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What is glyphosate and does it cause cancer? - Metro US

What is glyphosate and does it cause cancer?

What is glyphosate?

Unsafe levels of glyphosate were found in popular oat cereals, oatmeal and granola snack bars according to a recent report.

Laboratory tests conducted by the Environmental Working Group show that nearly three-quarters of food samples tested contained glyphosate levels higher than what EWG scientists consider to be “protective of children’s health.” The group tested 45 samples of oat-based food products and found that all but two of the products tested contained high levels of glyphosate. 

What is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is an active ingredient in some herbicide products including the weed-killer Roundup, made by Monsanto.

Glyphosate is also linked to cancer. Last week, a California Supreme Court jury granted $289 million dollars in damages to groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson after his attorney argued that the Roundup weed killer was responsible for causing this terminal cancer.

Despite the recent ruling at the Super Court of California in San Francisco, Monsanto, the company that makes Roundup argues that its product does not cause cancer and has “more than 40-year history of safe use,” according to Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge.

What is Glyphosate and does it cause cancer?

Products containing glyphosate as an ingredient

Glyphosate is typically found in widely used herbicides. According to the pest control online shop Do-It-Yourself Pest Control, glyphosate is found in Rodeo Aquatic Herbicide, Eraser and Roundup herbicide products.

The website notes that glyphosate is used to target broadleaf weeds, grasses and woody plants. Since it is only absorbed through plant leaves and stems and not by roots, the website says it can be used around other plants and will not cause harm. 

Does Glyphosate cause cancer?

Despite the California jury awarding Johnson $289 million because it was determined that the groundskeeper’s terminal cancer was caused by glyphosate, German pharmaceutical group and parent company of Monsanto argues that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

“Bayer is confident, based on the strength of the science, the conclusions of regulators around the world and decades of experience, that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer when used according to the label,” a spokesperson said to the BBC.

Several health organizations including The Center for Food Safety and World Health Organizations consider glyphosate a “probable carcinogen,” meaning that it is a substance that can cause cancer.  

What is glyphosate and does it cause cancer?

How to avoid glyphosate

While it is difficult to avoid foods that may contain glyphosate residues, it is always recommended to use plain water or organic produce cleanser to thoroughly wash away any visible dirt or residue.   Aside from cleaning or rinsing produce thoroughly, peeling off the top layer of certain types of produce such as lettuce and cabbage can reduce exposure to pesticides. 

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