Autism, both what it is and what causes it, is something a lot of people don’t understand, including me.

I recently came across this article “MIT Researcher’s New Warning: At Today’s Rate, Half Of All U.S. Children Will Be Autistic By 2025” (10/28/14, here), and I was more than a little taken aback.

Here are some highlights:

– Research scientist Stephanie Seneff works at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is a widely published author on topics ranging from Azlheimer’s Disease to autism and cardiovascular disease.

– Seneff presented slides showing a fairly consistent correlation between the rising use of Roundup (like, common ordinary Roundup!) on crops and the rising rates of autism.

– Use of Roundup began in 1990 and has continued to rise since. Meanwhile, the number of kids with autism has gone from 1 in 5,000 in 1975 to 1 in 68 today. (!!!)

– Monsanto, the company that makes Roundup, claims the product is harmless because humans don’t have a shikimate pathway, which it inhibits in order to do its work. Seneff however notes that our gut bacteria, which supply our body with crucial amino acids, do.

Put simply, though Roundup doesn’t directly impact humans, it does impact other things that humans need to survive. And according to Seneff, this may be contributing to autism.

Meh.

babies

pictured: internet babies

Here’s the thing… the idea of 1/5,000 going to 1/68 is SHOCKING and alarming (to me), even with all possibilities considered. And by “all possibilities,” I mean all the other ways autism may be caused (e.g. vaccinations, etc),  incidences of “natural” (?) autism, and the simple fact that whatever autism was happening in the ’70s and ’80s may have been under-diagnosed because people didn’t even know what it was. Some say it didn’t exist back then, but maybe we just didn’t have a concept for it, you know?

But this was the real kicker from the article: Regarding the lack of evidence of causation (because correlation does not necessarily equal causation), apparently “…it’s best to exercise caution and to buy and grow organic food whenever possible.”

Hmmm…

Organic anything costs more, including free time if you’re growing it yourself, but that’s science’s current best advice? A girlfriend of mine is a behavioral therapist who works with little kids (generally ranging from ages 5 -12 in my anecdotal assessment) who present at various spots on the autism scale, and one thing she always talks about is how gd expensive the therapy is. And how long the waiting lists for it are. Working to help a child with autism takes a lot of money and, apparently, so does preventing it in the first place.

Basically, the best protection from autism, as it currently stands, is social class.

Extra meh.

Dr. Seneff’s talk is here if you’re so inclined…

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