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Toxins in our Daily Lives: The Dangers of Glyphosate

Glyphosate has made national news in recent years due to a series of lawsuits against Roundup, alleging that the glyphosate-based herbicide has caused numerous cases of cancer, earning the toxin a reputation as one of the deadliest chemicals on store shelves.

Perhaps more shockingly is the fact that traces of glyphosate, an herbicide designed specifically to kill grass and other weeds, are also found in a number of different food items.


How has glyphosate found its way into our pantries?

There are several foods genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate. These foods include corn, soy, cotton, canola, alfalfa, and wheat. Glyphosate is also used as a desiccant to kills off any remaining green parts of crops when they are harvested. These crops include wheat, barley, rice, sugar cane, sugar beets, canola, cotton, beans, peas, sweet potatoes, and oats. Fertilizers made from the feces of animals fed genetically modified corn and soy have also contained the contaminant.


What effect does glyphosate have on our bodies?

In addition to cancer, glyphosate is also linked to causing kidney disease and birth defects. Glyphosate also kills off beneficial bacteria in the body and soil, but not certain harmful bacteria or funguses. It impairs liver detoxification at lower levels than other pesticides; and depletes nutrients such as iron, manganese, and zinc in plants.


Other sources of glyphosate to be mindful of:

2,4-D is an herbicide that is combined with glyphosate and is more toxic than Roundup.

Examples include Scott’s Turfbuilder Weed and Feed or Enlist Duo ( part of Agent Orange)

2, 4-D causes neuritis, peripheral neuropathy, mitochondrial damage, and seizures. “Inert” ingredients of Roundup, such as POEA, may also be more toxic than glyphosate, however labeling this ingredient as non-toxic has allowed companies to not do toxicity tests.


How can we avoid contact with glyphosate?

Glyphosate can be avoided by eating wheat, corn, and soy in their organic form and avoiding the genetically modified foods listed previously. Other foods to avoid include meat from animals that have been fed genetically modified soy and corn, as well as any foods grown with fertilizer that includes feces from animals that have been fed genetically modified corn and soy.


Glyphosate can also be avoided by not using glyphosate-containing herbicides as a form of lawn care. Take caution of exposure to lawns on which it has been used (don't walk barefoot or sit in the grass). Avoid being outside while a neighbor is spraying it, especially when it is windy.




Additional Sources:

Miller, Korin. “What Is Glyphosate? EWG Finds Weed Killer in Popular Cereal Brands.” Prevention, July 12, 2019.

Telford, Taylor. “Judge to slash $2 billion Award for Couple with Cancer in Roundup Lawsuit.” The Washington Post, July 19, 2019.

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Visit bloomnaturaldoctors.com for more information.

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Dr. Sharon Hunter & Dr. Christine Louden

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