According to the World Health Organization’s international agency for research on cancer (IARC), Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s pesticide Roundup, is a “probable human carcinogen”. Glyphosate is also the most used pesticide in the world, and has been found in the urine of 93% of people tested by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
During the explosive expansion of its use from 10 million pounds in 1993 to 280 million pounds in 2012 it had a devastating impact on the environment, including the destruction of over a hundred million acres of milkweed, the breeding habitat of Monarch butterflies.
A study published in the journal Environmental Health found that chronic, low-dose exposure to Glyphosate even in quantities as low as .1 parts per billion could lead to adverse effects on liver and kidney health.The study, released in early 2016 found that Glyphosate can cause changes to DNA function resulting in the onset of chronic disease such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
2,4-D, another commonly used weed killer now defined as “possibly” carcinogenic, is still found in many home garden products. It is also a key ingredient in Enlist Duo, a pesticide manufactured by Dow AgroSciences that since it was approved by the EPA for application on fruits, vegetables, corn and soy, has skyrocketed in use.While the precise dangers of its exposure and impact on the public still remains largely unknown, those first to suffer any ill effects will likely be the farm workers and those who live or work near where it is sprayed, including lawns across the United States. Today the only sure way to avoid encountering this pesticide in your diet would be by buying certified organic produce.