GM Free Cymru

Animal Health issues related to glyphosate and Roundup Ready GMO crops and feed

Date Added to website 2nd September 2013

An Open Letter from Dr Art Dunham DVM, ISU 1974. (Dairy, beef and swine practitioner in the USA since 1974.)

1) Increased risk of Mn deficiency resulting in non-cycling cows that are in positive energy and protein balance and on diets balanced correctly and not too high in calcium or zinc. Also these herds (ie suffering from Mn deficiency) had more stillbirths and calf health issues. Wet chemistry of livers at one laboratory showed less than the detection limit for Mn and I was told in 2006 that that was impossible in a certain state without a semi-purified diet because there is plenty of Mn in corn , soybean meal and hay. One of the clients showed me Dr. Don Huber's article in the spring issue of the "John Deere Furrow" 2007 about the need to foliar fertilize RR soybeans on sandy high ph soil with Mn and Zn 10-14 days after spraying glyphosate to gain 8 bushels in yield. I phoned him and got my answer and have been honored to know him and to be able to use his advice since. (Among other things, he made me aware of the stable phytase issue in hog diets leading to phosphorus deficiency months before anyone else in my profession thought about the problem. His book "Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease" is in my truck library next to my dairy and swine NRCs and it has let me see how similar the trace minerals are used in plants and animals.) Since these original issues with Mn deficiency or tie-up I have confirmed the problem in high mortality cases of PRRS and PCV in hogs and I have also had a beef client with classical Mn deficient disproportionate dwarfism in ½ of his first calf heifer's calves. This happened not after a drought as it was first described in Australia but after long term glyphosate and RR use. Dr. Jeremy Schefers DVM, PhD talked about 62 Midwest herds having this problem with submissions to his lab between Jan. 1 2010 and June 30, 2010 at the 2011 Minnesota Dairy Health Conference. Again this period was not a drought in this area but very wet and even though he let glyphosate off the hook since he could not show trace mineral livers going lower, the wet chemistry with the plasma mass spectrograph cannot confirm the deficiency because the traces show up if they are bound to glyphosate (or its first breakdown product AMPA) and that keeps them from working as cofactors in the enzymatic metabolic processes that they are supposed to function in.

2) RR GMO and glyphosate and the cultural practices that go with it are risk factors for Fusarium molds and thus a risk for more Fusarium mycotoxins These mold toxins were very prevalent in 2009 crop because of a cold wet growing season. In spite of the season, clients that did not use glyphosate on corn had very low levels of mycotoxin or none at all. These dairy clients could feed wet corn distillers in the summer that was loaded with these toxins with their own corn silage and get along while our clients that used glyphosate at home could not use the wet distillers without breeding problems and dying cows with bloody bowel and twisted stomachs etc.. The 4 toxin families of Fusarium are-- zearalenone, an estrogen, vomitoxin or DON that drops feed intake in hogs, fumonisin that damages hog hearts and causes pulmonary edema, and T2 toxin that ruins the liver and kills the cattle and hogs that cannot handle it. Dr. Monika Kruger et. al at the University of Leipzig in northern Germany has done the research in high producing fistulated dairy cows that back up my observations on increased mycotoxins and she also has done the science to back up the next Clostridial issue.

3) Glyphosate use especially when used as a drying agent ahead of harvest increases the risk of Clostridial diseases. Dr. Huber met Monika when touring Europel and connected me to her work. I had a case of toxicoinfectious botulism about 2 years ago where I spent my own money submitting rumen samples for mouse testing to a specialist laboratory. Of course there was not enough toxin to confirm this way. I needed the ELISA test kits that Monika developed and is willing to share with some others. A Canadian vet I am working with is having severe Clostridium perfringens type A enteritis in baby pigs when their mothers are being fed wheat, barley and rye dried down with glyphosate. Monika points out that the Clostridial family has the same RR gene that was taken from an agro- bacterium for RR beans and RR corn. The glyphosate residues in the feed do not kill this family but do kill the Enterococcus family that usually compete with Clostridials in the bowel.

4) All hog livers checked with the plasma mass spectrograph at one laboratory since its purchase in 2008 have been low in Cobalt--part of Vitamin B12. This is true whether the diets were supplemented with B12 or not. Experiments with feeder pigs on different diets are planned, if finding can be found. 98% of the soybeans and 86% of the corn in Iowa is now RR according to Dr. Mike Owen from ISU agronomy. This B12 issue could indicate a human health issue since pigs and humans are similar. Cattle livers where rumen bugs help metabolize glyphosate still show adequate Cobalt. Dr. Don Huber has much science to back up his agronomic claims. The science on animal health issues such as this one has not been done!

5) Two pork producers in this state and two pork producers in an adjacent state that listened to Dr Huber at agronomy meetings switched back to conventional corn and have vastly improved herd health inspite of PRRS problems. One of those groups is so impressed that they are going to put up an expeller so they can have their own non-RR bean protein. 2 producers in Denmark who switched to non-RR bean meal to go with their small grain feed have also gained performance even when they sprayed some of their small grain with glyphosate for dry down.

6) One state sent out a flier this fall entitled "98 Reasons why not to dry down seed crops with glyphosate" . If you cannot plant seeds in a planter box and count the number that sprout, the next best method is to measure their mineralization. (This might look normal, but remember in this case the traces are bound to glyphosate.) The seeds dried down this way (ie with glyphosate spraying) only have a 2% germination rate. The last statement in the article states that this has been known for a long period of time and that again do not use this barley, wheat, or rye for seed, but use it for feed. (Comment from BJ: What an extraordinary piece of advice!!) Because I read Don's plant book and since I have been working with this team for a few years, it makes this statement hard to accept. Animal and plant scientists should be talking to each other. With the function of traces in animals very similar to their use in plants, how can this grain be good for pregnant animals and their unborn and also how can it be safe for the newborn let alone adults?

There are plenty of reasons to avoid the use of glyphosate and RR GMO. I hope this short letter helps.

Sincerely yours,

Art Dunham DVM

[Dr Dunham was involved in the writing of "America's Two-Headed Pig" with his daughter Leah:]


An Introduction Diagnosis 1: Vitamin D Deficiency Diagnosis 2: Manganese Deficiency Diagnosis 3: Post Weaning Failure to Thrive Syndrome Diagnosis 4: Infertility Diagnosis 5: Schistosomus Reflexus Diagnosis 6: Displaced Abomasa and Clostridia Diagnosis 7: Listeriosis Diagnosis 8: Mycotoxicosis Diagnosis 9: Mulberry Heart Syndrome Diagnosis 10: Lame Feet Diagnosis 11: Herd Health


See also: Torturing Animals with Monsanto's Genetically Engineered Feed By Katherine Paul Organic Consumers Association, August 8, 2013