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5 Wild Facts about Roundup

Author
Alicia Betz
August 14, 2022

You’ve probably seen it or even used it before. In fact, if you’re like many Americans, you have a container of it sitting in your garage. Roundup is one of the most popular weed killers, and many people use it to keep weeds out of their yards, gardens, and landscaping. 

Commercial farmers use Roundup as well, and it’s often referred to as its active ingredient glyphosate. A very large number of crops we consume on a daily basis are treated with Roundup. It was created to kill weeds but to leave crops unharmed. 

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While the weedkiller is widely used by farmers and everyday consumers alike, it’s not benign. In fact, it has been linked to various types of cancer as well as other negative health effects. 

Here are five wild facts you may not have known about Roundup:

1. You Consume Roundup Nearly Every Day

Farmers spray glyphosate on a wide variety of crops. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) roundup is used on: corn, cotton, canola, soybean, sugar beet, alfalfa, berry crops, brassica vegetables, bulb vegetables, fruiting vegetables, leafy vegetables, legume vegetables, cucurbit vegetables, root tuber vegetables, cereal grains, grain sorghum, citrus crops, fallow, herbs and spices, orchards, tropical and subtropical fruits, stone fruits, pome fruits, nuts, vine crops, oilseed crops, and sugarcane. 

That’s a lot of food sources. Many of the food sources included on this list are used to make processed foods. Corn, soybean, and sugarcane, for example, are very common ingredients found in a wide variety of food. Washing your fruits and vegetables before you eat them helps, but the chemical is able to find its way deep into food, meaning you consume small amounts of Roundup each time you eat. Over time, this can add up. 

Additionally, glyphosate can be found in the air, soil, and rainwater. This means that even if you make an effort to eat organic and you avoid spraying Roundup on the plants near your home, it’s still making its way into your body. 

A really wild fact: glyphosate is even found in human urine. This is proof that it’s making its way into our bodies at detectable levels. 

"Additionally, glyphosate can be found in the air, soil, and rainwater. This means that even if you make an effort to eat organic and you avoid spraying Roundup on the plants near your home, it’s still making its way into your body." 

2. Plants Are Genetically Engineered to Resist Roundup

There’s a reason farmers are able to spray their crops with this powerful herbicide without killing off the crops they’re trying to grow. The seeds farmers used are genetically engineered to survive glyphosate. Not coincidentally, the same companies that sell glyphosate also sell genetically modified seeds that are resistant to the chemical. 

One of the most well-known companies to do this is Bayer, which bought out Monsanto in 2018. It’s an effective business practice that helps these companies turn a very large profit. However, it’s dangerous for consumers and expensive for farmers. 

3. Roundup is Linked to a Variety of Health Problems

Many people who have had extensive exposure to glyphosate, such as farmers, landscapers, and groundskeepers, have noticed negative health effects. Many of these people have developed various forms of cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

The chemical has been linked to other health problems in humans as well, including liver damage, kidney damage, reproductive harm, and hormone disruption. If ingested directly in large amounts, it can even be deadly. 

Because the chemical has been so widely linked to health problems, many people have filed lawsuits against Bayer, the company that owns Roundup. People who have filed lawsuits have already been awarded millions of dollars for their injuries. More people continue to come forward, and lawsuits against the company are ongoing. 

4. Roundup is Killing Wildlife

The popular herbicide isn’t just killing weeds and harming humans. It’s also taking a toll on wildlife. Roundup has been found to affect a variety of animals, including fish, mosquitos, mollusks, and butterflies. 

Monarch butterflies, particularly, are affected by Roundup because the chemical kills milkweed. Milkweed is a plant that monarch butterflies use to lay their eggs and feed. Today, the Monarch butterfly is classified as endangered, largely due to Roundup’s decimation of milkweed. 

5. Weeds Have Become Resistant to Roundup 

Today, Roundup is no longer as effective as it once was. While it was originally intended to kill weeds while sparing wanted crops, many weeds have learned to survive the chemical. Over time, weeds have learned to become resistant to glyphosate, and they are becoming harder and harder to kill. 

Because the weeds are becoming resistant, farmers, landscapers, and groundskeepers now need to use even more Roundup to kill weeds than they have in the past. The more resistant weeds become, the more chemicals farmers will need to continue to throw at them. This can lead to the need for multiple types of chemicals that are increasingly nefarious. One such chemical, paraquat, has been linked to Parkinson’s disease among other ailments. 

"While it was originally intended to kill weeds while sparing wanted crops, many weeds have learned to survive the chemical. Over time, weeds have learned to become resistant to glyphosate, and they are becoming harder and harder to kill."

How to Reduce Your Exposure to Roundup

Hearing that you and your family are continually exposed to this dangerous chemical can feel really scary and disheartening. One of the best things you can do to reduce your exposure is to eat organic foods that are not treated with glyphosate. Look for products that are certified USDA organic

However, because the chemical is found in the air, water, and even soil, you need to do more than change your eating habits if you really want to make a difference in your glyphosate exposure. We need to reduce glyphosate use on a national and even global level to make a difference. 

If you see your neighbor spraying Roundup on their weeds, strike up a conversation about how dangerous the chemical can be. Contact your local lawmakers and authorities. Ask them to reconsider using glyphosate near schools and parks. 

The more we can reduce Roundup use as a whole, the more we can rid it from our environment and reduce our exposure levels.

Free Case Evaluation

If you or a loved one were harmed by using Roundup Weedkiller you could be entitled to compensation.

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