Roundup Weed Killer has become a household name as a product that provides an efficient solution for gardeners and farmers to control weeds. However, studies have unveiled a disturbing link between use of Roundup and an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma ("NHL"), a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. Thousands of lawsuits have since been filed against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, for failing to properly disclose the risks of its product.
Roundup's Link to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
The problem with Roundup is in its key ingredient: glyphosate. Glyphosate works by inhibiting an enzyme called EPSPS, which is involved in the production of amino acids that are essential for plant growth. Without these amino acids, the plant is unable to grow and eventually dies.
In 2015, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified glyphosate as a Group 2A "probable human carcinogen."
A meta-analysis published in 2019 in the journal Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research examined several epidemiological studies and found a 41% increase in the risk of NHL among individuals with high exposure to glyphosate. Another study published in 2021 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives reported a positive association between glyphosate exposure and a sub-type of NHL called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Based on these studies, several countries including France, Germany, and Austria, have either banned or restricted the use of glyphosate due to concerns over its potential health risks.
Foods with the Highest Trace Quantities of Glyphosate
Certain foods are more likely to contain glyphosate residues. These include:
Soybeans: Glyphosate is commonly used in genetically modified soybean crops. A study found that 90% of soybean samples tested positive for glyphosate residues.
Corn: Corn is also commonly grown using glyphosate. Research indicates that 88% of corn samples tested positive for glyphosate residues.
Wheat: Glyphosate is often used as a pre-harvest desiccant in wheat production, which can lead to higher levels of residues in the grain. A study found that 70% of wheat samples tested positive for glyphosate residues.
Oats: New research indicates that 54% of oat samples tested positive for glyphosate residues.
Barley: Glyphosate is sometimes used as a pre-harvest desiccant in barley production. A study found that 32% of barley samples tested positive for glyphosate residues.
Lentils: Glyphosate is sometimes used in lentil production. A study found that 24% of lentil samples tested positive for glyphosate residues.
Almonds: Glyphosate is sometimes used as a pre-harvest desiccant in almond production. Research indicates that 10% of almond samples tested positive for glyphosate residues.
How to Avoid Eating Glyphosate
With growing awareness about the potential dangers of consuming glyphosate, people are searching for ways to minimize their exposure. Here are some suggested steps you can take to limit your own intake of glyphosate-contaminated foods:
Limit consumption of the foods with the highest trace quantities of glyphosate. These include soybeans, corn, wheat and oats as outlined above.
Opt for organic produce whenever possible. Organic farming prohibits the use of synthetic herbicides, including glyphosate. While this doesn't guarantee the complete absence of glyphosate due to factors like drift from neighboring farms and soil contamination, it does minimize its presence.
Support local farmers' markets. Purchasing fresh, seasonal produce from local farmers' markets can be an excellent way to avoid glyphosate-contaminated foods. Small-scale farmers often use fewer chemicals and may even adhere to organic farming methods. Supporting local agriculture helps you not only enjoy fresher produce but also reduce your likelihood of consuming glyphosate.
Thoroughly wash and peel produce. While washing and peeling may not eliminate all glyphosate residues, it can help lessen their presence on fruits and vegetables. Rinse your produce thoroughly with water or use a produce wash to remove surface residues. Peeling can also minimize glyphosate exposure since the chemical is more likely to be present on outer surfaces.
Seek out glyphosate-free certifications. Certain organizations and companies offer glyphosate-free certifications for products that have been tested and confirmed to contain no glyphosate residues. These certifications can provide added confidence that the foods you consume are not contaminated with glyphosate.
Exercise caution with processed foods. Processed foods, especially those containing grains like wheat, barley, and oats, can harbor glyphosate residues, as these crops are frequently treated with the herbicide. When selecting processed foods, opt for organic or glyphosate-free certified products to minimize your exposure.
Roundup weedkiller has been a popular weed control solution for decades. However, an increasingly large body of evidence indicates that Roundup may be unsafe for human use and consumption. Several countries have taken action to ban or restrict the use of glyphosate, and thousands of personal injury lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto for damages by Roundup users who have developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
With glyphosate residues found in various foods, it's crucial to be mindful of your exposure to this chemical and take steps to minimize touching and ingesting it. By limiting the consumption of high-risk foods, opting for organic produce, supporting local farmers' markets, washing and peeling fruits and vegetables, seeking out glyphosate-free certifications, and exercising caution with processed foods, we can protect ourselves and our families from the potential health risks associated with glyphosate exposure.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and suspect exposure to Roundup weedkiller, please contact our law firm for a free consultation today. You may be entitled to compensation, but you may lose the right to sue if action is not promptly taken.