I recently proposed a hypothesis that intrigued many researchers, environmental scientists, health care professionals, and parents: In a long article hosted by my colleague Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., on her website, I argued that there is a glyphosate COVID-19 connection.
What does a ubiquitous and carcinogenic weed killer have to do with an upper respiratory infectious disease? I believe the glyphosate COVID-19 connection may explain why some people get severely ill from coronavirus while others recover from it without incident.
What is especially intriguing is that there has been a significant increase in the production of biofuels in recent years, derived from biomass such as the stalks of wheat or sugar cane after the harvest. These crops are often sprayed with glyphosate right before harvest. Air pollution has been linked to COVID-19 in multiple studies from the US and from Europe. Cities such as New York City and New Orleans that are located at the mouth of major waterways and that are leaders in promoting the use of biofuels in vehicles are major COVID19 hot spots.
The United States and Brazil are world leaders in biofuel production, and people in these two countries are suffering from far more deaths from COVID19 relative to the total population than in most other countries. These two countries are also world leaders in chemical-based agriculture, with heavy reliance on glyphosate as an herbicide. On the other hand, Nigeria, which arguably has the most polluted air in the world in its major cities, has a very low rate of death from COVID19. But Nigeria also uses much less glyphosate than the US, and it has very low investments in the biofuel industry.
There’s a growing body of scientific literature, including various studies in both people and mice, that shows that glyphosate causes damage to many organs in the body, including the lungs. The lungs would be especially vulnerable to glyphosate breathed in from the air. Glyphosate exposure is also disrupting the immune systems in animals and humans.
Proteins that are used by the innate immune system to trap and clear viruses are plausibly vulnerable to glyphosate acting as a glycine analogue.
We know that an inadequate innate immune system is what is causing the severe symptoms and deaths that we are seeing in some patients with COVID-19. Those who are hard-hit by this virus suffer extensive damage to the lungs, difficulty breathing, and an inability to efficiently clear the virus from the body.
My article on the glyphosate-COVID19 connection contains 38 references. You can read it in its entirety here. It has been viewed more than 200,000 times. Perhaps there is more to this connection that we’ve previously heard?