Most of us assume that the food we buy for our families or the grass our children play on at a nearby park is not putting our health at risk.
But new research, including some from the World Health Organization, has found that Monsanto’s Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides could pose significant risks to human health, like cancer or reproductive disorders.
Recently, a study by the WHO’s cancer arm linked glyphosate — the main chemical ingredient in Roundup — to cancer at high levels of exposure. But another report by a different department within the WHO said the actual risk given probable exposure to glyphosate was minimal.
So, what should we make of this conflicting report?
Well for starters, you should know the cancer arm of the World Health Organization just doubled down on their claims. A leading doctor with the agency, Dr. Kurt Straif said, "Our evaluation was a review of all the published scientific literature on glyphosate and this was done by the world's best experts on the topic that in addition don't have any conflicts of interest that could bias their assessment.”
But perhaps just as important to note is that Roundup is not just glyphosate. It’s a cocktail of different chemicals, and there’s mounting evidence that this cocktail could be a dangerous one:
- Multiple studies have found the complete chemical compound in herbicides like Roundup were more likely to cause cell-cycle dysregulation, a hallmark of cancer, than glyphosate alone.
- A 2009 study showed that some formulations of Roundup were more toxic to human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells than glyphosate by itself.
- Another study found that one of the inert ingredients in Roundup was up to 2,000 times more toxic to cells than glyphosate, the active ingredient, and the only one Monsanto is required to test.
It’s clear — we shouldn’t be exposing ourselves to something that has the potential to cause such serious harm. But it’s the fact that Roundup and similar herbicides are so widely-used that makes this such a serious threat to public health.
Millions of people regularly use Roundup in their backyards, and it’s commonly sprayed in areas where kids play and learn, like public parks, school playgrounds, and sports fields.
But an overwhelming majority of the glyphosate used in America is on farms. That’s because Monsanto engineered “Roundup ready” crops that are designed to withstand the chemical while still killing the unwanted weeds.
However, the problem is that these weeds have grown resistant and developed into “super weeds.” Not surprisingly, the response has been to increase the dosage and frequency of Roundup used on crops.
The result? Glyphosate is now the most widely-used agricultural chemical in U.S. history. Nearly 250 million pounds of the chemical is sprayed on U.S. farms every year! And since it was introduced in 1974, 9.4 million tons of glyphosate have been sprayed worldwide — equal to the weight of water in more than 2,300 Olympic-size swimming pools.
Meanwhile, Monsanto continues to back the chemical-based herbicide. At one time Monsanto claimed that Roundup was biodegradable. Studies show a different story, however, as these chemical ingredients are starting to show up in our food and bodies. A recent study discovered traces of glyphosate in the urine of 93 percent of the people they tested. It’s even showing up in foods like soy, and even in beer.
This is not a sustainable solution, and with the mounting evidence clearly showing the dangers of Roundup, it’s time to take action and ban Roundup unless and until it’s proven safe.
It’s absurd that a weed killer, designed to make our lives more convenient, and food production more efficient, should be allowed to put public health at risk. We know there are safe ways to get rid of weeds, including simple crop rotations, following organic farming practices, or just yanking them out of the backyard.
It’s time to ban Roundup. But Monsanto is not going to make it easy. Despite the growing body of evidence to the contrary, Monsanto is still saying Roundup is safe, and they are working hard to convince the EPA that no further testing is required, and no restrictions on its use are needed. So far, the EPA has been receptive to Monsanto’s aims — not that long ago they increased what they consider to be a safe level of glyphosate.
We need your help to call on the EPA to ban Roundup unless and until independent research can prove it’s safe. You can help by signing our petition, and sharing this article with your friends.