A recent news article stated that as many as 80% of people tested had Roundup, i.e., glyphosate, in their urine. This chemical has been linked to cancer, so the news that so many people have this chemical in their system certainly raises some alarms.
Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise; glyphosate is one of the most widely used pesticides in the world. In fact, many crops are genetically modified specifically to withstand being doused with this chemical agent. Manufactured by the Monsanto corporation, it is one of the most commercially successful pesticides ever produced.
Much of that came tumbling down in recent years, as more and more evidence emerged that glyphosate was linked to cancer. Those most at risk for cancer were workers who regularly handled the product. Like we have seen time and time again, Monsanto fought and ultimately lost in court, and were ultimately forced to pay damages to the cancer patients who had been harmed by their product.
The problems surrounding glyphosate underscore some of the benefits of organic farming, wherein fewer chemicals are permitted for use on produce. While Monsanto insists the the risk to consumers is low, many would choose to avoid getting a continuous low dose of a confirmed carcinogen in our food. And, as recent reports show, the risk of getting glyphosate finding its way into our bodies is quite high.
What You Can Do
While chemicals like glyphosate remain legal, one of the best things you can do is shop for organic produce. Glyphosate is not used in organic farming, so this will mitigate much of the risk immediately. Shopping organic has the added benefit of eliminating any sort of genetically modified organisms from your shopping basket.
While purveyors insist that genetically modified foods are safe, it is easy to wonder if this is actually the case. As is the case with Roundup––a product the purveyor insisted was safe for years––only time will tell if those claims are actually true. What is frustrating is that regulating bodies seem to insist on allowing food companies to use the public as test subjects for their products.
Thankfully, organic designations can act as a safeguard against inadvertently buying genetically modified products, because there is no label designation when a product uses GMOs. Likely, purveyors know the public would largely shun these products, if they knew what was in them. Which raises the question, why are they trying to sell them to us anyway?
Sometimes, it is best to communicate your values with the products you buy; it is only through market pressures that products like glyphosate will eventually become a thing of the past.