E. Coli & How it Affects You and Honeybees

With the latest outbreak of E. coli, Freshway Foods has made their mark more than once. This commercial company declares themselves as a fresh fruit and vegetable processor, repacker, distributor, and logistics provider for 27 states of the eastern United States. Their practices with glyphosate (Roundup®) is a growing concern to our plants, animals, and humans. Continue reading this article to learn more about E. coli, why it is a growing concern, how it affects our crops, you, and our honeybees.



It has been surmised that unwashed hands, chemicals, and harmful pathogens are the reasons for food contamination. However, I’d like to propose another reason that most companies, federal agencies, university studies, and others do not or will not mention.


I’m assuming everyone knows what Roundup® is and who makes it. If you don’t know, Roundup® is “glyphosate” – a broad-spectrum herbicide, meaning that it has negative effects on nearly every plant with which it comes in contact. It is used for spot treatment of gardens, lawns, paved areas, and some agricultural crops. Monsanto is the creator of Roundup® and brought it to the market in 1974. Many other companies now manufacture it such as BASF, Bayer CropScience, and Dow AgroSciences. Glypohosate makes up 41% of Roundup® Concentrate while many other brands contain 50% or more.


Glyphosate is an herbicide antiobiotic that uses a chelation process to block the plants’ minerals like sulphur, boron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, potassium, copper, nitrogen, and iron. These minerals are required for the immune system of plants, as well as animals and humans. Blocking these minerals is essentially what kills all plants – except genetically modified organisms (GMO) and crops. GMO seeds have been genetically altered to receive glyphosate without killing GMO plants.


It takes about 80 years for one application of glyphosate to break down into the soil. The more you use it, the more exponentially the effects will grow. This horrendous chemical will travel in the air for miles and miles until rain forces the herbicide to go into the ground.


Glyphosate kills the good bacteria in the Lactobacilli family that are needed by all living elements of the earth, including the soil. In the soil, Lactobacilii acts as a barrier between the plants and the bad bacteria group called Clostridium botulinum, also known as “botulism.” Killing the good bacteria allows the pathogens in the botulinum family, like salmonella, listeria, and E. coli to travel up through the plant’s stem and into our digestive system. These pathogens have been appearing in our food supply since early 2000s – several years after the major growth of monoculture. While Roundup® has been used since its creation in 1974, glyphosate has been globally used since 1994 on GMO crops.


Glyphosate also affects the Lactobacilli/Biobifidobacterium in the human gut by destroying the shikimate pathway in the gut bacteria. This is discussed in a YouTube interview between Jeffery Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology and Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D, a senior research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


“The way glyphosate works is that it interrupts the shikimate pathway, a metabolic function in plants that allows them to create essential amino acids. When this path is interrupted, the plants die. Human cells don’t have a shikimate pathway so scientists and researchers believed that exposure to glyphosate would be harmless.


The problem is that bacteria DO have a shikimate pathway and we have millions of good bacteria in our guts – our “gut flora.” These bacteria are essential to our health. Our gut isn’t just responsible for digestion, but also for our immune system. When glyphosate gets in our systems, it wrecks our gut and as a result our immune system.”


Dr. Don Huber (a plant pathologist and emeritus professor from Purdue University) and Jeanne D’Brant (associate professor of Biology & Applied Health at the State University of New York) have written a 77-page article explaining nearly all the effects of glyphosate on health and crops. This article was written for TECA-FOA, an international organization of exchange groups to the United Nations.



Organic Foods Affected by E. Coli


If you ever wondered whether glyphosate is used on organic foods, the answer is “no.” However, there are questions regarding organic crops being fertilized with animal manure (feces) and whether that manure comes from organic animals.


There is a growing concern because the news indicates that pathogens called Clostridium Difficile (also known as a form of colitis) comes from the soil that grows our foods, and not just when taking antibiotics. The Organic Consumers Association states the following:


“The higher incidences of fecal contamination in organic foods were linked to heavy reliance on composted animal manure for fertilizer. Though conventionally grown produce may use some manure, it chiefly relies on chemical fertilizers. Past research has shown that animal manure is the principal source of pathogens such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli.”


Unfortunately, we just don’t know if animal manure is coming from animals that were raised organically or not. If the manure came from a cow, chicken, or pig fed GMO crops, it would stand to reason that the pathogens would be in the animals’ feces. The manure is plowed into the soil, so the pathogen is already there and will travel into the plants, into our foods, and into our digestive tracts.


However the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does state that certified organic foods must follow standards to be labeled as such. They must go through a transition period for at least three years of “prohibited” substances before being labeled. According tho the British Journal of Nutrition, organic crops do contain significantly higher antioxidants, substantially less cadmium, and considerably less pesticide residues. In fact, non-organic crops were found to be four times higher in pesticide residue than organic crops.



The Damage Glyphosate & Neonicotinoids Causes Honeybees


Dr. Huber also writes how glyphosate works synergistically with neonicotinoids (neonics) which are chemicals used to coat GMO seeds. Neonics effect the endocrine system, thereby affecting the honeybee queen’s laying abilities. Neonics also affect the worker bee’s ability to remember how to come back to the hive after harvesting. Everyone (including bees) is having a rough time with their immune systems being chemically destroyed by the smallest organisms in the “gut.”


Glyphosate and neonics are not the only chemicals found in the hive. Studies indicate that over 250 different chemicals have been found in the honeycombs, and the main concern is the exponential damage that is caused when even two chemicals are combined.



Further Research


Regarding fast facts on E. coli outbreaks, CLICK HERE. This article is interesting as it indicates how often outbreaks have occurred since 1992. Since 2006, it has become a yearly occurrence. Further, the article indicates how the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 265,000 “Shiga toxin-producing” (STEC) infections occur each year in the United States while E. coli causes more than 36% of these infections.


For more information on Clostridium Difficile, CLICK HERE.


Learn how much glyphosate has been used since 1974 by CLICKING HERE.