Floating around the internet in recent weeks was an announcement from Argentinian researchers who, quite by accident, found that sterile women’s health products were anything but sterile.
It turns out that cotton grown from genetically modified cotton seeds and sprayed with glyphosate (RoundUp and other herbicides) across the growth cycle, retain, and likely leach, glyphosate from the products that the cotton is spun into. It should not be a surprise that those cotton-based products retain the chemicals from which they were grown or processed, but it was. Not because the idea is far-fetched, it isn’t. Indeed, it is biologically more likely that these chemicals are retained than it is that they somehow would magically disappear post processing. What was surprising is that we never thought about this before.
When we consider that 89% of cotton crops are now genetically modified to be glyphosate tolerant, the implications of glyphosate transfer from what are considered sterile medical and hygiene products directly into the bloodstream of the users should give us pause. Heck, it should have given us pause many years ago, but it didn’t and wouldn’t yet if it were not for some accidental finding in a lab studying something else entirely. This accident speaks volumes about how thoroughly we test, or rather, do not test, many of the products we have on the market. It is precisely this lack of testing and lack of understanding that leads to the preponderance of chronic health conditions from which so many in the Western world suffer.
Glyphosate and Women’s Health
If we look at women’s health in particular, I cannot help but wondering if glyphosate leaching tampons have something to do with the increase in menstrual related problems like fibroids, endometriosis, PCOS, and others. The female vagina and cervix are remarkably efficient vehicles for drug absorption. The vaginal epithelium provides a vast surface area that is richly vascularized and highly innervated. Drugs and other chemicals absorbed via this route directly enter the bloodstream and avoid detoxification via the liver, meaning lower dosages are required to reach the same effect as an orally ingested medication. Small concentrations, therefore, could induce large effects. And small, regular exposures to glyphosate is likely what we get from tampon use.