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The Link Between Air Pollution, Glyphosate & Pandemics

Zach Bush, MD is a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology, and hospice care, who first joined me for the episode “Why You Can’t Get Away From The Toxin Glyphosate (& What You Can Do About It).

He is an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems. Dr. Zach founded Seraphic Group and the non-profit Farmer’s Footprint to develop root-cause solutions for human and ecological health. His passion for education reaches across many disciplines, including topics such as the role of soil and water ecosystems in human genomics, immunity, and gut/brain health. His education has highlighted the need for a radical departure from chemical farming and pharmacy, and his ongoing efforts are providing a path for consumers, farmers, and mega-industries to work together for a healthy future for people and planet.

During this show, we get into the viral pandemic, the George Floyd crisis, how we can save our planet, your microbiome and how to treat it properly, and much, much more.

Hand-in-hand with this podcast, I highly, highly recommend you listen to the four interviews that my friend Rich Roll conducted with Dr. Zach Bush:

Zach also recently recorded an excellent interview about viruses with Del Bigtree of The Highwire, which you can listen to here.

During this discussion, you’ll discover:

-Zach’s thoughts on the global reaction to the coronavirus pandemic…7:30

  • The reaction in Fiji (where he was living) was on community
  • Awareness that the focus was mostly on Italy, the U.S., China, etc. not on them
  • The effects of COVID-19 pale in comparison with respiratory disease in developing nations

-Whether or not we should fear viruses…10:00

  • The “demonization” of the current virus was inaccurate scientifically and extremely harmful to the response to it
  • More were killed by the response than by the virus itself
  • Viruses are incorrectly labeled as a part of the microbiome
  • Microbiome = “small living organisms”
    • Viruses are not “alive” like the microbiome is alive
    • None of the genomic workforces, even found in seeds, are found in viruses
  • A minuscule amount of genetic info is contained in a virus
  • Viruses alone cannot kill people
  • Much more dangerous to be admitted in an ICU with COVID than to have the Ebola virus

-The importance of viruses to life as we know it…18:30

  • The number of viruses in the air (1031) is 10 million times the number of stars in the universe
  • There’s a similar number of viruses in the ocean, and the same number in the soil
  • If viruses could kill human beings, we never would have proliferated as a species
  • Viruses predate multicellular life by billions of years
  • 50% of the human genome is shown to be the result of viral insertion
  • Retroviruses perform critical functions to life
  • Adaptation and biodiversity are the codes of life on the planet
  • There’s no such thing as static biology; always looking for the next best adaptation
  • The biohacking community is forcing biological adaptations in the human body via change in lifestyle, environment, etc.
  • Knowledge of the viral kingdom in and around us is crucial to understanding how we can foment these biological changes
  • Viruses that affect humans originate in humans
  • We do not produce antibodies to viruses; we produce antibodies to proteins made by genetic info held by viruses


-How dramatic changes in the production of food in 1976 led to the current pandemic…26:25

  • Viruses are engineered by the human body to have a specific target
  • A virus in the body doesn’t cause sickness unless it reaches a concentration level that overwhelms the genomic data
  • Between 1976-81, the understanding of viruses related to the human body changed
  • Coronavirus events 1200 and 700 years ago
  • Human blood banks contain HIV virus as far back as 1967; first case of AIDS wasn’t until early 1980s
  • 12,000+ pandemics worldwide since 1976 (influenza, flu, other viruses)
  • We need to be plugged into nature in order to be resilient and balanced with nature
  • We’ve been separating from nature via technology for hundreds of years
  • Millions of people have HIV latency; carry the virus and show no symptoms
  • Glyphosate is rampant via pesticides and herbicides; spreads genetically modified seeds throughout the agricultural ecosystem
  • Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body
  • They are processed via the Shikimate pathway, which is blocked by Roundup; inhibits the production of other essential amino acids
  • Rise in Hepatitis C cases in 1992, the same year wheat began to be sprayed in the U.S.
  • A genomic update occurs as a result of genetic modification of food
  • Map showing glyphosate use in the U.S. between 1992-2012
  • COVID-19 hotspots are synonymous with high glyphosate spraying
  • Clumping of the COVID virus leads to high mortality rates
  • Hubei Province in China is the highest spray of glyphosate as well as the highest use of antibiotics in pork production in the world
  • COVID-19 does not cause the illness; it is the dramatic changes in the environment that create toxicity when exposed to the virus
  • Histotoxic hypoxia
  • PM 2.5
  • ACE2 receptor
  • Changes in the lung as we age, which upregulate ACE2 receptors beyond normal functions
  • People with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease are most susceptible; all 3 are treated with ACE inhibitor and statin drugs
  • A more sensible approach would have been to promote a plant-based diet, remove statin drugs from seniors, and halt influenza vaccines

-Why COVID-19 became a global pandemic…53:49

  • Viruses are crucial to life on the planet; have always been around us
  • Glyphosate exposure inhibits scissor mechanisms in our genes
  • Air pollution causes viral “clumping”
  • Medications increase expression of ACE receptors
  • COVID-19 became a much bigger issue than a typical coronavirus for all the reasons listed above
  • “We’re dying of our own toxicity”
  • Flu season occurs during high carbon exposure (typically in mid-November after leaves fall off, harvest is completed, etc.)
  • It’s not the virus; it’s the body’s relationship to the virus in relation to the amount of carbon in the environment
  • Coronavirus peaked in March-April, when carbon levels are at their highest globally
  • Herd immunity = balanced genomic relationship to the virus (exposure to the coronavirus is a good thing)
  • We don’t need a vaccine; the human genome will be in balance with the coronavirus in due time (as with SARS, MERS, etc.)
  • The reaction to the current pandemic is contradictory to what science has been revealing for the last ~30 years

-An informed and rational response to the current COVID-19 pandemic…1:03:00

  • A sterile ICU is the worst place to be after exposure to a coronavirus
  • An ideal ICU: breathing natural air, allowing bacteria to proliferate, bringing the body into balance with nature
  • The microbiome is a gift to prevent and treat infection
  • Need to create cities that are integrated with agricultural settings
  • Farmer’s Footprint
  • The future will be a regenerated planet; learn to build and engineer within the context of life
  • A paradigm shift of perspective regarding human life and the environment is necessary for our survival
  • Species are going extinct at alarming rates (10k fold increase in the last 35 years)
  • Scientific orthodoxy is not prepared for the changes that need to occur for life on the planet to proliferate
  • Consciousness is rising; evident through both the positive and negative responses
  • The current pandemic caused the entire world to focus on one thing (similar to how meditation causes you to focus on one thing)
  • Air pollution in Hubei Province (ground zero for coronavirus) went down to lowest levels in 40+ years due to a reduction in air pollution
  • Mortality often goes down when access to pharmaceuticals or access to sterile ICU’s is restricted
  • Only use oil and fossil fuels when the earth can handle it (summer months)

-How regenerative farming differs from organic farming…1:17:15

  • Organic farming is a list of “don’ts”
  • Change in focus from the highest yield of product to highest quality and nutrient density in the soil
  • Healthy soil makes healthy plants which don’t need herbicides and pesticides
  • Change demand and relationship between humans and the land where food is grown
  • Taking care of biology can reverse years of dysfunction in a short time (days, weeks, months)
  • Halting spraying of herbicides and pesticides can renew life in the soil as early as the next planting season

-What the Black Lives Matter movement can teach us about the earth’s microbiome…1:23:00

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Dr. Zach Bush:

– Other resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Dr. Zach Bush or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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