Glyphosate… This isn’t the first time we’re talking about Monsanto’s cancerous, disease-promoting weed killer and it won’t be the last. If you aren’t familiar with it, the chemical glyphosate is arguably the most concerning toxin in Monsanto’s popular herbicide, RoundUp. In fact, evidence against the toxic chemical is mounting – just look at the findings below.
- Monsanto’s Cancer-Causing Herbicide Detected in Organic Foods
- Monsanto’s Toxic Herbicide, Roundup, Has Been Found in These Feminine Hygiene Products
How Is Glyphosate Harmful to Humans?
In addition to the articles above, intensifying exposure around the world has proven to be detrimental not only to the environment but to the human race. It’s daunting but necessary to be aware of, so we’ve listed the most common glyphosate dangers.
20 Scary Glyphosate Side Effects
From labs to animals to humans, numerous studies highlight the real (and potential) dangers of glyphosate exposure – and it’s not pretty.
- ADHD [1,2]
- Birth defects (e.g., Anencephaly, imperforate anus, growth hormone deficiency) [3,4]
- Autism 
- Inflammatory bowel disease 
- Neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) [6,7]
- Cancer (i.e., of the brain, breast) [8-10]
- Diabetes 
- Celiac disease and gluten intolerance 
- Respiratory illnesses 
- Chronic kidney disease 
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 
- Colitis 
- Liver disease 
- Depression 
- Heart disease 
- Reproductive and pregnancy problems (e.g., infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths) [17-19]
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) 
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 
- Hypothyroidism 
- Obesity 
However, what you might be surprised to find is that glyphosate is not the only chemical in Monsanto’s RoundUp that should worry you. Yes – even if you do not personally use it.
What Are Other Dangers of Glyphosate-Based Pesticides?
In a December 2017 study published in Toxicology Reports, scientists analyzed the effects of glyphosate on its own as well as 14 of its formulations. Surprisingly, in the herbicide formulations, glyphosate was not the major toxic compound.
“We exposed plants and human cells to the components of formulations, both mixed and separately, and measured toxicity and human cellular endocrine disruption below the direct toxicity experimentally measured threshold. [Glyphosate] was only slightly toxic on plants at the recommended dilutions in agriculture, in contrast with the general belief.”
Researchers actually found something unexpected:
- Potentially toxic levels of arsenic, chromium, cobalt, lead, and nickel
- Herbicides made with petroleum-based compounds were more toxic than glyphosate
“The toxic effects and endocrine disrupting properties of the formulations were mostly due to the formulants and not to [glyphosate].
In this work, we also identified by mass spectrometry the heavy metals arsenic, chromium, cobalt, lead and nickel, which are known to be toxic and endocrine disruptors, as contaminants in 22 pesticides, including 11 [glyphosate-based] ones.”
Health Concerns of Toxins Other Than Glyphosate
Arsenic, a known carcinogen, can increase your risk of “skin, lung, bladder, kidney, and liver cancer. Dermatological, developmental, neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular, immunological, and endocrine effects are also evident” well into adulthood.
Chromium(6) exposure, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, can lead to “occupational asthma, eye irritation and damage, perforated eardrums, respiratory irritation, kidney damage, liver damage, pulmonary congestion and edema, upper abdominal pain, nose irritation and damage, respiratory cancer, skin irritation, and erosion and discoloration of the teeth.”
Cobalt, although found in rocks, soil, water, plants and animals, can also exist in radioactive forms. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, radioactive cobalt can damage cells and possibly lower your white blood cell count, thus compromising your immunity.
Lead exposure – especially over extended periods of time – can increase your risk of anemia, weakness, kidney and brain damage, and even death. Since lead can cross the placental barrier, pregnant women also run the risk of their child being born with a damaged nervous system.
Nickel exposure occurs most often through inhalation. (Toxic pesticides, anyone?) The most common health concerns of nickel are lung and nasal sinus cancer, reduced or weakened lung function, and chronic bronchitis.
Petroleum-based products, depending on the concentration, can result in headaches, dizziness, nausea, and breathing problems. Chronic exposure (which isn’t far-fetched when you consider how frequently herbicides like RoundUp are used) can also damage your nervous system, blood, and kidneys.
The Dangers of Glyphosate Herbicide in Wine and Beer Can’t Be Ignored
Now, not only must we worry about the effects of glyphosate but of the toxic formulations it can contain, too. The reason we believe this reality cannot be ignored any longer is because glyphosate exposure is most likely part of your everyday. Don’t believe it?
In March 2016, Moms Across America received the results from a lab test analyzing toxicity levels in 10 (some of them organic) wines. They were appalled to find “all ten of the wines tested positive for the chemical glyphosate, the declared ‘active’ ingredient in RoundUp weed killer and 700 other glyphosate-based herbicides.”
Although it’s not clear whether this independent report has been peer-reviewed, the commissioned analysis via Microbe Inotech Lab in St. Louis, Missouri should make anyone question the extent to which their food is contaminated.
That same year, in February, the purity of German beer came under fire after a German environmental group claimed to have found traces of glyphosate in 14 of its most popular beers.
Despite having a reputation for “pure” brewing, the Munich Environmental Institute’s (MEI) report was right. As reported by Reuters, MEI “said it had tested Germany’s 14 top-selling beer brands and said all showed traces above the 0.1 microgram limit allowed in drinking water.”
The German Brewer’s Association isn’t in any rush to change legislation either, claiming that “the herbicide is now found virtually everywhere after decades of use in agriculture.” Unfortunately, that’s precisely the kind of mindset that will prevent our food and drinks from being as clean and safe as possible.
Sometimes, problems overseas can seem too far away to impact you. Clearly, however, glyphosate toxicity is something that is literally affecting people around the globe, including the United States. So much so that, even if an American beer company wasn’t intentionally using glyphosate, the toxic chemical could still end up in your beverage by virtue of how much is in circulation. Unless your beer comes from a tiny, local brewery with untouched crops… unfortunately, you can probably bet that it will come into contact with glyphosate at some point during the brewing process.
It’s true – you are your own best advocate. So, sitting back is not an option if you don’t want to be eating and drinking toxic, life-threatening chemicals.
Here’s A Brief List of Surprising Alternatives to RoundUp
- Avenger Weed Killer
- Horticultural Vinegar
- “Rid a Weed”
- BurnOut II
- 20% Vinegar Herbicide
- Acetic Acid
- Homemade Salt and Vinegar Mixtures
Unfortunately, glyphosate and other toxic chemicals are a reality that isn’t leaving anytime soon. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it all. We hope this article has helped grow your awareness and knowledge of how you can lead healthier, toxin-free lives.