Glyphosate: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

February 27, 2020

A member of Big Food has committed to phasing out this dangerous chemical. But the fight is far from over. Action Alert!

In late 2019, Kellogg’s committed to phasing out by 2025 wheat and oats on which farmers have used glyphosate as a drying agent. This is an important step towards a complete phase out of the active ingredient in the most widely used herbicide on the planet, but what is really needed is for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban this chemical, an action the agency seems unwilling to take without significant public pressure.

ANH-USA first drew attention to this issue in 2018, when we published the results of testing we did to see how much glyphosate was present in common breakfast foods, including cereals.

The EPA has also taken action on glyphosate—to keep it on the market. The law requires the EPA to continuously review pesticide products used in the US, which is why the agency conducted an interim registration review for glyphosate. Contradicting piles of scientific evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO), and juries across the country who have awarded plaintiffs harmed by glyphosate with damages, the EPA maintains that there is “insufficient evidence to conclude that glyphosate plays a role in any human diseases.”

It seems likely that cronyism is at the heart of the EPA’s otherwise baffling decision. We reported previously willfully ignored evidence of glyphosate’s danger. An analysis found that that, compared with the WHO review finding glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen,” the EPA did not review the pertinent science when evaluating glyphosate. The EPA disregarded scientific evidence of genotoxicity associated with glyphosate—that is, the ability of glyphosate to damage cells’ genetic material, which can cause mutations that lead to cancer.

There’s more. Recently unsealed documents show that a top EPA official, Jess Rowland, promised Monsanto he would quash an effort by the Department of Health and Human Services Department (HHS) to conduct its own review of glyphosate. He was successful—the HHS review never happened. A letter from a former EPA employee dying of cancer accused Rowland of having intimidated staff, compelling them to change reports to make them favorable to Monsanto. The letter also argued that the research on glyphosate supports categorizing it as a probable human carcinogen.

Keep in mind, too, that previous research we’ve reported on found that pesticides and herbicides can be up to 1,000 times more toxic to humans than just the active ingredients themselves due to the various adjuvants that are added to the active ingredient to make a complete herbicide. The EPA seems to have taken great care to avoid any research that might suggest glyphosate and the herbicides that contain it could be dangerous.

Roundup, the name of the herbicide in which glyphosate is the active ingredient, is the most widely used herbicide in the US. Human exposure to glyphosate has increased by 500% since the introduction of genetically modified crops. Glyphosate is traditionally sprayed on genetically modified soy, corn, canola, sorghum, alfalfa, sugar beets, and cotton but it is also sprayed—sometimes right before harvest—on a substantial portion of wheat and oats grown in the US. Glyphosate is also sprayed on a wide variety of non-GMO crops such as almonds, rice, cherries, avocados, and apples.

The EPA’s decision will disproportionately hurt disadvantaged populations who cannot afford to buy organic food that isn’t sprayed with glyphosate. It will also hurt the health of those living, working, and going to school in agricultural areas where pesticide drift occurs. Groundskeepers working on lawns and golf courses are also exposed to glyphosate at higher levels. We’ve seen a deluge of court cases of those stricken with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma suing Monsanto with success. Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a groundskeeper in Northern California, recently won $298 million from a jury who decided that glyphosate caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (the judge knocked the award down to $78 million).

It is time for the EPA to listen to the multitude of experts pointing to the dangers of glyphosate and issue a ban on this chemical.

Action Alert! Write to the EPA and Congress, telling them to ban glyphosate. Please send your message immediately.

33 responses to “Glyphosate: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”

  1. Carole Henry says:

    We have plenty of evidence in regard to the harmful effects of glycosphate. It must be banned!

  2. michael earney says:

    time to stop

  3. Thomas Rowan says:

    Glyphosate has been poisoning flora, fauna, and humans for too long. It is an extreme toxin causing extreme damage. It needs to be recognized as such and be permanently banned from use anywhere in the world. Please do the right thing and save the lives you say you are protecting with this herbicide.

  4. Richard Pendarvis says:

    It is time for the EPA to listen to the multitude of experts pointing to the dangers of glyphosate and issue a ban on this chemical.

  5. Jeanine Breault says:

    It’s time to ban Glyphosate. It’s time to believe scientific facts…for the sake of the children and future of the country. It’s time t do the right thing!
    PLEASE!

  6. Patrick McIntosh says:

    None of that poison for me!

  7. PHYL says:

    BAY GLYPHOSATE NOW!!!!! FOREVER!!!! HEAVY PUNISHMENT FOR MONSANTO!

  8. Rev. Nagi Mato says:

    Glyphosate has been proven to be a danger to everything it comes in contact with. Why would you want to feed it to our loved ones is way beyond any type of intelligent decision to me.

  9. Denise says:

    Ban glyphosate now.

  10. Duncan Brown says:

    Glyphosate is an extremely dangerous chemical and its use needs to be stopped NOW. Do your job and remove this chemical from use IMMEDIATELY!!

  11. Annie D McMahon says:

    glyhphosate is one of the most destructive substances on the planet! It needs to be banned!

  12. H. Rosenberg says:

    Pesticides and herbicides can be up to 1,000 times more toxic to humans than just the active ingredients themselves due to the various adjuvants that are added to the active ingredient to make a complete herbicide.

    Roundup, the name of the herbicide in which glyphosate is the active ingredient, is the most widely used herbicide in the US. Human exposure to glyphosate has increased by 500% since the introduction of genetically modified crops. Glyphosate is traditionally sprayed on genetically modified soy, corn, canola, sorghum, alfalfa, sugar beets, and cotton but it is also sprayed—sometimes right before harvest—on a substantial portion of wheat and oats grown in the US. Glyphosate is also sprayed on a wide variety of non-GMO crops such as almonds, rice, cherries, avocados, and apples.

    The EPA’s decision will disproportionately hurt disadvantaged populations who cannot afford to buy organic food that isn’t sprayed with glyphosate. It will also hurt the health of those living, working, and going to school in agricultural areas where pesticide drift occurs. Groundskeepers working on lawns and golf courses are also exposed to glyphosate at higher levels. We’ve seen a deluge of court cases of those stricken with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma suing Monsanto with success.

  13. Tonya Stiffler says:

    It is time for the EPA to listen to the multitude of experts pointing to the dangers of glyphosate and issue a ban on this chemical.

  14. Priscilla Martinez says:

    We need to take better care of what is left of our environment, for our wildlife, and our marine life.

  15. Cara Lynn Pugh says:

    Dear EPA and Congress – please stop trying to poison everyone in the country and BAN glyphosate and other poisonous insecticides/pesticides. We don’t want to eat foods or drink liquids that have been contaminated with this toxic poison. Stop playing with our lives for your greed! Monsanto and Dow shouldn’t be near crops or any living plant or animal. They produce this toxic waste knowing it is poisoning us – stop it – get this poison out of our country!

  16. Jessica Rollins says:

    Ban glyphosate.

  17. John Paraniuk says:

    Gross criminality. All those responsible for continued disregard of public safety should not only be sued but also face criminal charges.

  18. Karen L Kirchdoerfer says:

    Pesticides are not only harmful to the farm workers, but to humans and animals who eat the produce, the water sheds into which the pesticides run, and the soil into which they seep.

  19. Robin Patten says:

    Please help protect people from dangerous pesticides and herbicides. We deserve to be kept safe.

  20. C Lenihan says:

    Listen to the multitude of experts pointing to the dangers of glyphosate and issue a ban on this chemical!!!!

  21. Patty says:

    We, the people, do NOT agree with waiting until some future date to ban the use of glyphosate and other harmful and deadly pesticides that are being sprayed on our food. I thought the GOP/KKK/Fascist Party was all about “life being sacred”, like their BS answer for women’s reproductive rights. If life is so sacred, then why are you coddling Monsanto’s profit margins by allowing them to poison foodstuffs in order to enrich themselves while doing so results in the murders of countless innocent individuals who unfortunately consume food that has been gleefully poisoned via Monsanto’s deadly products? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. But that seems to be a feature of the current criminally corrupt administration and its operatives placed as heads of departments in which they are in no way qualified to fill.

  22. Valerie Cooper says:

    Please ban glyphosate, it is poison.

    Thank you for caring.

  23. Georgia Labey says:

    Allowing the EPA to issue recommendations on the use of glyphosphate without reviewing the scientific evidence is reprehensible and clearly illustrates the dangers to public health that occur when public employees are allowed to use their offices to enrich themselves by accepting bribes from big business. What has happened to our government when no one has the integrity to speak out against these abuses?! Beware come Nov., when voters will send a clear message at the polls that we will no longer tolerate this type of corruption!

  24. Cheryl Walthour says:

    The EPA’s decision will disproportionately hurt disadvantaged populations who cannot afford to buy organic food that isn’t sprayed with glyphosate. It will also hurt the health of those living, working, and going to school in agricultural areas where pesticide drift occurs. Groundskeepers working on lawns and golf courses are also exposed to glyphosate at higher levels. We’ve seen a deluge of court cases of those stricken with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma suing Monsanto with success. Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a groundskeeper in Northern California, recently won $298 million from a jury who decided that glyphosate caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (the judge knocked the award down to $78 million).

    It is time for the EPA to listen to the multitude of experts pointing to the dangers of glyphosate and issue a ban on this chemical.

  25. Donna Rader says:

    What must we do to stop corporations from poisoning our food supply & toxifying our planet in the name of profit?

  26. Susan Homyk says:

    Please stay away from the fight for CBD etc. I have teenagers and regardless of any benefits that CBD may have the whole picture of all forms of marijuana is becoming an epidemic. The idea of CBD being safe and effective seems great but it of course leads people into believing that its ok and safe. This is very far from the truth! Kids are being bombarded with all kinds of info that toots all of it as good and they are using it in all forms in far greater numbers and any of us can imagine. the schools are unable to keep up with the fight against drugs in the school bathrooms and CBD can and is combined with so many other things that there is no way that this can ever be good. Just send one day in a high school and you will see that the marijuana movement (in all forms) is an extremely dangerous one. Our children are the ones who will suffer the most. This is not a wonder drug!

    • Gus says:

      They are referring to CBD in hemp. Hemp is NOT Marijuana. Hemp can not get you high in any form and has no psychoactive effects (while it does contain trace amounts of THC, on the order of something like 0.02%, it can NOT get you high in any way). CBD does not have psychoactive properties and can’t get you high in any amount. CBD is an all natural substance that has untold potential for human health. Hemp can be used to make paper, fuel, bio-degradable plastic, and hemp seeds have more protein and nutrients than any other plant food. Please educate yourself about this, as you obviously don’t even seem to know the difference between Hemp and Marijuana, let alone THC and CBD.

  27. Carmen A. Lopez says:

    There are other ways that can be employed to grow crops without pesticides there is no need to poison the population with glyphosate it isn’t safe and you know this. Not everyone can afford to buy organic but every person should have clean food to eat without pesticides. Please do the right thing and ban all pesticides including glyphosate NOW

  28. I sincerely and humbly ask that the EPA and Congress and the President strongly and finally BAN GLYPHOSATE from use in the USA. This chemical is dangerous and detrimental to the human body and general wellbeing of anyone who comes in contact with it. PLEASE PLEASE PUT HUMAN SAFETY ABOVE FINANCIAL PROFIT.

  29. CAROL REILLY says:

    Really? After all this time and devastation of our pollinator populations, degradation of the ground and clean, healthy soil, sicknesses in unknown numbers of people from exposure to the POISON that everyone by now knows GLYPHOSATE is………..and you, the EPA and Congress cannot agree to ban it? Shame on all of you. What don’t you get?

    We are all being poisoned. There is no getting around it, crawl out from under your rocks and wake up.

    BAN GLYPHOSATE NOW!

  30. Susan says:

    WE NEED TO HAVE CLEAN AIR TO BREATHE, CLEAN WATER TO DRINK AND CLEAN FOOD TO EAT!!!!

  31. william shepherd says:

    Keep up your good and critical work!

  32. Brett Hickmann says:

    A loved one of mine almost died from non Hochkins lymphoma and sprayed that stuff for over fifteen years. I think it’s dangerous and all these cases building up just says it’s time to end this poison from being used!!! The EPA and Trump are bad for the environment.

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