Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Increasingly Showing Up In People’s Bodies

On Tuesday, a study published by the JAMA revealed that the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup is showing up in people’s bodies, possibly contributing to poor health in farming communities where the herbicide is regularly used.

In the JAMA research study entitled, “Excretion of the Herbicide Glyphosate in Older Adults Between 1993 and 2016,” the authors question whether the popular herbicide contributes to “adverse health effects” in a study of a group of adults over 50, living in Southern California.

The researchers, led by University of California San Diego professor of public health and family medicine, Paul Mills, revealed that there was a 500 percent increase of people “who tested positive for a chemical called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.”

Between 1993 and 2016, researchers collected urine samples from 100 participants in the study. The test cases were all over 50, and hailed from Southern California, mainly from farming communities.

According to Time, there has been very few studies on the effects of Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup on humans, but animal studies “show some concern.” The results on rats contributed to a greater chance for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is an “umbrella term” for fat in the liver, which essentially can lead to inflammation and possibly to “cirrhosis and liver failure.”

Lead author Mills is concerned that there has been so little studied on the human effect of this ubiquitous Monsanto weed killer. His intention is to fill in the “gap,” study the effects and make the results public.

“From my perspective it’s remarkable that we have been ingesting a lot of this chemical over the last couple of decades. But the biomedical literature hasn’t said much about its effects on people. That’s a gap that we endeavored to address and bring more awareness to with this study.”

Mills, who heads the Herbicide Awareness & Research Project at UCSD, is investigating the relationship between such herbicides as Monsanto’s Roundup, and liver disease. First, he wants to determine if participants are ingesting the herbicide through food products that were sprayed, or if they are breathing in the herbicide in their daily life on the farm.

What does Monsanto have to say about the study? They told Time that the results were what have been previously reported. Their explanation for the “trace amounts” were found in urine is because one of the main function of urination is to rid the body of “non-essential substances.”

“The amounts reported are consistent with prior reports from the U.S. and Europe and do not raise health concerns. Since food is often grown using pesticides, trace amounts can sometimes be found in people’s urine, which is one way our bodies get rid of non-essential substances.”

Monsanto created Roundup as the solution to dealing with weeds in fields of genetically modified crops. Over the years, have been reports of Roundup creep, with traces of the herbicide found in the crops of neighboring fields. Thus, there is no guarantee that an organic farmer’s crop, that is grown next to crops that are treated with Roundup, should be free of the active ingredient of Roundup.

But the biggest problem of all is that Roundup is no longer working on the weeds, and farmers are waiting for Monsanto to create other long-term solutions. Dicamba has been one controversial replacement, but this has led to other complicated issues with neighboring fields.

What do you think of this recent study reporting that traces of the active ingredient of Monsanto’s Roundup are found in urine samples?

[Featured Image by Brent Stirton/Getty Images]