What is Roundup?
Roundup is one of the worlds most popular weed killers. Its active ingredient is a chemical known as glyphosate, which makes up 49% of the formulation.
It is manufactured by the chemical giant Monsanto, who introduced the herbicide in 1974. Monsanto touted Roundup as being “[one of] the most environmentally friendly herbicides in the history of agriculture.” This marketing effort, combined with the effectiveness in killing almost any plant it touched, lead to it saturating the vast majority of American farms. Recently, a branch of the World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, made the determination that the main ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was a possible carcinogen. This determination was made by citing research linking the herbicide to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Roundup is still being used commercially and in homes around the world.
Types of Cancer Associated With Roundup Use
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
- Follicular lymphoma
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) / small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)
- Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL)
- Marginal zone lymphomas
- Burkitt lymphoma
- Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia)
- Hairy cell leukemia
Who’s at risk?
Exposure to Roundup can occur through inhalation and / or direct skin contact. Some of the people who are at the highest risk of Roundup induced cancer are gardeners, farm workers and forestry industry employees who are generally exposed for long periods of time.
What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL, or lymphoma) is a form of cancer that starts in lymphocyte cells. These cells are found in lymph nodes, bone marrow and in the spleen. There are two types of lymphoma:
- Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as Hodgkin disease) is named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, who first described it
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
These are two entirely different forms of cancer that behave and spread differently. Treatment for the two lymphoma types is distinct, so determining the exact type of lymphoma is important. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma may present almost anywhere because lymphocyte cells are found in many places in the body. The main concentration of these cells lies in the following areas:
- Lymph nodes: small organs found in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, neck and arms and groin
- Spleen: an organ in the lower left side of the torso
- Thymus: a small organ behind the breastbone and in front of the heart
- Adenoids and tonsils: located in the back of the throat
- Digestive tract: located in the mid torso
- Bone marrow: the soft tissue located inside of bones
Does Roundup cause cancer?
Numerous peer-reviewed clinical studies have shown Roundup may cause non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Most recently, scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer showed a link between Roundup exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, chemical giant Monsanto adamantly denies any claims that their weed killer causes cancer. It should be noted, Monsanto’s denials continue to be met with skepticism from the scientific community. Jess Rowland, Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is alleged to have a questionable relationship with the chemical corporation. Rowland is being accused of helping Monsanto “kill” cancer studies associated with Roundup. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma sufferers across the country have opted to file suit against Monsanto.
Are there more conditions linked to Roundup?
Al-Jazeera Online recently reported on a new-found link between glyphosate (Roundup) and severe liver damage in rats. The story is quoted as saying, “Scientists from King’s College London, whose findings were published in the journal, Nature, earlier this month, said their tests used cutting-edge technology to demonstrate that “extremely low doses” of the herbicide administered to rats through their drinking water had caused non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) over a two-year period.” This study is just one in a long line of scientific findings outlining the destructive nature of glyphosate. In another study, covered by Reuters, Roundup was linked to even more potentially deadly side effects. The story stated, “Heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new study.” The study referenced is a peer-reviewed study published in the scientific journal, Entropy. It stated that Roundup “..is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.” All in all, Roundup has been linked to a score of harmful conditions, including:
- Liver damage
- Cell system damage
Have others experienced Roundup related loss?
A number of people have filed suit against Roundup’s manufacturer Monsanto. These suits claim the chemical giant has been negligent in producing and marketing a potentially deadly chemical to them and their families. In 2016, CBS News reported on a woman, who used Roundup once a week in order to kill weeds on her one-acre property. The story states,
“Some people are landscapers, some people are migrant farm workers, some people are farmers. What everyone has in common is that they all used Roundup and they all have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
A number of men and women diagnosed with Roundup induced cancer have taken action against Monsanto in an attempt to hold the international chemical company responsible for their injuries. Monsanto generated over $4.76 billion in sales in 2015 from Roundup alone.
How much Roundup is really out there?
Each year over 250 million pounds of Roundup (glyphosate) is sprayed on food crops, backyards, driveways, gardens and a host of other locations. That’s more than 1 lb. of the chemical for every adult in America. This means that even if a person wanted to avoid contact with glyphosate, they may not be able to. Some studies have even pointed to a link between glyphosate and the recent rise in Celiacs disease (inability to properly digest gluten), due to food crops being saturated in the chemical. Monsanto has gone as far as producing genetically engineered and Roundup resistant crop seeds marketed as Roundup Resistant® seeds. This raises concerns that entire crops are now being coated in a chemical linked to life threatening cancers.
Roundup and Monsanto in summary
Roundup is one of the world’s most popular weed killers. Its active ingredient is a chemical known as glyphosate, which makes up 49% of the formulation. It is manufactured by the chemical giant Monsanto, who introduced the herbicide in 1974. Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, made a determination that Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, was a possible carcinogen. This determination was made by citing research linking the herbicide to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Most recently, Scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer showed a strong link between Roundup exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, chemical giant Monsanto adamantly denies any claims that their weed killer causes cancer. A number of men and women diagnosed with Roundup induced cancer have taken action against Monsanto in an attempt to hold the international chemical company responsible for their injuries. Monsanto generated over $4.76 billion in sales in 2015 from Roundup alone.