Roundup weed killer continues to be readily available in stores across the country, despite its recent classification as a “probable” human carcinogen. The ingredient in Roundup that continues to raise concern is glysophate, which researchers have compared to tobacco, arsenic, and asbestos.
Roundup use has steadily increased since the mid-1990s, when the product was introduced in response to genetically engineered crops without killing the plants. Some weeds are becoming resistant to glysophate and farmers are forced to use greater amounts of the product to garner the same effect. According to the US Geological Survey, glysophate use has increased from 110 million pounds to 283 million pounds in a 10-year period between 2002 and 2012.
Recent Study Reveals Limited Roundup Exposure Causes Kidney and Liver Health Issues
In addition to concerns Roundup exposure can lead to cancer, there is now evidence the weed killer might also cause organ damage.
Data from a recent study revealed long-term exposure to small amounts of Roundup can trigger serious kidney and liver health problems. The study analyzed rats given small amounts of Roundup – smaller than what is allowed in US drinking water – and found the exposure affected the function of genes in the liver and kidneys. The study bolsters the results from a similar 2012 study and is the first to look at the impact of chronic, low exposure to Roundup.
Both the recent and 2012 studies were considered controversial, but nonetheless raise even more questions about the safety of Roundup exposure.
Roundup Faces Legal Challenges
Federal and state governments are on notice and have begun to address concerns about Roundup and glysophate use. In early August, Hawaii's County Council Environmental Management Committee postponed a vote to ban government agencies from using Roundup after the testimony against the product from 45 people ran long. Some area residents even claimed they had been sprayed by trucks passing through their neighborhoods. Facing an uncertain future, the bill was recently withdrawn by its sponsor in hopes it could return in the future.
The federal government is also addressing Roundup use with a bill recently passed in the US House of Representatives to limit or ban the use of the product. The bill, known as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, is now pending in the Senate. Critics of the bill claim it contains provisions that would prevent proper labeling of GMO crops and make it illegal for state and local governments to pass laws regulating GMO crops.
Neither state nor federal debate address individual use of Roundup, but advocates believe there is a solid start toward adopting international attitudes about potential carcinogenic ingredients like glysophate. France recently passed a bill banning Roundup sales at garden centers and plans to ban the use of all pesticides for home gardeners by 2022.
There are a number of investigations and lawsuits pending filed by consumers diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and other forms of cancer who believe their disease could be directly related to their exposure to glysophate and Monsanto.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or you are experiencing any organ malfunction and you believe it could have been caused by exposure to Monsanto Roundup or glyphosate, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. You can learn more about Roundup and the health risks exposure can cause, as well as what you can do if you have been exposed, by visiting our Roundup education page.