WASHINGTON – A new study out this week suggests that Americans’ exposure to the herbicide glyphosate, a possible human carcinogen, has increased by roughly 500 percent since it was first used in U.S. agriculture more than 20 years ago.
Glyphosate, manufactured by Monsanto and marketed under the name Roundup, is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It is applied to genetically modified corn and soybean fields to kill weeds, and is also sprayed on conventionally grown wheat, oats, barley and edible soybeans just before harvest.
The participants in this study weren’t farmers or folks who live adjacent to farm fields, but residents of the Rancho Bernardo, a retirement community east of San Diego, Calif. Scientists from the University of California, San Diego, and the Iowa-based Health Research Institute Laboratories measured glyphosate and its breakdown product in 100 residents of Rancho Bernardo who are enrolled in a long-term healthy aging study. They collected five sets of samples between 1993 and 2016. Glyphosate was sporadically detected in the 1990s, but found in 70 percent of recent samples, and at amounts twice as high.
“This study is some of the strongest evidence to date that Monsanto’s glyphosate has infiltrated the U.S. food supply and has found its way into the bodies of most Americans,” said Olga Naidenko, senior science advisor for children’s environmental health at EWG. “We are talking about a chemical that can increase the risk of cancer and affect a fetus’ development. This latest research further underscores how the health of the American people is at risk from chemical agribusiness.”
The study was published on October 24 in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.
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