If you try to choose organic, natural foodstuffs, you may have heard the stir surrounding glyphosate. So what is it? Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide, the most commonly used herbicide in the USA. It has recently been named as a probable carcinogen (cancer causing substance) by the World Health Organisation so some companies have taken it upon themselves to start testing their products for glyphosate toxicity. The real issue is that glyphosate is a systemic contaminant so washing your vegetables won’t remove it like it would for other pesticides.
A number of recent observational studies have revealed the dangers of glyphosate for humans. Although Monsanto asserts that glyphosate is minimally toxic to humans, but various studies have suggested that glyphosate exposure can cause damage to the liver, kidneys and intestines. Another study found that reduces sulfate compounds in the blood which can ipair the growth of foetuses, babies and young children. Researcher sin Argentina found that 30% of deaths amongst those in intensive agricultural areas were cancer related. This is in comparison to the 20% national average.
Glyphosate has been found in a number of foods, including beets, corn soy, bagels, egss, potatoes and oatmeal. It appears that glyphosate invades the systems of animals who eat sprayed crops and the same may be true for humans.
So what was Monsanto’s response? “IARC’s conclusion conflicts with the overwhelming consensus by regulatory bodies and science organizations around the world.” Take this with a pinch of salt – in 2009, a French court found Monsanto guilty of false advertising.
But the studies against RoundUp and glyphosate are starting to build up. Although there is still no direct evidence (experiments on humans would be unethical), it is probably wise to avoids processed foods and choose USDA 100% organic produce.