You have probably seen the headlines: Residues of the well-known weed killer have been discovered in a wide range of staple food products sold in top grocery food stores.
In a June report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 80 percent of urine samples collected from adults and children in the United States contained detectable levels of glyphosate.
Glyphosate has been at the center of a flood of lawsuits filed by individuals who used glyphosate products long-term in their jobs or on their lawns or gardens, and then developed cancer.
Disturbing News about Glyphosate (That Keeps Coming!)
Results of three recent nervous system-related studies, according to a summary by Beyond Pesticides, show:
- Miniscule amounts of the weed killer Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate can result in damage to the nervous system.
- Glyphosate can cross the blood-brain barrier, increasing the risk of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Glyphosate exposure is linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Glyphosate also is associated with an astounding list of other health problems, including reproductive issues, birth defects, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, gut health concerns, and more. Dr. Eliaz outlined serious health conditions and effects linked to glyphosate in this blog post.
“I believe that glyphosate is the most dangerous environmental chemical we face today due to its unique mechanism of toxicity, careless application, and pervasive presence,” writes Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., an MIT senior research scientist, in her book Toxic Legacy: How the Weedkiller Glyphosate is Destroying Our Health and the Environment.
The Alarming Rise in Glyphosate Use & Contamination of Our Foods
It is hard for many of us to grasp that glyphosate is the most heavily used chemical weed killer in food and agricultural production history and just how much our exposure to it has increased in the last quarter-century.
The use of glyphosate in the U.S. particularly skyrocketed after the introduction of herbicide-resistant, Roundup Ready genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in 1994. But glyphosate is not just sprayed on GMO crops. It also is used as a pre-harvest drying agent on non-GMO crops such as wheat, oats, and legumes. Surprisingly, the highest levels of glyphosate have consistently been found in these non-GMO foods.
It is also important to understand that glyphosate is not just on the outside of plants—it is absorbed into plants—and glyphosate contamination cannot be removed by washing or eliminated by cooking or baking.
6 Ways to Protect Yourself from Glyphosate in Foods & Our Environment
Once you understand the magnitude and severity of the glyphosate problem, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Instead of dwelling on the bad news, focus on the good news: There are savvy ways to protect yourself! Try these proactive strategies to safeguard your health:
- Buy organic foods as much as possible. Even though glyphosate is pervasive in our environment and can drift onto organic crops through wind or rain, research shows that people who eat a predominantly organic diet have significantly less glyphosate in their urine than people who consume mostly conventional foods. Look for the USDA organic label or the Regenerative Organic certified label on products.
- For an extra layer of protection, seek out products that have a Glyphosate Residue Free label. The products are tested by an accredited laboratory at least three times per year, providing extra assurance against glyphosate exposure in foods that consumers buy. More than 100 food and supplement brands and thousands of products have been certified, and many more are coming to market. You can learn more about the products that have this label at this link.
- Search for soil-health-focused local farms and food producers in your area at opens in a new windowRegenerationInternational.org and at opens in a new windowRealOrganicProject.org. Ask those that come up in your search if they use Roundup or glyphosate-based herbicides and other pesticides. If they do, take your food-purchasing dollars elsewhere.
- Do not use Roundup or other glyphosate-based herbicides in your yard or garden. Even though Bayer is removing glyphosate-based weed killers from the U.S. residential lawn and garden marketplace by 2023 because of all the glyphosate-related lawsuits against it, these products are still on the market right now. Instead of using commercial weed killers, hand-pull weeds, or leave them alone (because many plants considered by some to be “weeds” are therapeutic plants, such as dandelions!). If you feel you must get rid of weeds, make a homemade weed killer by mixing white vinegar, table salt, and dish soap and spraying onto unwanted plants. Better yet, learn how to make your lawn organic, free from the use of harmful pesticides, with The Lawncare Toolkit: The Basics of Eco-Friendly Lawncareopens PDF file by Sunday and Stonyfield Organic, two organizations that have a joint mission to help transition all fields and lawns to organic maintenance.
- Consider joining or starting a citizen group to persuade your local city government to prohibit the use of glyphosate or adopt an organic landscaping policy. Keep in mind that limiting exposure to the air you breathe and the fields you and your pets play in and walk on is just as important as it is in the food you eat. Organizations that have helped many communities across the country convert their parks and playing fields to organic landscaping free from the use of glyphosate and other harmful pesticides are Beyond Pesticides, Osborne Organics, Stonyfield Organic, and Non-Toxic Communities. Learn more at the Beyond Pesticides Organic Parks page and the Non Toxic Communities website.
- Supplement with GlyphoDetox, a first-of-its-kind pesticide detox formula, to both heal from glyphosate exposure and get daily protection against ongoing exposure. Developed by Dr. Eliaz after years of research, the revolutionary supplement contains five well-researched natural ingredients for broad-spectrum removal of and protection from glyphosate and other pesticides. Initial results of a clinical trial with four people in areas with high exposure to glyphosate found dramatic decreases in glyphosate residues in their urine samples after six weeks of supplementing with it.
Finally, feel confident knowing that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself when you take important steps to avoid glyphosate and use innovative, specifically designed supplements to bolster the body’s ability to protect against inadvertent exposure to it!
Melissa Diane Smith is a health journalist, holistic nutritionist, author of Going Against GMOs, and advocate for health-promoting real food.
(1) Glyphosate: Unsafe On Any Plate. Food Testing Results and Scientific Reasons for Concern. 2016 Report by Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project. https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.fooddemocracynow.org/images/FDN_Glyphosate_FoodTesting_Report_p2016.pdf.
(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: Glyphosate, June 2022. https://wwwn.cdc.gov/Nchs/Nhanes/2013-2014/SSGLYP_H.htm.
(3) Gillam, Carey. CDC finds weed killer tied to cancer in over 80 pct of US urine samples. The New Lede, June 9, 2022. https://www.thenewlede.org/2022/07/cdc-finds-weed-killer-tied-to-cancer-in-over-80-pct-of-us-urine-samples/.
(4) Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog. Glyphosate Weed Killer Crosses Blood-Brain Barrier, Linked to Alzheimer’s and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases. August 4, 2022. https://beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/2022/08/glyphosate-weed-killer-crosses-blood-brain-barrier-linked-to-alzheimers-and-other-neurodegenerative-diseases/.
(5) Seneff, Stephanie. Toxic Legacy: How the Weedkiller Glyphosate is Destroying Our Health and the Environment. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2021, pg. 161.
(6) Mills PJ, Kania-Korwel I, Fagan J, McEvoy LK, Laughlin GA, Barrett-Connor E. Excretion of the Herbicide Glyphosate in Older Adults Between 1993 and 2016. JAMA. 2017;318(16):1610–1611. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11726.
(7) Seneff, Toxic Legacy, pg. 11.
(8) Fagan J, Bohlen L, Patton SB, et al. Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary glyphosate levels in U.S. children and adults. Environmental Research, Volume 189, 2020, 109898. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109898.
(9) Glyphosate Residue Free Certification FAQs. The Detox Project. https://detoxproject.org/certification/glyphosate-residue-free/.