Glyphosate is a herbicide and the active ingredient in Roundup®, a popular weed killer made by Monsanto. Some government agencies disagree about the potential health consequences of the chemical, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Those injured as a result of exposure to glyphosate may be able to file a Roundup lawsuit.
Roundup and Glyphosate
Since Roundup hit the shelves in 1974, glyphosate has been an active ingredient in the popular weed killer. In fact, Monsanto chemists were the ones who first developed glyphosate in the early 1970s.
Glyphosate and Roundup were hailed as a revolution in the farming industry. Unlike other herbicides, glyphosate killed almost any weed that it touched. Glyphosate was also thought to be safe for human use and for the environment — until recent research suggested otherwise.
Monsanto still promotes Roundup as “one of, if not the safest, herbicides in history,” even as lawsuits and leading national health organizations link glyphosate to cancer.
How Does Glyphosate Herbicide Cause Cancer?
A 2019 study found that glyphosate increased the risk of cancer, namely non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, by 41%.
However, this statistic is primarily true for people with the highest rates of glyphosate exposure or, in other words, people who use glyphosate-containing products on a consistent basis.
People can be exposed to glyphosate if:
- It gets on their skin or in their eyes
- They breathe it in during use
- They swallow it, typically by eating or smoking after use without first washing their hands
- They touch plants and crops that are still covered in the wet spray
Luckily, glyphosate does not easily absorb into humans’ skin. Additionally, if a person absorbs or ingests glyphosate, it will typically pass through their body in a relatively short amount of time.
However, for people with long-term repeated exposure, health consequences may include eye and skin irritation, burns in the throat and mouth, nausea, vomiting, amongst others.
According to the National Pesticide Information Center, it is important to note that glyphosate-containing products may contain other ingredients that increase the product’s overall toxicity, possibly increasing a person’s risk of cancer.
Is Roundup the Same Thing As Glyphosate?
No, glyphosate is the base chemical and active ingredient used to make Roundup. Along with containing a concentrate of glyphosate, Roundup contains other chemicals and liquids, including water.
Roundup is also patented and sold by Monsanto exclusively. While the glyphosate molecule is no longer under patent, it was developed and patented by Monsanto in the 1970s and marketed as Roundup starting in 1973. Other companies have since developed herbicides that use glyphosate.
Is Roundup More Toxic Than Glyphosate Alone?
According to evidence from U.S. government researchers, some weed killers, including Roundup, may be more toxic to human cells than just their active ingredient alone.
The NTP recently conducted an examination of herbicides that contained glyphosate along with other chemicals. The agency found that formulations containing glyphosate disrupted the cell membranes of human cells. Their work shows that these glyphosate formulations have enhanced toxicity — and that they kill human cells.
“We see the formulations are much more toxic. The formulations were killing the cells. The glyphosate really didn’t do it.” – Mike DeVito, acting chief of the National Toxicology Program Laboratory
However, in order to fully understand the risks of glyphosate, additional testing must be done.
How Much Glyphosate Is in Roundup?
The amount of glyphosate in Roundup varies. Most 2.5- and 5-gallon jugs of Roundup contain a 50.2% concentrate of glyphosate.
In the 1980s, the Roundup used in a study on human skin contained 41% glyphosate. Other herbicides sold today (such as Ranger Pro®, also made by Monsanto) also contain 41% glyphosate as well.
What Products Contain Glyphosate?
During the time that glyphosate was under patent, Monsanto held exclusive rights to the chemical compound. However, once its patents expired — with the latest being the U.S. patent, which expired in 2000 — other companies began manufacturing glyphosate-based herbicides.
The lists below detail which manufacturers produce glyphosate-containing weed killers, as well as the manufacturers’ specific products that use glyphosate as an active ingredient.
- Fallow Master®
- Ranger Pro
- RT 3®
- Abundit Extra®
- Hoss Ultra®
- Mad Dog®
If you have used any of the products listed above or another type of glyphosate-based weed killer, reach out to Sokolove Law, an experienced Roundup law firm. We may be able to help you receive compensation.
Information and Data About Glyphosate
Due to the widespread use of Roundup and glyphosate, it’s important to know whether they are actually safe to use or not. Unfortunately, leading scientific organizations are not in agreement about these issues.
IARC Information About Glyphosate
The IARC first announced that glyphosate could cause cancer in March 2015. The agency classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and specifically noted its link to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The IARC found:
- Limited evidence linking glyphosate to cancer in humans (by “limited evidence,” the IARC means there is a positive association between the chemical and cancer, though other factors also need to be explored)
- Sufficient evidence linking pure glyphosate to cancer in lab animals
- Strong evidence of genotoxicity (DNA damage that can lead to cancer) in both pure glyphosate and formulas containing it
In 2016, the agency ruled out the possibility that other chemicals found alongside glyphosate could be the cause of the cancer. The IARC ultimately concluded that glyphosate, both in its pure form and in combination with other chemicals, may lead to cancer.
EPA Information About Glyphosate
The EPA does not currently believe that glyphosate poses a health risk to humans when used as directed by herbicide manufacturers.
In 1985, the EPA believed glyphosate could possibly cause cancer after a study linked the chemical to tumors in mice. However, the EPA re-evaluated the study in 1991 and determined that the chemical was not dangerous to humans.
Further studies in 2017 and 2019 supported the EPA’s 1991 conclusion. The agency also refuted the IARC’s conclusion that glyphosate was dangerous.
However, the EPA noted that animals may suffer from intestinal or digestive issues if they eat or touch plants that have been recently sprayed with glyphosate.
The EPA also regulates the amount of pesticides that crops can maintain. As of 2020, the EPA believes that trace amounts of glyphosate in crops such as corn and soybeans will not harm consumers.
FDA Information about Glyphosate
Like the EPA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not believe the current levels of glyphosate in crops and produce are dangerous to humans.
The FDA tested nearly 900 samples of corn, soybeans, milk, and eggs for glyphosate through 2016 and 2017 and found no glyphosate residue in any milk or egg samples.
Nearly 60% of the corn and soybean samples had trace amounts of glyphosate, but the amount was within the acceptable limits established by the EPA.
The FDA will continue to test the glyphosate levels in crops and publish their findings.
File a Roundup Lawsuit With Sokolove Law
Victims of glyphosate-caused injuries may be able to file a lawsuit and receive compensation by working with national law firm Sokolove Law.
Our team of case managers is available 24/7 to answer your questions. If you believe you may be eligible to file a Roundup lawsuit, call Sokolove Law today at (800) 995-1212 or start a free case review.
All brands are trademarks of their respective companies.