Glyphosate is a chemical used in a common herbicide known as Roundup, made by the Monsanto company. It is among the most commonly used herbicides in the world. It is commonly used on lawns and farms, alike.
Glyphosate was introduced in 1974, but its use skyrocketed when crops were genetically engineered to be resistant to its use. Farmers could then dump massive amounts of the chemical on crops without fear of damaging the crops, themselves. Between 1987 and 2012, its use on farms increased from 11 million to 300 million pounds per year.
It is currently used in 160 countries with over 1.4 billion pounds used each year. It is used widely used on corn, soy, and cotton, but also on other crops, such as almonds, cherries, citrus, peaches, onions, among many others.
Monsanto has long claimed with the chemical to be safe, but recent studies published by various scientific agencies have shown otherwise.
Despite all of these findings, Monsanto continues to stand behind the safety of the chemical. Thankfully, however, many governing boards are considering banning the chemical, inspire of Monsanto’s refusal to admit there is potentially any danger in its use.
Monsanto, of course, has a long history of selling toxic chemicals, denying any sort of responsibility for their actions and suing farmers who have been unlucky enough to have the company’s patented seeds blown across a neighboring field and take root on their property. The company is among the most reviled companies in operation, and certainly, this is not without reason. Given their history, any claims they make regarding the safety of their products need to be given the same scrutiny as a cigarette company’s claim for the safety of their products.
What You Can Do
People who work on or live near farms sprayed with glyphosate are at the highest risk for exposure to it, but because of its widespread use, there are many ways we can be exposed to glyphosate.
Obviously, avoid its use on your lawn.
One key way in preventing exposure to glyphosate is eating organic foods. Unfortunately, once glyphosate has been sprayed on a crop, it gets inside the plant, meaning simply washing produce treated with glyphosate is not enough to eradicate it. This is one more reason to go organic.
Avoid processed foods, which often use ingredients like corn syrup or soy. These are foods most commonly contaminated with glyphosate.
Glyphosate is known to affect the beneficial bacteria in the gut, so be sure that you routinely take a high-quality probiotic.