The Uk Agricultural Bill Amendment

16 October 2020

Our Government has voted against an amendment to the agricultural bill which would have guaranteed imports meet the UK’s high standards for the environment, animal welfare and food safety. Food is information, from the biochemical reactions that occur at a cellular level - the types of food can actually turn on or off “good” or “bad” genes. The foods we eat control our state of health and our gut microbiome, which has multiple impacts on our immune, metabolic and mental health.  

It seems we are destined to trade far more with America now, where 90% of their crops are GMO and “round-up ready”. What is “round up”? Monsanto invented the herbicide glyphosate and brought it to market under the trade name Roundup in 1974, but it wasn't until the late 1990s that the use of Roundup surged, thanks to Monsanto's marketing strategy. What was the strategy? Genetically engineer seeds to grow food crops that could tolerate high doses of Roundup. With the introduction of these new GE seeds, American farmers could now easily control weeds on their crops—crops that thrived while the weeds around them were wiped out by Roundup. 

But nobody asked the question, it would seem, how does Glyphosate actually work……. Well it works by stopping a specific enzyme pathway, the shikimic acid pathway which in turn prevents the plants from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth. To dig a bit deeper - the shikimate pathway is a seven-step metabolic pathway used by plants for the biosynthesis of folates and aromatic amino acids. Specifically these aromatic amino acids are: phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan, the very same that are required to make our neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, melatonin and thyroid hormone!  

So, let’s just piece this together…. Glyphosate became far more widely used in the 90’s - and we know it specifically inhibits the plants ability to make essential amino acids that our bodies as human beings require to make neurotransmitters and vital hormones. 

Have we not seen a tsunami of health conditions that are directly related to an imbalance of the very same neurotransmitters: ADHD, autism, asperger's syndrome, depression, aggressive behaviour and anxiety.

To date the EU provides up to 80% of the UK’s environmental laws, which include regulations on pesticides, which of course will now all change. The University of Sussex’s UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) uncovered significant departures from EU regulations, including the removal of a blanket ban on hormone-disrupting chemicals, which are known to cause adverse health effects such as cancer, birth defects, mental health development issues  and immune disorders. Is this paving the way to open the door to an influx of American pesticide laden products????? And of course it’s not just crop products themselves, meat products are fed on these crops and so enter our food chain. 

Turning down the amendment flies in the face of the leading narrative “we must protect our NHS.” We know that poor food choices and sub standard foods lead to inflammation and chronic disease - pick a name: obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, all of which places individuals a much higher risk of flu and COVID!  Why are we hell bent on driving substandard food choices into our supermarkets that have little or no nutrient benefit and further fuel our chronic lifestyle led tsunami of associated health conditions? We should be ensuring fairer incomes for our farmers, promote and subsidise organic practices, strengthen environmental protections and create new public procurement targets for local food and food bank.

By doing so, support the long term optimal health of our country and the viability of our highly valuable and important farming sector.

In health, Tanya x