Welcome to #KavinCantEven, “Thanks Obama for sterilizing our teens” edition. My regular readers know I’m not a fan of the self-proclaimed “Mama Lion” Zen Honeycutt, the founder of anti-biotech group Moms Across America. She spreads misinformation and fear, regularly blaming genetically engineered food and glyphosate for health problems ranging from autism to mental illness. Though more and more research continues to show that autism is innate, caused by complex interactions of genetic variations with some influence from environment, Honeycutt has fabricated a story of curing her son’s autism by switching to a GMO-free, organic diet.
To top it all off, she accuses people like me of calling Moms Across America and their ilk “mommy shamers.” Ladies and gentlemen, give the lady a prize. Zen Honeycutt and Moms Across America most certainly do shame parents for feeding their families conventional food. They berate parents for choosing conventional produce or food with genetically engineered ingredients despite the fact that every scientific oversight agency in the world deems GE food as safe as organic or conventional counterparts. They blame children’s ailments on their parents’ food choices. They send the message that those who neglect to buy organic are lazy or parsimonious, or don’t care about their children’s health. This is classism and yes, it’s unadulterated parent-shaming.
Can you imagine the expression on my face when a follower shared this with me?
I can’t even. Now Honeycutt and her cronies aren’t just blaming parents for their children’s health problems, but for infertility too. The idea that glyphosate has contraceptive properties isn’t new. “Roundup: The sneaky and cheap contraceptive hiding in your food,” declares a 2013 headline from Natural News, the website I like to call “Woo Central”. A GreenMedInfo.com headline asked, “Is It Time To Acknowledge Roundup Herbicide As A Contraceptive?”
Um, no. The study cited in both of these articles was an in vitro rat study that didn’t at all conclude that glyphosate causes infertility. The results showed that “acute Roundup exposure at low doses (36 ppm, 0.036 g/L) for 30 min induces oxidative stress and activates multiple stress-response pathways leading to Sertoli cell death in prepubertal rat testis.” The study wasn’t done in real live rats, it was done on rat testicle cells in culture. Further, 36 ppm (parts per million) is way higher than the typical residues found on crops, around one ppm. Also, I’m pretty sure men don’t just pour Roundup on their genitalia just for fun, am I right guys?
If we want to skip science and go the anecdotal route, I know plenty of families with biological children who eat plenty of GE food. My husband and I are extremely fortunate; we had little difficulty conceiving both of our children and I can assure you, we weren’t buying organic food. Infertility is a real problem with various causes, but GLYPHOSATE ISN’T ONE OF THEM. People like Zen Honeycutt would do well to stop invalidating people dealing with autism, cancer, mental illness, and infertility.
Ladies, keep your IUDs, pills, implants, and other birth control. Guys, don’t forgo condoms, or vasectomies if you’re older. Food isn’t going to prevent any “oops” moments. Thanks Obama, indeed. Mr. President, next would you please outlaw unsubstantiated fear mongering? Voters like me would appreciate it.
Featured image © 2015 Kavin Senapathy