Jun 24, 2019 | Updated: 04:51 PM EDT

Popular Weed Killer Afflicts Cancer

Apr 04, 2019 08:56 PM EDT

(Photo : Roundup, Monsanto, 4/2016, by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube)

The popular weed killer Roundup is used widely in America because it is extremely effective. However, the main ingredient of this herbicide contains glyphosate which is said to cause cancer.

Recently, a 70-year-old man hailing from Sonoma County in California filed a case against Monsanto the company that makes this Roundup. He has been using the weed killer for more than half a century and was afflicted with cancer as a result. After deliberations, a federal grand jury concluded that Roundup was a significant factor in his cancer and ordered Monsanto to pay him $80 million. The company stated that it would appeal the decision of the court. Bayer AG, the Germany Company which bought Monsanto decided to appeal. Last year, a court in San Francisco came to a similar decision against the company, favoring a person with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lethal cancer that affects the immune system. Monsanto duly appealed against the verdict.  

The chemical glyphosate is the most extensively used herbicide and used in almost all farms that cultivate cotton, soybeans, and corn in the US. Even ordinary people spray it in their garden or lawn to kill weeds. Several jurisdictions, in around 25 countries have restricted or banned outright its use. Last month Los Angeles County declared that it has decided to suspend glyphosate, for the time being, pending information on its adverse health effects.

What is Glysophate?

It was Monsanto who sold this herbicide commercially in 1974, under the brand name of Roundup which destroys weeds by obstructing enzymes by controlling the growth of plants. Four decades have passed since its launch and sales have increased by leaps and bounds. Bayer claims that they have tested the herbicide thoroughly and extensive research on the chemical reveals that it is safe and non-carcinogenic.

However, recent studies conducted by Environmental Sciences Europe, the prestigious journal on environment shows that almost all people are exposed to the weed killer due to its extensive use. In fact, such widespread use has made it percolate into food water and dust, thereby endangering human lives. To confirm this, a couple of years ago a few researchers made a random test on people all across the US and found residues of glyphosate in 93 percent of them. A series of other studies also arrived at the same conclusion.

So what should one do under the circumstances? It seems the only way to escape the menace is to take a trowel and remove your weeds physically!

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