10 Things You Need to Know about Glyphosate aka Roundup

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As a follow-up post on the recent article on whether we should worry about the use of Glyphosate aka roundup, and answer some of the readers’ questions, here’s another yet informative article on the 10 things you need to know about glyphosate.

If you haven’t read that article, find it here

If you have, let’s begin.

The Detox Project team has been researching information on glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides for over 10 years.

From their research, they believe there are 10 very important points that everyone needs to know about this widely used chemical:

1. Glyphosate is the World’s most used Herbicide.

Glyphosate use growth curve

A paper recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe states that 18.9 billion pounds (8.6 billion kilograms) of glyphosate have been used globally.

The herbicide’s use has risen almost 15-fold since the introduction of so-called “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered crops in the ’90s.

Read: 15+ Best Glyphosate Alternatives (As Voted by the Gardening Community)

2. In 2015 the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC declared that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.

The world’s most widely-used weed killer can “probably” cause cancer, the World Health Organization said.

The WHO’s cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), said glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto Co herbicide Roundup, was “classified as probably carcinogenic to humans”.

3. Glyphosate is found regularly in food and water.

Glyphosate is almost always present in the food we eat

Glyphosate-based formulations are the most widely sold and used pesticides globally.

Glyphosate is virtually everywhere in the food chain.

Related: Is Organic Farming Superior to Conventional Farming?

As a consequence, glyphosate is regularly detected in human urine.

At these levels and even below, several converging lines of research in laboratory animals suggest that glyphosate-based herbicides may be endocrine disruptors and alter liver and kidney function.

4. There is no safe level of glyphosate according to independent science.

Industry and regulators claim that we are only exposed to “safe” levels of glyphosate and Roundup that do not cause toxic effects.

Safety levels have been determined by toxicity tests on laboratory animals.

A growing body of evidence indicates that these tests are inadequate to determine the toxic effects of glyphosate and Roundup residues and that consumption of these residues may be a risk to health.

5. Glyphosate is probably a hormone hacker (endocrine disruptor) according to independent science.6.90 % of the soybeans and 70 % of the corn and cotton grown in the United States are glyphosate-tolerant GM crops.

Glyphosate and Roundup have been shown to be endocrine (hormone) disruptors in experiments.

Endocrine disruption in humans is thought to contribute to some cancers, birth defects, reproductive problems such as infertility, and developmental problems in fetuses, babies, and children.

7. Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is the world’s top-selling weed killer. Its active ingredient is glyphosate.

Roundup is the number one best seller herbicide globally

Glyphosate is the best-selling herbicide in the world and all for the wrong reasons.

8. The global glyphosate herbicides market was valued at USD $ 5.46 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach USD $ 8.79 billion by 2019.

Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates on rising sales of engineered soybean seeds and Roundup herbicide.

Net income in the three months through November increased to $368 million, or 69 cents a share, from $339 million, or 63 cents, a year earlier, Monsanto reported in a statement.

Profit excluding a discontinued business was 67 cents, beating the 64-cent average of 17 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. In the same report, revenue rose 6.9 percent to $3.14 billion, topping the $3.07 billion average of 15 estimates.

9. Glyphosate-tolerant GM crops represent more than 80% of the 120 million hectares of GM crops grown annually worldwide.

Roundup-ready soybean
Roundup-ready soybean

Glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops represent more than 80% of the 120 million ha of transgenic crops grown annually worldwide.

GR crops have been rapidly adopted in soybean, maize, cotton, canola, and sugar beet in large part because of the economic advantage of the technology, as well as the simple and superior weed control that glyphosate delivers.

10. Glyphosate is patented as an Antibiotic and a Chelating Agent.

Glyphosate was first patented as a chelator in 1964 by Stauffer Chemical Co. It was patented by Monsanto and introduced as an herbicide in 1974.

According to Dr. Huber, an award-winning scientist and professor emeritus of plant pathology at Purdue University for the past 35 years, “It’s important to realize that glyphosate is not ‘just’ an herbicide. It was first patented as a mineral chelator.

It immobilizes nutrients, so they’re not physiologically available for your body.” He says Glyphosate is also patented as an antibiotic: “When you take the good bacteria out, then the bad bacteria fill that void because there aren’t any voids in nature.

Check out our resource page for more tools and inspiration to help you stay green and sustainable.

Read: Best Weed Killer for Gardens? Hint: It’s NOT Roundup



Now that you know some more facts about Roundup it’s upon you to decide whether you’ll continue using it on your farm or otherwise.

It’s also upon you to decide whether this herbicide represents any harm to your health or your environment.

As always mine is to inform you and yours is to make a choice. I’ve done my part, have you? You’re free to leave a comment.



Original post published on detoxproject.org

22 thoughts on “10 Things You Need to Know about Glyphosate aka Roundup”

  1. Yes it is a very informable article but not enough to keep us from using it in production agriculture. I would to see some ideas of how we are going to feed the world by not using these products.

  2. I came across this info around 2008. The chemical is TOTALLY BANNED in the USA and parts of EUROPE? I see cans of RoundUP in agrovets in my town!!

    My big question has always been; WHY IS USA EXPORTING ‘DEATH’ TO OTHER COUNTRIES in the form of:

    1. the CHEMICAL itself and
    2. already ‘infected’ crops and their by products? especially ‘RoundUp ready soyabeans’?

    this is CHEMICAL WARFARE under the radar!!!

    • Round-up and the generic glyphosates are still sold in any Hardware Store in the US in both ready to use and concentrated formula. It is widely use in Home Garden’s, driveways and sidewalks as a mean for weed controls. Not sure why the EPA has not banned this chemical if the studies show is carcinogenic.

  3. This article is so bias only half at best is correct and not the important half at that.

  4. Mostly wrong… Some people just want to have a go at Monsanto, GM crops, etc…Or want to generate sensational stories for web traffic. Glyphosate is one of the safest herbicides on the market otherwise it would not be available for home garden use.

    • Hey McLarren, thanks for your valuable opinion and contribution. And yes, you make some sense but some people would rather burry their heads in the soil and assume the problem is nonexistent. Please don’t be one of them.

  5. Glyphosate is, indeed an endocrine disruptor, and classified by the WHO as a probable carcinogen. It is one of the main ingredients of Agent Orange (the other being 2-4D). In Agriculture, it has been used as a weed killer. In addition wheat is sprayed with it to kill the wheat plant and make it cheaper to harvest the wheat berries. BTW, the wheat berries are covered in glyphosate, which we eat.
    Some plants, like soy, are genetically modified to resist glyphosate, thus, in theory allowing weeds to die without harming the plant. Unfortunately, the weeds have become resistant and more glyphosate is necessary.
    The result is crops which are polluted with large concentrations of this poison. The crops are fed to farm animals which we later eat, with the Glyphosate in higher concentrations, This product is inside all of us, even if we only eat organic food.

    Alternatives to this monoculture, biochemical farming look very promising. For example, Permaculture methods, which actually clean the soil of toxins, are more than twice as productive. Other methods have also been shown to be more effective in production, and with lower costs.

    The politics of this situation is such that Monsanto-Bayer, and others pretty much own half of the congress and more (EPA,USDA,etc.). They have been able to successfully make themselves immune from many lawsuits, and are able to put their products on the market WITHOUT HAVING TO LABEL THEM AS GMOs. The legislation, which was signed by President Obama has been referred to as The DARK act (Deny Americans The Right To Know). This was pretty much the final straw in this latest election as Hillary Clinton has been a strong supporter of Monsanto for years. Granted a larger percentage of Republicans are actively involved as well, but I suppose they weren’t running for president. One little problem is that the President Elect never said a word about this “Gorilla in the room” throughout any of the debates or campaign. Could it be he was hiding something as well?

    So, in summary, Glyphosates are indeed dangerous, as are the associated GMOs. This has been documented, proven, then hidden by the powers that be. Alternate farming methods can be far superior and cheaper to produce. Please note, since I am writing this off the cuff, I do not have my references available for this post. But it is all out there and easy enough to find if you’re interested.
    Eric J. Cohen, D.C.

    • N-phosphonomethyl glycine (glyphosate) was NOT an ingredient in Agent Orange. Agent Orange was a 50:50 mix of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D

  6. Interesting statements.
    Everyone knows that all the herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and, surprisingly, all the fertilizers produced via chemical synthesis are dangerous, in many causes toxic substances. That require to be used according to that. Especially in the case that we have no real and acceptably efficient alternatives.
    Please keep searching for most reliable alternatives to help us quit using dangerous molecules in feeding the extremely hungry human population.
    All the field engineers are waiting!

  7. It is important that information is shared, particularly concerning our health,especially if it is unbiased. In that context the discussion is of topical interest.The original post by Chris has a few ” may be” and “perhaps” which makes the findings less convincing. The major question raised is ” if not what? The detailed comment by Eric Cohen answers it partially when he notes
    “Alternatives to this monoculture, biochemical farming look very promising. For example, Permaculture methods, which actually clean the soil of toxins, are more than twice as productive. Other methods have also been shown to be more effective in production, and with lower costs”. It will be worthwhile if we can get some details on these. Most of us-I presume- are neutral ie neither supporting companies nor rediculing them. Our interest is in profitable farming ( with certain personal pleasure provided by the standing crops in your back yard/farm, as bonus) and if it can be done without harming the consumers-it will be all the more rewarding.

    K.U.K.Nampoothiri ( India)

  8. Humans have argued facts historically.

    Generations can look back retrospectively at the ignorance of the past. The classic example is “the world is flat”

    Stop and think for a second your time in an associated profession about the substances that you have been exposed to and that have been argued. If you are honest with yourself and then think about the relatively short period, this has occurred and now better understanding has proven the dangerous effects. At some stage in future the toxification of water, soil, food, and ourselves will be quantified.

    Here is my personal expose and experience in Arboriculture over a 23 year period:

    • 2.4.D
    • DDT

    This is my honest list off the top of my head I’m sure there are more that I can’t think of, they are all dangerous and have been heavily argued historically.

    As homicide means to kill humans (pesticides, fungicide, herbicides) all the cide’s kill stuff. Historically they are relatively new and we will find out the toxic effects through future generations that will use our time to prove statistical significance. We are all just historical lab rats.

    We are currently arguing Climate Change and this will no doubt make us look like a bunch of narcissistic idiots to the following generations.

    Just look at our human history and see the only consistency is: we argue and then are proven wrong. This example is no different.

    PS I have quit smoking, don’t eat as much junk food and work with trees from a organic plant and soil health perspective.

    Matthew R Daniel

  9. You may have already seen it but if not, please be sure to read the relatively new development of August 2018 of the DeWayne Johnson case between this plaintiff and Monsanto involving non-hodgkins lymphoma. It looks like another 4,000+ cases will occur against Monsanto. Monsanto was found guilty to the tune of $289.2 million.

  10. My comments goes straight to tuta absoluta moths. where do the pest lay the eggs ,soil or leaves? Twice I have been hit hard by this destructive pest and in the course of my handling , most mature moths come from the soil in my greenhouse and start flying.

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