Does Roundup Weed Killer Cause Cancer?

Ingredient Glyphosate declared a Probable Carcinogen by the World Health Organization

Roundup weed killer has been in the news fairly frequently over the past couple of years. Glyphosate is the main active ingredient in Roundup; in 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that Glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic.” Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, continues to maintain the herbicide is safe, however three juries have found in favor of the plaintiffs suing Monsanto for Roundup injuries over the past year.

Glyphosate Patented for Use in Roundup - More than 30% of all herbicides sprayed throughout the world contain Glyphosate which was patented by Monsanto for use in their Roundup herbicide. The use of Roundup became even more widespread when Monsanto introduced “Roundup Ready” crops in 1996, including soy, corn, cotton, canola and sugar beets. The insertion of genetic material from viruses and bacteria allow these crops to withstand repeated applications of Roundup—normally deadly to all crops. While it seems that Roundup does not destroy plants directly, it is responsible for revving up disease-causing organisms in the soil, effectively wiping out plant defenses against those diseases.

Glyphosate Toxic to Plants - Glyphosate interferes with the basic process of photosynthesis, reducing the plant’s ability to use water efficiently, damaging and shortening the critical root systems, changing the soil pH and causing the plants to release important sugars. All of these things negatively affect the health of the plants. Although Glyphosate has been shown to be toxic to plants, breaking down into another chemical known as AMPA, in perfectly sterile soil the toxic chemicals alone will stunt a plant’s growth, but rarely kill it completely.

However, in normal soil, the Glyphosates kill the entire plant—not directly, but rather by promoting the disease-causing organisms which are present in most all soils. Once these organisms get revved up by the Glyphosates, they overrun the already-weakened crops with a litany of deadly infections. In short—Roundup increases the plant’s susceptibility to disease while suppressing the natural disease control mechanisms.

Herbicide use in the United States has increased exponentially in the years since GMOs first came onto the scene, with the greatest contributor being Roundup. Nearly half of that staggering increase came about over the past few years; it is theorized that over time weeds which would once fall over dead with the smallest amount of Roundup have become resistant, and now require heavier and heavier applications. Consider the implications of hundreds of thousands of acres infested with weeds which are nearly totally resistant to weed killer.

Glyphosate Toxins in our Food Supply? If this is not alarming enough, some of the fungi promoted by Glyphosate can produce dangerous toxins that end up in both animal feed and the human food supply. In the past Monsanto boasted that their star weed killer was biodegradable, breaking down quickly into the soil.  Once Monsanto was required to produce their own test data, it became clear that only 2% of the product had broken down after 28 days. Cornell University found it could take from 1-174 days for half the product to break down in the soil, and that less than two percent of the product is lost due to runoff.

The very same nutrients that Glyphosate sucks from plants are vital to human and animal health as well, including iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium and boron. Alzheimer’s disease, which has jumped some 9000% since 1990, has been definitively linked to reduced levels of copper and magnesium. The looming question is exactly how much of the hundreds of millions of pounds of Glyphosate applied to farm soil over the past twenty-five years is now damaging crops, increasing disease and significantly altering the nutritional value of our food.

Today there are links between Roundup and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and other Glyphosate cancers. Links between Glyphosate and cancerous tumors have been found in animal studies, and many scientists believe Roundup can damage DNA in human cells. If you or a loved one has suffered Roundup cancer or Roundup non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you may wonder about the safety of Roundup. Your questions regarding Roundup and glyphosate can be answered by an experienced Roundup attorney. You may be entitled to take part in a Monsanto Roundup lawsuit, or a Roundup class action lawsuit. Contact A Roundup Attorney today for a comprehensive evaluation of your potential Monsanto Roundup cancer claim.

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Author: Andrew Sullo
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Andrew Sullo

Andrew SulloAndrew Sullo

Andrew Sullo is a National Trial Lawyer's Top 100 Selection for 2013-2019. He is a member of the American Association of Justice (2013-2019), and a recipient of the 2019 AVVO Client's Choice Award.

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