Known as the primary ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate is an herbicide. Designed to kill grasses or broadleaf plants, it can be toxic to plants. It can be a health hazard to people, too.
Initially, it’s manufactured to regulate plant growth, ripening fruits, and increase a high yield. First registered in the US in 1974, glyphosate is a widely used herbicide in the country. People apply it in forestry and agriculture. It is also utilized on lawns and gardens.
Top Negative Effects to Know
- It has a high cancer-causing potential. For decades, glyphosate had been effective in killing weeds, increasing plant growth or boosting a good yield. But researchers at the IARC declared that the active ingredient in Roundup is carcinogenic to humans. Epidemiological studies also linked the component to DNA or chromosomal damage. This is another mechanism that leads to cancer formation.
Another study was conducted by Dr. Aaron Blair, a distinguished epidemiologist who served at the National Cancer Institute in the US. He also determined the ingredient’s probable carcinogenicity.
But before these studies, the Environmental Protection Agency weighed in on the chemical’s safety risk in 1985. They classified glyphosate as a possible carcinogen. Rodents in the experiments showed tumors after too much exposure.
- It causes rats to develop kidney failure and other diseases. Another two-year animal feeding trial found that exposure to Roundup herbicide can cause rats to develop liver congestion, kidney failure, pituitary failure, necrosis, and mammary tumors. The mortality rate among the mice also increased.
- It causes lymphocytic lymphoma. Experts from the Department of Oncology at University Hospital in Sweden also found that human exposure to the herbicide triples the risk of a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This is commonly known as lymphocytic lymphoma. However, the findings require further evidence.
But several years later, things have changed. A review of 44 scientific studies indicates that glyphosate increases the risk of lymphocytic lymphoma among farmers who use the herbicide on their crops.
Now the evidence is strong. A group of Nebraska farmers filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, Montano. They claimed that glyphosate caused them to acquire non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It’s a kind of cancer that affects the immune system.
- It affects gut bacteria. Other studies on glyphosate’s effects on gut bacteria indicate that the herbicide is exceptionally damaging to microbes. What’s surprising is that the harmful microbes are resistant to the ingredient. Since the gut plays a crucial role in the human immune system, the consequence of the attack on the microbiota is a risk of chronic illness. This can include cancer.
- It disrupts human digestion. With regular application, plant species may acquire diseases and die after some time. We are no exception. Another terrible effect is that glyphosate can disrupt our digestion. Although this claim does not have enough evidence, it’s clear that avoiding the chemical is becoming more difficult. It’s sad and alarming to know that its presence grows throughout our food supply. This is the result of farmers’ non-stop use of the herbicide as a weed killer and pre-harvest crop desiccant. We cannot blame them. The production should stop, and the authorities should make a strict regulation.
However, the laws allow farmers to douse wheat, oats, oilseed, sugar cane, and rapeseed with glyphosate before the actual harvest. It’s not intended to kill weeds. But it’s designed to rush the ripening process and promote the release of seeds.
Well, it can be an advantage for farmers to increase their profits. But it can be detrimental to people, especially those who eat contaminated crops. These can include pastries and bread.
- It causes celiac disease. You may believe that your gluten intolerance may be an indication of an allergic reaction. But scientists speculate that celiac disease can be a sign of glyphosate poisoning. They say that the symptoms are parallel to severe glyphosate exposure. These are a nutrient deficiency, gut microbial imbalance, and a high cancer risk.
One study published in the journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology shows that celiac disease can be associated with the gut bacteria imbalances. It can be explained by the effects of glyphosate on the gut.
Glyphosate has pathological effects with celiac disease. It also impairs most cytochrome p450 enzymes. More particularly, it affects the detoxification of environmental toxins, activation of vitamin D3, and bile acid production.
Deficiencies in cobalt, iron, copper, and molybdenum linked to celiac disease can be associated with glyphosate’s ability to affect all these elements. The poor production of tyrosine, methionine, selenomethionine, and tryptophan match the ingredient’s depletion of amino acids.
- It may cause infertility, congenital disabilities, and miscarriages. Celiac disease can be the result of glyphosate’s exposure. The symptoms of this disease are composed of congenital disabilities, infertility, and miscarriages to name a few.
- It destroys people’s immune systems. As a registered anti-microbial agent, glyphosate annihilates good or bad organisms. As it enters your gastrointestinal tract, it destroys bacillus and lactobacillus. It even hinders the growth of protective organisms. This makes your body weaker to pathogenic invaders and non-stop bowel diseases. A most common symptom is a leaky gut syndrome.
- It becomes more toxic with other components in Roundup. Dr. Robin Mesnage, a scientist at IARC, declared that glyphosate is genotoxic. This means it can be responsible for cell mutations. He also added that the chemical is everywhere throughout the food chain, from food to water. The lack of information about the toxicity of the component does not mean that it’s safe. Aside from glyphosate, Roundup is rich with other chemicals. This makes glyphosate more toxic.
What to Do?
The widespread use and environmental persistence are a few factors that make glyphosate hard to control and end. But there are ways. Avoid food products made with wheat and grains. Don’t consider genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Take advantage of glyphosate-free food. But they should be certified and approved. Eliminate commercial gelatin. Invest in a high-end water filtration unit and adopt a good regimen.