In My Opinion…     

Is Your Horse Roundup Ready?

No Conflict of Interest…
I hereby certify that I have NO affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest in the subject matter nor do I personally profit. …Ross Buchanan

“Even at very low doses of exposure, Glyphosate kills…” Dr. M. Klein, MD, PhD, Neurologist

Over the last three years I have immersed myself in the study of the most common Agricultural Chemical Weed Killers. In addition, I have studied their ingredients including Antibiotics, Chelation Agents, Desiccants, Oxalates, POEAs and Heavy Metals such as Arsenic and Chromium. I have reviewed over 100 independent research papers. Based on the review of independent science, my own experiences and the application of a healthy dose of Common Sense I have formed the following opinions. We are in the middle of an Agriculture Weed Killer Induced Epidemic of harm and hurt. We can no longer wait for change.

The absolutely brilliant work of Food Safety Advocate, Tony Mitra has revealed the truth about the magnitude of contamination of grain crops from Western Canada. If you feed your horses or livestock, grain or commercial bagged feed you will want to learn more about this.

Tony has in his possession the 7800 data sets that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is now refusing to fully reveal to the public. Tony has thoroughly analyzed this data and in his book Poison Foods of North America awakens us to the reality that grains from Western Canada are the most contaminated on the planet. For far too long we have been chasing the wrong culprit. GMO crops. What the CFIA data exposes is that the addiction of Western Canadian farmers to desiccating the Non-GMO crops prior to harvest is a clear and present danger. And the numbers are staggering. For anyone who is concerned with the health of their horses and themselves I suggest that they read the book. While the author's focus is on the safety of food for human consumption all of the information is there for you to make your own decision about whether or not you want to continue to feed your horses or livestock grain or bagged commercial feed that contains grains that have are contaminated with Agricultural Weed Killers.

Ready for the facts? Buckle up Buttercup. The CFIA data shows that the most contaminated grains on the planet are from Western Canada. I am way past worrying about bogus, so called Maximum Residue Levels and government/chemical industry spin about how safe it is to consume chemicals. For me what is most striking is that the 7800 data sets show that in the world, the most contaminated grains are from English speaking North America. And within the US and Canada the most contaminated are in Canada…and in Canada the absolute most toxic grains are from Western Canada. Unfortunately, our farmers have fallen victim to global warming and the increased rains in the fall are making it more and more difficult for farmers in Western Canada to get their equipment on the fields and to get the crops off. Wet and heavy crops are very hard on their machinery. The solution is to use Agricultural Weed Killers as a “pre-harvest aid”. This practice allows the users to harvest two weeks earlier and to avoid the rainy season. The risk of leaving a crop stranded in the field rather than safely in the bin or even bet yet, on the way to the elevator for sale is just too high. It is important to note that this is a very specific regional issue. It is not a common practice globally to spend huge dollars on crops that are about to be harvested. It is a very pricey solution for farmers in Western Canada who are desperate to get their crops off and the bills paid.

“There is no such thing as safe levels when you are talking Endocrine Disrupters.”… Dr. Saal,
PhD, Endocrinologist, University of Missouri

Why should a horse person be concerned? More and more independent research scientists are documenting health concerns of Chemical Weed Killers as endocrine disruptors, antimicrobial agents and damaging to the DNA in human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. In addition, it has been linked to birth defects and reproductive issues. My major concerns are about the fact that chemicals in the formula of Chemical Weed Killers kill the good bacteria that the equine digestive system requires to function properly, neutralizes the digestive enzymes and blocks the absorption of minerals that lead to all kinds of chronic health implications. In addition, we now know that many of the Agricultural Chemical Weed Killers are contaminated with Arsenic and other toxic Heavy Metals such as Chromium.

At the same time as new research is being revealed by independent researchers who are taking a careful look at the harm caused by Agricultural Weed Killers we are also learning that some farmers in Western Canada use Agricultural Weed Killers at harvest on crops such as wheat, oats, barely and other crops that often end up as ingredients in horse feed and livestock feed. This practice, typically called “desiccation” or “staging” has up until recently been an “insiders” secret. This horrific practice is slowly being exposed. Out of fairness to the farmers it is important to understand that they are essentially slaves to the corporate chemical industry and they need to maximize yield to optimize profits, pay the bills and stay in business. The focus is not about the quality of the crop but rather all about the quantity of the crop. The Monsanto Guide to pre-harvest use of the Weed Killer Roundup calls for the application of Roundup on crops 3 to 5 days prior to harvest. The Monsanto Staging Guide tells farmers that “A pre-harvest weed control application is an excellent management strategy to not only control perennial weeds, but to facilitate harvest management and get a head start on next year's crop.” Spraying a field with agricultural chemicals only 3 to 5 days prior to cutting leaves little time for the chemical to deteriorate. The spraying of grain crops 3 to 5 days prior to harvest consistently results in high levels of Chemical Contamination including Glyphosate and Arsenic.

Dr. Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., who published a paper on the mounting use of Agricultural Weed Killers, says “… they came up with the idea to kill the crop (with Roundup) before harvest to accelerate the drying down of the grain.” In addition, to the drying of the grain the Roundup applied at harvest also kills any emerging weeds that may impact future crops and it also makes the harvesting of the crops much easier on the machinery.

The pre-harvest use of Roundup allows farmers to harvest crops as much as two weeks earlier than they normally would, an advantage in northern, colder regions especially the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta as well as in the northern regions of some of the USA.

Dr. Joel Ransom a Crop Specialist and Agronomist at the University of North Dakota confirms that the practice has increased in North Dakota, which is the leading wheat-producing state in the U.S., over the past 15 years.

How common a practice is Desiccation of grain with Agricultural Weed Killers in Canada? Very! “I think every non-organic farmer in Saskatchewan uses glyphosate on most of their wheat acres every year,” reports a grain farmer who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. He continues “I think farmers need to realize that all of the chemicals we use are 'bad' to some extent,” he said. “Monsanto has done such an effective job marketing glyphosate as 'safe' and 'biodegradable' that farmers here still believe this even though such claims are false.”

Gerald Wiebe, a Manitoba based Plant Specialist and Farmer estimates “…that 90 to 95 percent of wheat acres in Manitoba are sprayed pre-harvest with glyphosate-based herbicides.” Wiebe says, “It's barbaric to put glyphosate in food a few days before you harvest it.”

While the recent flurry in new research and the release and analysis of the CFIA data are focused on human food as a horseman I can't help but wonder what these contaminated grains are doing to the fragile digestive systems of our horses. This is a very serious situation and I wonder if many of the issues that horse owners and veterinarians deal with are in fact induced by Agricultural Weed Killers. Everyone gets to decide for themselves but knowing what I know I am not feeding my horses any grain or bagged feed unless it is Certified to be free of Agricultural Weed Killer.

While the research in horses may be limited there is no doubt in my mind of the damage that Chemical Weed Killers are doing to cattle, pigs and chickens. Many of these feed animals are fed Chemical Contaminated feeds from Feed Mills for their entire lives. Unfortunately for them their life spans are short (18 months, 6 months and 6 weeks respectively) but even in that short period of time you can see the significant damage to their organs…especially their livers. Remember, a primary purpose of the liver is to detoxify the blood.

Recommendation: That the horrific practice of pre-harvest applications of Agricultural Weed Killers be immediately banned.

As you look at these livers I ask you to ponder the magnitude of the damage. Remember that these are all young animals. The possible breadth of the systemic damage that could result from this damage to the livers and the depth of the pain that these animals may have suffered in their deaths is tragic.

Someone would have to explain to me how the feeding of Chemical Contaminated Commercial Feeds to Livestock is anything other than Animal Cruelty.

To me this is an Animal Welfare issue. I do not believe that responsible people would want animals to suffer. It is for this reason that I call for the immediate elimination of the horrific practice of desiccation and the removal of chemically coated grains from animal feed supplies. The depth of harm and hurt to these animals and the suffering they face should be of great concern to mankind. I wonder what these commercial feeds including ingredients that have been sprayed with Weed Killer 3 to 5 days prior to harvest are doing to our horses?

Normal Calf Liver

Liver of calf fed on corn stalks with Glyphosate Levels of 448 ppb.

Herd recovered once source of contaminated feed was removed.

Mottled Calf Liver. Fed Commercial Creep Ration from Feed Mill with Glyphosate levels in excess of 500 ppb. Change of feed resulted in return of health to all calves in herd within 5 days.

Calf Liver fed Commercial Creep Feed from Feed Mill. Glyphosate at 548 ppb.

Remaining calves in herd recovered immediately upon change in feed.

In My Opinion…Ross Buchanan

With apologies to Oliver Wendell Holmes…
“It is unlikely that one can help someone see something differently and understand a different perspective when the other person's profession, company, job or wallet is dependent on NOT understanding.” …Ross Buchanan