Larry A. Law
Root Cause—Environmental Toxins
Parkinson's disease is believed to be caused by the loss of neurons producing dopamine—a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in controlling movement. As people get older, our brains become less efficient at repairing damage and fighting off oxidative stress. Also, there is a decline in the number of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. This results in the motor symptoms associated with PD, such as tremors, rigidity, and slow movement. A recent lawsuit is bringing to light a cover-up by the company Syngenta that makes a toxic herbicide and had irrefutable proof of how it caused PD symptoms. This case showing the hidden cause of PD is expected to rival Monsanto's Roundup/glyphosate debacle which showed that glyphosate in Roundup caused cancer (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma—NHL).
PD symptoms are caused by one of the most toxic weed killers (herbicides) ever created—Paraquat. It kills the weeds that Roundup cannot—and that is saying a lot. It is so lethal that one sip will kill a human being. The herbicide's own manufacturer (Syngenta) has apparently known about its toxic effect related to PD for over 50 years. Fifty countries have banned it but not the United States. It has been used on American farms since 1964 as a herbicide and desiccant. A desiccant is a chemical (like glyphosate in Roundup) that speeds up harvesting time by killing the plant at the end of the growing season. The fruit of the dying plant begins to dry out quickly which reduces the moisture content of the wheat or oat kernels much faster than waiting for nature to do the job. This chemical process reduces the risk of weather interrupting the crop drying on the ground during the 10 -14 days that nature's drying takes. But the process leaves a chemical residue on the crop which is passed on to the consumer. The company claimed the amount was so minute as to be safe for humans.
Syngenta Knew Paraquat Was Linked to Parkinson's Disease
In March 2023, 2,998 farmers with Parkinson's disease filed a lawsuit in Illinois federal court. Even the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) had published a study in 2011 documenting two pesticides which caused PD—but no action was ever taken to ban it. The farmers' trial will start in October 2023 but the discovery process before trial unearthed a massive amount of documents showing that Syngenta knew exactly what the neurological risks associated with Paraquat were and concealed them from the public. They feared the possibility of lawsuits for decades. Class action lawsuits have been filed in California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Washington with more in the works. The law firm of Miller & Zois is handling Paraquat cases in all 50 states.
Attorneys working on the case stated, "Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the brain that affects primarily the motor system, the part of the central nervous system that controls movement. The characteristic symptoms of Parkinson's disease are its 'primary' motor symptoms: resting tremor; bradykinesia (slowness in voluntary movement and reflexes); rigidity; and postural instability. There is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease. Existing treatments do not slow or stop their progression; such treatments are capable only of temporarily and partially relieving motor symptoms. These treatments also have unwelcome side effects the longer they are used.
Syngenta employed the same successful strategies employed by the tobacco industry to downplay the dangers of smoking. The tobacco industry was able to avoid responsibility and delay financial obligations to people who smoked and got lung cancer for fifty years and so did Syngenta. While independent researchers kept linking Paraquat to PD, Syngenta would sow doubt by funding poorly-designed, company-funded studies so they could claim the overall evidence of causation was "fragmentary" and "inconclusive."
The company also withheld internal research results conducted by Syngenta scientist, Louise Marks. The research conducted in 2003 and 2007 confirmed that Paraquat exposure caused statistically significant loss of dopamine levels in mice via the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Syngenta kept these findings from regulators and denounced the validity of independent science showing neurological effects. The company told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2013 and again in 2017 that paraquat, even at high doses, did NOT reduce dopamine-producing neurons when in fact they knew all along that it did. In 2023, the head of product safety operations at Syngenta (Dana Dixon) was asked in a deposition whether the information they presented to the EPA was a lie. Dixon claimed they were "not hiding" Marks' results, but rather chose to "focus on other studies" that refuted it.
Another tobacco-industry technique Syngenta utilized was having a special "swat team" tasked with the immediate rebuttal of any new reports of adverse events. Just like the social media attacks against independent scientists showing the dangers of the COVID vaccines, Syngenta used all media means to "create an international scientific consensus against the hypothesis that paraquat is a risk factor for Parkinson's disease." With this type of support, they could keep selling it. This effort also included smearing reputable, independent scientists by any means possible. Through an organized effort to spread misinformation and blatant scientific lies, Syngenta was able to continue reaping financial benefits from the sales of paraquat despite the cost in human life.
One last technique involved the obscuring of evidence by company lawyers. Syngenta scientists were instructed on how to take notes and manage communications to ensure that the company would be able to claim attorney-client privilege in case they were threatened with litigation. Thomas McGarity, former EPA legal adviser and co-author of the 2008 book titled "Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research," stated, "It looks like the paraquat maker has adopted nearly every strategy we outlined in our book about bending science... We have to be able to depend on science. When it is perverted, when it is manipulated, then we get bad results. And one result is that pesticides that cause terrible things like Parkinson's remain on the market."
Scientists made an ironic discovery when they further investigated the mechanisms by which paraquat operates in mammals. Animal research showed that paraquat became exponentially more hazardous in combination with plant lectins because they shuttle paraquat into the brain. Plant lectins function as the plant's defense system in a way vaguely similar to how an immune system protects humans. The cruel irony is that paraquat is widely used as an herbicide and desiccant on lectin-rich crops, in particular wheat, soybeans, potatoes, cereal grains, and beans. This is a two-for-one whammy. Combining the herbicide and plant lectins on and in the same plant is a recipe for disaster. A study in the journal NPJ Parkinson's Disease in 2018 describes the way plant lectins carry Paraquat into the brain where it does the most damage. "Increasing evidence suggests that environmental neurotoxicants or misfolded alpha-synuclein (a protein) generated by such neurotoxicants are transported from the gastrointestinal tract to the central nervous system via the vagus nerve, triggering degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and causing Parkinson's disease (PD)." This is the neurologic pathway for causing PD.
The SNpc was the exact part of the brain that Syngenta scientist Louise Marks found to be adversely impacted by paraquat in mice during 2003 and 2007 investigations. The experiments demonstrated how the interplay between two ingested compounds can conspire to create and then transport toxic protein structures from the gut to the brain. It is disturbing to realize that many foods that vegetarians and vegans rely upon to benefit their health, instead may pose significant health hazards. Because of this, it is essential that consumers purchase plant foods grown as organically as possible to reduce the risk and levels of toxic herbicide. Also, to protect against plant lectins, make sure to have plenty of the sugar nutrients we teach about in our Wellness Journey Class. Those key sugars ameliorate the effects of plant lectins which are part of the plant's defense system. Neutralizing the effects of eating plant lectins is a very important reason to protect yourself and strengthen your immune system by including adequate levels of these glycobiology sugars in your diet.
One last association with PD concerns the effect of antibiotics on the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis consists of two-way communication between the central nervous system and the nervous system of the gut, linking the cognitive and emotional centers of the brain with gut functions. The signaling from the gut microbiome to the brain and from the brain to the gut microbiome is by means of neural, endocrine, immune, and humoral links. The vagus nerve is a bidirectional pathway and has huge relevance in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases with ties to the gut and brain. Antibiotics like azithromycin and clindamycin can upset the balance of bacteria in the gut which affects the production of brain neurotransmitters. In addition, tetracyclines, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, and antifungal medications all have a predisposing factor related to PD. Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease are all associated with higher risk of developing PD.
PD is a pandemic disease with environmental causes. It is a crime that companies like Syngenta have concealed the truth concerning how paraquat causes PD. Millions have suffered and died as a result. The truth is finally coming out as it always will eventually. Choose to take action. Purchase only organic food. Eliminate all bioengineered and processed foods. Ensure you have sugar nutrients abundant in your diet through food and plant-based supplemention sources. Support political leaders who realize that man has grossly polluted the planet. Retain and renew the hope that man, therefore, can alleviate and repair the earth by choosing wisely how we grow our food. Where and on what you spend your money still has power to change our lives before it is too late for our children and grandchildren.