Articles Posted in Glyphosate

In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) gathered seventeen of the world’s top cancer researchers to evaluate glyphosate, a primary component of the popular weed-killer, Roundup. The seventeen member work group was led by Dr. Aaron Blair, a recently retired epidemiologist from the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Over a year-long period, the work group reviewed nearly 1,000 peer-reviewed and published scientific studies. Based on the results of these studies, IARC unanimously classified glyphosate as a Group 2A chemical, “probably carcinogenic to humans.” This categorization is given when there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Of the nearly 1,000 chemicals reviewed by IARC to determine the carcinogenic effect, fewer than 100 have received this designation.

The studies reviewed by IARC discussed glyphosate exposure and its connection to various serious health effects. They linked glyphosate exposure to: non-Hodgkin lymphoma, various other types of cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and chronic respiratory illness. Studies further supported a connection between glyphosate exposure and attention deficit disorder, autism, birth defects and reproductive issues, even infertility.

Thumbnail image for agriculture-2229_1920.jpgIf many of us went to our garages or sheds, we would find “Roundup,” a popular lawn and garden weed killer sold by Monsanto. Since its commercial introduction in 1974, Roundup has become the most widely used weed killer in the United States, and possibly the world. In fact, Roundup is used in more than 160 countries internationally, with more than 1.4 billion pounds being applied to lawns and farms across the world annually.

The main ingredient in Roundup is an herbicide called “glyphosate.” Once glyphosate is applied to a plant, it prevents the plant from making certain proteins that are necessary for its continued growth. In order to allow for large-scale use of glyphosate on farms, crops have been genetically modified to be resistant to this herbicide.

After the introduction of genetically modified crops in the 1990’s, the use of glyphosate increased fifteen-fold across the United States. Glyphosate use continues to increase each year across the United States. Specifically, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, North Dakota, and southern Minnesota have some of the highest glyphosate usage in the United States.

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