Opinion: Use of ‘Roundup’ needs more scrutiny, says Hopkinton resident
Friday, July 19, 2019 - 6:42 am

“Roundup" is really a layman term for a combination of many different chemicals. C3H8NO5P, glyphosate is the main component of herbicide formulas in over 750 products in the US.

In use since 1974, glyphosate's ploriforation came, coincidently, on the heels of banning DDT in 1972. Just like DDT, glyphosate is not "just a pesticide", it is a biocide. Through glyphosate's non-selective kill it is responsible for the weakening of ecosystems globally.

In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”, basing their decision on studies showing the presence of tumors in glyphosate-treated lab animals, and epidemiology studies showing higher rates of cancer in farmers that used glyphosate. Their research showed glyphosate damages chromosomes, a route by which cancer is induced. Glyphosate is ubiquitous, in everything including our bodies as well as newborn babies and mother's breast milk. Scientists found that 90% of women had glyphosate residues in their system. The implications are concerning, considering our chance of getting cancer is approximately a one in three risk.

"Research" done by chemical companies and their affiliates need to be heavily scrutinized, as findings may be reflective of the financial benefit derived from "proving the safety and efficacy" of such products.

We can choose to be skeptical of the science demonstrating roundup/glyphosate hazardous to our planet, plants, animals, and humans or.... we could err on the side of caution.

There are many things that we humans do not yet comprehend and may not for many years to come. Unfortunately, companies do not wait for "the science" to show conclusively that something is safe, especially when profit is concerned. The data is grossly incomplete with chemicals in general. We do not understand many things about how glyphosate and other chemicals effect the small, yet not inconsequential, things such as the gut bacteria of bees and humans. We do not "know everything" about the long-term effects of this chemical on the human immune system, or the effects of chemical combinations.

We are exposed through many avenues including the foods we eat, garden/lawn applications, farm spraying, roadside spraying, and more. Glyphosate is now in our water and soil. We cannot wait for the science to tell us that this is unhealthy for our children, we have to act now.

The good news is we can each do something to lesson the impact of the chemical industry on our planet and our health: buy organic food, buy local growers who do not use chemicals, grow our own food, stop spraying lawns/property with chemicals, try more natural methods for landscaping and gardening, buy organic clothing/cloth (cotton crops are sprayed with herbicides), buy second hand clothing, talk to your neighbors about these issues, and be part of the current discussion about the use of glyphosate locally.

Janis Pease

Hopkinton