Renewable Farming

Heroes of American health research, part 1: Samsel and Seneff

A generation or two from now, historians will reflect on the courage and intellect of only a few scientists and other serious investigators. We’re pointing toward those who are piercing through the political shrouds which obscure the troubling truths about the rapid rise in agriculture of genetically engineered crops and the toxins linked with them. One of these related chemicals, the weedkiller glyphosate, is soon up for official U.S. government review and re-approval.

Right now, these independent researchers are patiently digging out and verifying the facts. They are revealing them in scientific journals, and hoping that responsible American leadership will emerge to conduct the major, serious and prolonged field studies which the evidence points toward as critical. 

At least 60 nations outside the U.S. have exercised more of the “precautionary principle” on food than have our lawmakers. The U.S. Congress caved to corporate pressure this past summer, and obstructed Americans’ ability to discern whether GMO products (and thus their related pesticides) are part of their food supply. It’s acronymed the “DARK Act” — denying Americans the Right to Know.

Over the next few months, we will be making available to you caches of evidence analyzed by some of these “Heroes of American Health” (that’s my label for them).  Purpose: Offer you information not generally recognized as politically safe by most U.S. media, especially the advertising-dependent “farm press.” 

Our first offering for you is below: Links to five scientific studies focused on glyphosate. They are authored by Dr. Anthony Samsel and Dr. Stephanie Seneff. Dr. Seneff is a researcher in Systems Biology, human-computer interaction and data mining at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Samsel is an independent research scientist with an extensive background in environmental chemistry, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and biotechnology. He’s also an avid gardener with a lifetime of personal experience in soil science, horticulture and plant biology.  You can open their profiles in the links which become live when you download the PDF documents from our links embedded in the titles. Dr. Samsel’s profile summary is also on Linkedin here. Dr. Stephanie Seneff’s profile plus links to many of her previous research studies are at this link

Dr. Samsel displaying some of the awards won with his garden produce shown
at his fair near Deerfield, New Hampshire in 2016

One unique aspect to these papers is that they’re based primarily on original research studies conducted under the auspices of the Monsanto corporation for purposes of registering glyphosate.  Through the Freedom of Information act, Samsel obtained over 120 trade secret Monsanto studies as well as many sealed documents from DuPont.

The attached constraint: He and his colleagues are allowed to analyze the research studies, but not distribute any of the original documents to others. Thus, what you’ll read in each of the Samsel-Seneff papers comes from a fresh, outside scientific examination of clinical studies produced by the manufacturers.

What needs to happen next, and soon, is large-scale, independently funded, field studies of health consequences of the multiple toxins in our food supply. Physicians and health officials in other nations are warning of demographic disease hot spots where glyphosate is field-applied — together with its surfactants and other adjuvants. Regions in Sri Lanka and South America are cases in point. Other papers by Dr. Seneff stress the need for such studies, particularly in relation to glyphosate.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff

Our model for the kind of definitive health analysis we need is historic research by two other heroes in our esteem: T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell, who wrote The China Study. This was a global overview of diet and health implications — albeit conducted from data available well before today’s permeating of our food supplies with glyphosate. (FDA just announced finding glyphosate residues in baby cereals.)

The broad epidemiological studies are a much more thorough net in which to sift out and correlate public health threats than short-term clinical trials with lab animals.  Especially when most of the glyphosate lab tests are conducted only with the “pure” glyphosate and not the complex of adjuvants which make it such a powerful labeled product in the field.

For starters, here’s the abstract from the fourth paper to which we link below.

Abstract from the scientific paper, “Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases IV: Cancer and related pathologies” published in the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry, January 2015, by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the pervasive herbicide, Roundup, and its usage, particularly in the United States, has increased dramatically in the last two decades, in step with the widespread adoption of Roundup.-Ready core crops. The World Health Organization recently labelled glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic.”

In this paper, we review the research literature, with the goal of evaluating the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate. Glyphosate has a large number of tumorigenic effects on biological systems, including direct damage to DNA in sensitive cells, disruption of glycine homeostasis, succinate dehydrogenase inhibition, chelation of manganese, modification to more carcinogenic molecules such as N-nitrosoglyphosate and glyoxylate, disruption of fructose metabolism, etc. Epidemiological evidence supports strong temporal correlations between glyphosate usage on crops and a multitude of cancers that are reaching epidemic proportions, including breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer and myeloid leukaemia.

Here, we support these correlations through an examination of Monsanto’s early studies on glyphosate, and explain how the biological effects of glyphosate could induce each of these cancers. We believe that the available evidence warrants a reconsideration of the risk/benefit trade-off with respect to glyphosate usage to control weeds, and we advocate much stricter regulation of glyphosate.


This is the currently available list of papers on this subject by Samsel and Seneff. We understand two more are in preparation, and we intend to follow up.   

This introduction by Jerry Carlson, Oct. 1, 2016

1. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450  Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases

2. Glyphosate II Samsel-Seneff Toxicology FNL

3. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III:  Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies

4. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases IV: cancer and related pathologies

5. Glyphosate pathways to modern diseases V: Amino acid analogue of glycine in diverse proteins

You can also access all of the Samsel/Seneff papers on ResearchGate site, although you may have to create a user name and password for ResearchGate. This is a public access site which consolidates thousands of research papers and tracks how many visits each paper receives. The link  is:

Hopefully, the EPA team which will convene Oct. 18 will also seriously study these analyses. And hopefully, this team will broaden the scope of their “carcinogenic” exam of glyphosate to consider the chemical’s impact on many metabolic pathways and the human digestive biome. All of these multiple influences can weaken our immune system and leave us vulnerable to multiple chronic diseases, not cancer alone. The rates per 100,000 Americans of many diseases, from autism to cancer to diabetes to heart failure are going parabolic.