Roundup and Cancer
Lawsuits are being filed against Monsanto alleging that its product, Roundup, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The active ingredient in Roundup is a chemical called glyphosate. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide. It is toxic to both broadleaf plants and grasses. It restricts the plants from making proteins that are necessary for life.
Glyphosate was developed in about 1974. It was found to be a very effective herbicide. There are over 700 products that contain this chemical. It can be absorbed through the skin, although at very low rates. It can also be ingested if care is not taken to clean up after using it. Monsanto and other big chemical corporations have developed Roundup-resistant seeds. This has been a boom to agriculture because the application of roundup to resistant crops will kill the weeds without affecting the useful plants.
Because Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the world it is ubiquitous in the environment. Many of us have probably been exposed to this chemical. Roundup has been assumed to be safe. But more recently the International Agency for Research on Cancer has said that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic.” Studies have shown that glyphosate may cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The jury may still be out on the effects of glyphosate on humans. But one thing is certain: glyphosate is a toxin. Its purpose is to kill plants and it does not occur naturally in the environment. Most of the studies that previously concluded that roundup was safe were paid for by chemical companies. We know from experience that some man-made products are dangerous.