Monsanto’s Glyphosate/Roundup in a field

Is It Zika Virus or Glyphosate Exposure ?

by Jeffrey Dach MD

The news media has been reporting the Zika virus as the cause of microcephaly.  The story originated in a Monsanto chemical industry press release dated Feb 17, 2016 which was then copied over the news media.  The Zika virus was discovered in Uganda in 1947, and there have been no reports of microcephaly in Uganda.  A US news article says, according to Associated Press journalists who visited the Zika Forest in Uganda on Feb 1, 2016, local officials have no concern about the Zika virus.(24)

New England Journal Reports on Microcephaly

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported Zika Virus surveillance in Colombia.(80-81)  Of 50 babies reported with microcephaly, only four (8 %) had laboratory evidence of congenital Zika virus infection on RT-PCR. The other 46 cases (92 %)  were due to other causes.

Of 1850 pregnant women reported infected with Zika virus, no babies were born with microcephaly.  The authors state: (80-81)

“maternal infection with the Zika virus during the third trimester of pregnancy is not linked to structural abnormalities in the fetus.”

Since 92% of microcephaly babies are not caused by maternal Zika virus, perhaps we should be looking for other preventable causes.

Dr Yaneer Bar-Yam reviewed this same data from the Colombia surveillance  study.

After reviewing this data, Dr Yaneer Bar-Yam concluded in his own report entitled: “Is Zika the cause of Microcephaly?” that there is no direct link between zika virus and microcephaly, and he proposed pesticide exposure (pyriproxyfen) in the drinking water as an alternative explanation(99):

“This (data) would seem to rule out Zika as a cause of microcephaly. This gives a consistent interpretation that there is no direct link between Zika and microcephaly except for random co-occurrence.”….”An alternative cause of microcephaly in Brazil could be the pesticide pyriproxyfen, which is cross-reactive with retinoic acid, which causes microcephaly, and is being used in drinking water.”(99)

Dr Tiago Baptista Questions Zika as Sole Cause of Microcephaly

Maternal viral infection with rubella or cytomegalovirus have been known to cause fetal malformation and fetal demise. There is no doubt that viral illness during pregnancy is best avoided.(47-55)

However, Dr Tiago Baptista in a 2016 BMJ article questions “whether the surge in reported cases of microcephaly is entirely due to Zika virus infection“(55)  He says:

The risk of microcephaly after maternal infection is estimated at roughly one in 100 women… This is a relatively low risk compared with other causal infections such as cytomegalovirus.”(55)

A Distraction From the Real Cause- Exposure to Glyphosate Causes Microcephaly and other Congenital Anomalies

I suggest that the Zika virus is merely a distraction away from the real cause, agrichemical exposure from Monsanto’s Round-Up Herbicide, glyphosate, (1-4)

microcephaly_glyphosate_zika2Dr Alejandra Paganelli reported in 2010 that “Glyphosate-based herbicides produce teratogenic effects on vertebrates by impairing retinoic acid signaling.” (8)

Left image: baby born with microcephaly. 

News media blames the Zika Virus courtesy of BBC News.

Dr Paganelli concludes: “(congenital malformations) “produced by Glyphosate Based Herbicides are mainly a consequence of the increase of endogenous retinoid activity. ” (8)

Dr Sylvia Lopez

In 2012, Dr Silvia L. Lopez reviewed the effects of agricultural chemicals, glyphosate based herbicides, in human and animal models.(9)  She says:

“It is very well known that acute or chronic increase of retinoic acid (RA) levels leads to teratogenic effects during human pregnancy and in experimental models. The characteristic features displayed by Retinoic Acid embryopathy in humans include brain abnormalities such as microcephaly, microphtalmia, and impairment of hindbrain development; abnormal external and middle ears (microtia or anotia), mandibular and midfacial underdevelopment, and cleft palate.” (9)

Note: Retinoic Acid is Vitamin A Derivative.

Dr Benitez-Leite

glyphosate causes microcephalyDr Benitez-Leite reported 52 cases of malformations in babies born of women exposed to agricultural chemicals. The congenital malformations observed include anencephaly, microcephaly, facial defects, myelomeningocele, cleft palate, ear malformations, polydactily, syndactily all consistent with the well-known and expected syndrome caused by upregulation of the Retinoic Acid pathway.(10)

Left image: Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide contains glyphosate.

Upregulation of Retinoic Acid Pathway

A number of reports have linked arial spraying with the mosquito larvicide pyriproxyfen to birth defects such as microcephaly in the crop sprayed towns of Northeast Brazil.(106-108)

Pyriproxyfen disrupts retinoic acid (vitramin A) signalling, a known mechanism for microcephaly (106-108)

In 1995, Dr Kenneth Rothman reported in NEJM that High Vitamin A Intake causes birth defects. (109)

Worldwide Pesticide Sales

Pesticide Sales (Note: Brazil)

Read the rest of the article here. Originally published June 16, 2016

Top photo: Agricultural Worker spraying field with glyphosate courtesy of Indiana Public Media.

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