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What is glyphosate, and why is it so dangerous?

If you own a home in Southern California, you may use Monsanto's Roundup to control the weeds in your yard. If you eat products made from soybeans or corn, you should know that these products are genetically engineered to tolerate herbicides and are "Roundup ready." In fact, around 94% of soybeans and 90% of corn grown in this country contain Roundup. 

The main ingredient in Roundup is the synthetic herbicide glyphosate that was patented in 1974 by the Monsanto Company. You may not see anything wrong with this until you understand what this chemical can do to the human body. Researchers have linked this chemical to cancer and other health problems.

What kinds of other health concerns?

In addition to links to cancer, glyphosate appears to have links to the following health concerns:

  • Birth defects
  • Reproductive issues
  • Liver disease
  • The death of beneficial gut bacteria
  • Obesity
  • Kidney and reproductive diseases
  • Damaged DNA in umbilical, embryonic and placental cells

Unfortunately, a great deal of debate continues regarding this chemical.

Why do companies still use the chemical?

Numerous studies indicate these health problems, yet the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have yet to make a determination of glyphosate's toxicity to humans. The California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment did add glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals in 2017. However, courts have denied the state's requests to put warnings on products.

In addition to putting glyphosate into corn and soybean seeds, farmers will often use it to dry down crops such as barley, wheat, lentils and oats that are non-GMO. Doing so speeds up the harvest and puts this chemical into your food. 

What can you do about it?

Thousands of people have already filed lawsuits against the Monsanto Company, which Bayer now owns. They allege that glyphosate exposure caused them or their loved one's cancer. It's possible that the more pressure put on companies who use the product and governmental agencies, the better the chances are that things will change.

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