What is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate is the world’s most used herbicide; the active ingredient in the most commonly used weed killer in the world: Monsanto’s Roundup, and used widely on crops around the world, including here in the UK.
Government figures show glyphosate’s use in UK farming has increased by a whopping 400% in the last 20 years. Between 2014 – 2016 the total area treated with glyphosate increased by 24%, and on top of that, the amount of glyphosate applied in that area increased by 26%.
Why we should all know what Glyphosate is:
In 2015, a report by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that glyphosate is a ‘probable carcinogen’ (a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue). The animals in the World Health Organisation’s lab tests had developed ‘excesses of rare tumours’. In human studies, a strong link was found between regular exposure to glyphosate and ‘an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Glyphosate’s manufacturers insist the levels in our food are safe, but research published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggests there is no safe level of glyphosate in food. Yet, the UK governments’ DEFRA Committee (Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs) on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) found glyphosate present in over 60% of wholemeal breads they sampled.
In May 2019, a California jury ordered Monsanto, the producer of Roundup1, to pay more than $2bn to a couple that got cancer after using its weed killer in their garden. This was the third case that Monsanto2 had lost and, at the time of the hearing, there were over 13,400 similar cases open against Monsanto in the United States alone.
Where is Glyphosate banned?
Since the court cases, and due to mounting evidence of Glyphosate’s noxious side effects, many individual countries worldwide have introduced legislation to ban or restrict private sales of glyphosate, or restrictions on spraying glyphosate in public spaces3.
In 2017, EU member states narrowly voted to relicense glyphosate for a period of five years, but the decision was not without controversy. France and Italy have stated they will carry out glyphosate bans by 2020, and Germany announced in 2018 that it will also issue a glyphosate ban.
In the UK, despite Homebase announcing it would be reviewing all products containing Glyphosate (including Roundup and Ranger Pro) weed killers containing Glyphosate are still available for consumers to buy and use at home.
We don’t make a habit of scaremongering, but we feel this is pretty scary stuff and at PURE we don’t want this weed killer getting into any of our products. As organic farmers, you can rest assured that we never use glyphosate on our crops.
PURE and ORGANICALLY GROWN
1 For more details on the case of Monsanto being ordered to pay $2bn for causing cancer;
2 Further articles on Glyphosate causing cancer can be read here;
3 Glyphosate application restricted in public places;
The latest update on Monsanto’s Roundup lawsuits is here;
Be sure that your drink is Glyphosate free. Drink PURE.