While different national and international agencies disagree, it appears that Roundup is harmful to humans as it contains glyphosate, which is an herbicide that some scientists and researchers believe causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma, birth defects, reproductive problems, liver disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Glyphosate is the main herbicide in Roundup which has been widely used since 1974 to kill weeds and unwanted vegetation. Farmers and those in agriculture have long used this product with outstanding success, and worldwide use totaled approximately 6.1 billion kilograms in the last decade alone.
However, in 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic,” and therefore, Roundup is harmful to humans.
However, other research done by agencies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated that glyphosate does not pose a strong cancer risk to humans. However, much evidence appears to point to the fact that glyphosate makes cancer more likely, due to the fact that it can encourage changes to a person’s DNA, as evidenced in research done by the Archives of Toxicology.
Other Ingredients in Roundup
Herbicide formulations contain a wide variety of chemicals that help the glyphosate enter the plant cells and kill them. Certain studies show that these additional chemicals may actually cause certain other health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other neurodegenerative diseases. However, since Monsanto, the developer of Roundup, is not required by law to make the full ingredients listing available to the public, it remains unknown whether or not the additional chemicals in Roundup are actually toxic to the human body. Some newer research shows that these “inert” ingredients, such as the preservatives, solvents, and surfactants may also cause health issues to humans.
Differences of Opinion
There seems to be a large discrepancy between the conclusions reached by both the IARC and the EPA regarding the risks of Roundup and glyphosate. A recent study from the journal Environmental Sciences Europe examined why the IARC and EPA disagreed on their conclusions regarding the toxicity of glyphosate. According to this study, the EPA relied more on “unpublished regulatory studies” which were in most part industry-funded. Conversely, the IARC relied on “mostly peer-reviewed studies” including some in humans that concluded glyphosate may in fact have toxic levels for humans. This discrepancy becomes clear when it appears that the EPA relied on studies promoted by Monsanto and other industry-related companies versus peer-reviewed independent studies done on humans.
One of the main causes of concern is the connection between Roundup and the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Estimates indicate that over 42,000 victims have filed a claim against the Monsanto Company (which is now Bayer) that allege their exposure to Roundup directly caused them (or their loved ones) to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Some of the more common and typical symptoms of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma include enlarged lymph nodes, abdominal pain, chest pressure or pain, swollen abdomen or stomach, shortness of breath, weight loss, cough, fever, anemia, night sweats/chills, chronic fatigue, nausea and/or vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, skin rash, and difficulty moving. Many scientists have defended the position that Roundup is harmful to humans and several victims have received compensation for their injuries in courts of law throughout the United States.
Other research shows that glyphosate may disrupt a human being’s endocrine system and cause medical problems related to birth defects, reproductive problems, or liver disease. In another study published in Scientific Reports, the DNA of a human embryo, placenta, and umbilical cord suffered damage as a result of exposure to glyphosate.
Glyphosate in Food
Some have worried about the amount of glyphosate contained in the food that Americans consume that may have had treatments that contain Roundup or glyphosate. The experts disagree on these conclusions as well, however, some studies indicate that the amount that a typical person consumes over their lifetime is not significant enough to cause any type of damage. Ultimately, there is simply not enough evidence to make a determination definitively on the level of risk to the consumer. However, many consumers now opt for pesticide-free food products to ensure safety against ingesting these types of chemicals.
Consider a Roundup Lawyer
If you believed you suffered injuries or developed a medical condition as a result of your exposure to Roundup or any other chemical that contained glyphosate, consider speaking with our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to learn how a Roundup lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and help you determine your next steps.