The Risks of Roundup on Public Health
Farmers and home gardeners alike, work hard to keep their crops free of weeds to promote plant growth and health. Unfortunately, the nutritious food and pollinator-friendly plants rid themselves as beneficial to the health of humans and the environment when they are sprayed by “probable carcinogens” (WHO, 2015) such as Glyphosate found in Roundup. Harmful effects of Glyphosate are found in the water, soil, animals, plants, and humans, due to its residue remnants in the food chain and ecosystem (Rawat, Bains, Chawla, et al., 2023). As of July 17, 2023, 4,212 lawsuits are pending in California against Monsanto and Bayer primarily centered around non-Hodgkin lymphoma. (Llamas, 2023). This type of cancer afflicts the white blood cells in the lymph nodes with the potential to afflict other parts of the body. Consumers, farmers, and home gardeners need to be aware of the damaging health effects of Roundup and take action to prevent further damage to public health.
Glyphosate is routinely used on genetically modified crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, legumes, and other produce (Kaplan, 2023). Unknowingly, it is consumed by children and adults in their daily food intake. It has been found in 80% of urine samples from children and adults through exposure to food. (Gleeson, 2022) Children exposed to glyphosate have an increased risk of liver inflammation and metabolic disorder in early adulthood, which could lead to diabetes, liver cancer, and cardiovascular disease later in life. (Kaplan, 2023). Glyphosate acts as an endocrine disruptor chemical (ECS) associated with adverse health effects including promoting estrogenic activity in estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cell lines (Muñoz, Araya-Osorio, Mera-Adasme, Calaf, 2023). Human exposure to ECS is also associated with adverse effects such as reduced fertility, changes in the onset of puberty, birth defects of reproductive hormones, and endocrine-related neoplasms such as uterine and breast cancer (Muñoz, et al., 2023).
Those at risk for heavy use of glyphosate exposure, such as agriculture workers, have a 41% increased risk of developing non-Hodkin lymphoma over their lifetime (Zhang, Ranam Shaffer, et al., 2019). Lawsuits related to cancer developed from Roundup include B-cell lymphomas, T-cell lymphomas, and other rare types of non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Examples of these types of lymphoma include but are not limited to; Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, B-Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, peripheral T-cell lymphomas, splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma, and more (Llamas, 2023).
Over the years, much confusion has been presented on whether Roundup is safe for human health. Deceptive tactics were used by Monsanto's internal corporate communication to dub the “Monsanto Papers”. They suppressed science and used relations with regulators to hide Roundup's link to cancer for years. (Llamas, 2023) Bayer submitted over 800 studies to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), confirming the safety of Roundup and glyphosates not causing cancer (Llamas, 2023). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agrees that “glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” (Llamas, 2023) When referencing external sources, 67% of peer-reviewed journals found a link to cancer, and only 2% of the industry-funded studies found a correlation (Llamas, 2023) The World Health Organization (WHO) agrees with external sources and states, glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans and that it also causes DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells (WHO, 2015). Glyphosate is unlikely to be banned in the U.S. despite the evidence, according to the EPA. However, Bayer announced that in 2023, it will stop glyphosate-based products and provide glyphosate alternatives (Llamas, 2023).
Glyphosate alternatives include but are not limited to; manually removing weeds, heavy mulch, herbicidal soaps, corn gluten meal, industrial meal, iron-based herbicides, crop rotation, and robotic weeding (Turner, 2021). Many small gardens and farms find success with the Back to Eden Gardening Method (2011), by layering newspaper or cardboard, 2-3 inches of nitrogen-rich compost, and 5-6 inches of mulch. Larger agriculture farming may use weed management methods such as prevention, cultivation, cover crops, mowing, flaming, hand hoeing, soil solarization, and using transplants (Wilen, Koike, Ploeg, et al., 2020).
If you were extensively exposed to Roundup as a child at twelve years old or younger, or you were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or have another qualifying cancer diagnosis after June 1st, 2018, you may qualify to file a Roundup cancer lawsuit (Llamas, 2023). Those who work or previously worked in commercial agriculture or landscaping are more likely to have high exposure to Roundup. If exposed, please take action by notifying your doctor for further testing. Lawyers estimate settlement amounts ranging between $5,000 - $200,000 per person (Llamas, 2023).
Misinformation has been widely spread for years over proper use for eradicating weeds to promote healthy crops. It is unfortunate that thousands of individuals have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and thousands of lawsuits are pending against Monsanto. With the help of resources like Consumer Notices, we strive to educate the public on the harmful effects of Roundup and promote alternative weed control methods.
For more information on the effects of Roundup, please visit the Consumer Notice website.
Roundup Alternatives: https://www.consumernotice.org/environmental/pesticides/roundup/alternatives/
* Please Seek advice from a qualified professional before making decisions about your health or finances.
Back to Eden Gardening. (2011). Back to Eden Gardening Documentary. Retrieved August 22, 2023, from https://www.backtoedenfilm.com/.
Chang, V. C., Andreotti, G., Ospina, M., Parks, C. G., Liu, D., Shearer, J. J., Rothman, N., Silverman, D. T., Sandler, D. P., Calafat, A. M., Beane Freeman, L. E., & Hofmann, J. N. (2023). Glyphosate exposure and urinary oxidative stress biomarkers in the Agricultural Health Study. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 115(4), 394–404. https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djac242
Gleeson, C. (2022, July 12). Cancer-causing herbicide found in 80% of us urine samples. Becker’s Hospital Review. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/oncology/cancer-causing-herbicide-found-in-80-of-us-urine-samples.html#Analytic_Notes
Kaplan, S. (2023, March 1). Childhood exposure to common herbicide may increase the risk of disease in young adulthood. Retrieved from https://publichealth.berkeley.edu/news-media/research-highlights/childhood-exposure-to-common-herbicide-may-increase-the-risk-of-disease-in-young-adulthood/
Llamas, M. (2023, July). Roundup cancer lawsuit: 2023 updates, Class Action Lawsuit. Consumer Notice, LLC. https://www.consumernotice.org/legal/roundup-lawsuits /
Muñoz, J. P., Araya-Osorio, R., Mera-Adasme, R., & Calaf, G. M. (2023). Glyphosate mimics 17β-estradiol effects promoting estrogen receptor alpha activity in breast cancer cells. SSRN Electronic Journal, 313. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.137201
Rawat, D., Bains, A., Chawla, P., Kaushik, R., Yadav, R., Kumar, A., Sridhar, K., & Sharma, M. (2023). Hazardous impacts of glyphosate on human and environment health: Occurrence and detection in food. Chemosphere, 329, 138676. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.138676
Turner, T. (2021a, July 6). Safe roundup alternatives: Killing weeds without glyphosate. Consumer Notice, LLC. https://www.consumernotice.org/environmental/pesticides/roundup/alternatives/
Wilen CA, Koike ST, Ploeg AT, Tjosvold SA, Bethke JA, Mathews DM, Stapleton JJ. Revised continuously. UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Floriculture and Ornamental Nurseries. UC ANR Publication 3392. Davis, CA.
World Health Organization. (2015). IARC Monograph on Glyphosate. Retrieved from https://www.iarc.who.int/featured-news/media-centre-iarc-news-glyphosate/
Zhang, L., Rana, I., Shaffer, R. M., Taioli, E., & Sheppard, L. (2019). Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides and risk for non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-analysis and supporting evidence. Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research, 781, 186–206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mrrev.2019.02.001