Roundup is one of the most popular weed killers in the world.
It is used by farmers and homeowners alike, in fields, lawns and gardens.
Many studies claim that Roundup is safe and environmentally friendly.
However, other studies have linked it to serious health issues like cancer.
This article takes a detailed look at Roundup and its health effects.
What is Roundup (Glyphosate)?
Roundup is a very popular herbicide, or weed killer. It is produced by Monsanto, and was first introduced by them in 1974.
This weed killer is most commonly used in agriculture. It is also used by the forestry industry, cities and private homeowners.
Roundup is a non-selective herbicide, meaning that it will kill most plants it comes in contact with.
However, the human digestive system does contain microorganisms that make use of this pathway.
Bottom Line: Roundup is a popular weed killer. The active ingredient, glyphosate, is also found in many other herbicides. It kills plants by interfering with a specific metabolic pathway.
Roundup and Glyphosate May Be Different
On the other hand, Roundup has long been considered one of the safest herbicides available on the market (6).
However, Roundup contains more than just glyphosate. It also contains a lot of other ingredients, which help make it a potent weed killer. Some of these ingredients may even be kept secret by the manufacturer and called inerts (7).
Therefore, studies showing safety of isolated glyphosate may not apply to the entire Roundup mixture, which is a blend of many chemicals.
Bottom Line: Roundup has been linked to many diseases, but is still considered a safe herbicide by many organizations. It contains a lot of other ingredients that may be more toxic than glyphosate alone.
Roundup Has Been Associated with Cancer
In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (13).
Put simply, this means glyphosate has the potential to cause cancer. The agency based their conclusion on observational studies, animal studies and test tube studies.
The studies that are available mainly include farmers and people who work with the herbicide.
However, several other studies have found no connection. One huge study of more than 57,000 farmers found no link between glyphosate use and lymphoma (18).
The most recent update on the matter comes from the European Union Food Safety Authority (EFSA), who concluded that glyphosate is not likely to cause DNA damage or cancer (21).
However, the EFSA looked at studies of only glyphosate, while the WHO looked at studies on both isolated glyphosate and products containing glyphosate as an ingredient, such as Roundup.
Bottom Line: Some studies have linked glyphosate to certain cancers, while others have found no connection. The effects of isolated glyphosate may differ from products that contain glyphosate as one of many ingredients.
Roundup May Affect Your Gut Bacteria
There are hundreds of different types of microorganisms in your gut, most of which are bacteria (22).
Roundup may negatively affect these bacteria. It blocks the shikimate pathway, which is important for both plants and microorganisms (24).
However, this needs to studied a lot more before any conclusions can be reached.
Bottom Line: Glyphosate disrupts a pathway that is important for the friendly bacteria in the digestive system. Read more at Authority Nation.