Home / Country Life / Are we being poisoned by glyphosate or is this an attorney-get-rich scheme?

Are we being poisoned by glyphosate or is this an attorney-get-rich scheme?

By Don “Doc” Sanders

You probably have seen the television commercials of the law firm Moose & Moose (name changed to protect the guilty), encouraging you to sign up to get a payout for a family member who has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), allegedly caused by Roundup. You know them, I’m sure. One has a cheap toupee. The other is like me — with his own hair, but old.

This seems to be another get-rich-quick scheme that law firms are leeching onto, to reach families who have a loved one newly-diagnosed with NHL cancer. Roundup, aka glyphosate, is a chemical herbicide that efficiently kills broadleaf weeds in crops. It has an unparalleled safety record.

It did, anyway, until 2015, when the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that even though there was no evidence that glysophate was carcinogenic, it “might” cause cancer. This set the news media off, spreading the scare. Naturally, it also set off California regulators, who developed new rules for glyphosate, not because there was cancer evidence, but as a “precautionary principle.”

Nonetheless, glyphosate has been cleared of causing cancer by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health Canada, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the German BfR, an agency dedicated to strengthening consumer health protection.

You may remember from an Ohio’s Country Journal column I wrote in 2018 about the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declaring that Roundup “may” cause cancer. Here’s a snippet from that column:

“In 2015, the United Nations’ International Agency for Research on Cancer also classified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ noting alleged evidence of glyphosate being associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“It was later discovered that a National Institute of Health (NIH) employee with access to the data conveniently withheld relevant glyphosate data from the 2015 IARC study. When all this data was included, it was clear that no association existed between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

Glyphosate has been around for 40 years. In that time, there’s been no scientific documentation reported by the EPA or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it causes cancer. Please understand that in the court of public opinion, just because a jury of 12 is presented a lawyerly argument that glysophate causes cancer, doesn’t make it so.

This time the “gang of deceptors” used the original data and combined it with five other studies to report a new conclusion. About 20 cases of NHL are diagnosed per 100,000 humans annually. The alarmists report that glyphosate increased the incidence of NHL by 41%.

In reality, the NHL cancer relative risk rate increased to 1.41%. That amounts to one additional new case annually per 100,000 individuals. I don’t want to minimize the pain, suffering and life-threatening diagnosis of NHL for anyone. But really? One new case!

Following the IARC’s screwed up interpretation, a new epidemiological joint survey was completed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and presented to the United Nations and the WHO. They concluded, from a study of 45,000 people who handled Roundup in the 1990s, that the herbicide poses no cancer risks in our food, and that it does not affect our genetics.

Glyphosate has an extraordinarily short half-life on crops. This means that Roundup doesn’t leave residues, unlike the old chemical compounds of 50 years ago. Those earlier herbicides were environmentally long-lasting products. For instance, atrazine and dieldrin were sometimes detected in the water supply at unsafe levels after applications of the herbicides were made outside the legal approval use.

As a further protection today, farmers can’t just go to the field and spray a crop with any herbicide whenever they please. The EPA requires that farmers and custom operators attend training classes on the use of chemical herbicides and pass a written test prior to using any chemical herbicide.

And be aware that there are no areas in the world where chemicals can’t be detected. The key is the level detected. In the case of glyphosate, recommended dose levels are 1,000 times less than the minimum levels that might cause health issues. A good analogy is salt we use in our diet. A dash of salt often makes food tastier. Salt applied in large amounts, though, can be unhealthy — even lethal in extremely excessive amounts.

Even organic foods are not residue-free. Organic foods are grown under different approved chemical use standards, certified by the National Organic Program as safe at the dosage prescribed, just as Roundup is classified safe by the EPA under different standards.

No matter how the food you eat is grown — under National Organic Program certification or EPA regulations — I recommend washing your fresh fruits and vegetables prior to serving.

Glyphosate References

  1. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/is-glyphosate-poison/
  2. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/glyphosate-in-food/
  3. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/are-pesticides-safe-for-food-consumption/
  4. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/are-pesticides-needed-to-grow-food/
  5. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/difference-pesticide-free-organic/
  6. https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2019/02/18/41-glyphosate-cancer-increase-claim-under-fire-did-the-authors-of-new-meta-study-deliberately-manipulate-data-or-just-botch-their-analysis/

Donald E. Sanders, DVM, is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenology, the branch of veterinary medicine concerned with reproduction, including the physiology and pathology of male and female reproductive systems of animals and the clinical practice of veterinary obstetrics, gynecology, and andrology.

A practicing veterinarian since 1968, Dr. Sanders has consulted on the reproduction of cattle, horses, swine, sheep, and small animals in Ohio and throughout the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Korea, China, and Japan. He was named by Bovine Practitioner Journal as one of the Top 20 Bovine Veterinarians in North America in 2013 and has authored numerous books on cattle and swine reproduction. From 2006-2013, Dr. Sanders served as an Associate Clinical Professor for the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State University, Marysville, Ohio.

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62 comments

  1. on july 12, 2019 federal judge VinceChhabria denied monsanto a new trial. He ruled that EdwinHardeman presented sufficient admissable evidence to the jury that exposure to roundup caused his cancer Bloomberg Report . sounds a lot like roundup causes cancer. maybe i”m reading it wrong. this article by don sanders is so riddled with lies its astounding. why don”t you wait till monsanto starts winning in court and then you can lie some more. I”ve farmed for 50 years, three of my neighbors within three miles all got diagnosed with cancer this spring. they all started using roundup in the late 90’s . probably a coincidence

    • The article is factually correct.
      A civil suit has nothing to do with science.
      Jurors are NOT scientists.
      Lawyers lie to win money

      • I hear this stupid comment all the time… “jurors are not scientists.”

        Are jurors experts in forensic science, when it comes to murder cases?

        Are jurors expert in the banking industry and financial management, when it comes to fraud cases?

        For that matter, are jurors expert in anything, that’s presented to them in any litigation or court case, whether it is state or civil?

        Of course not.
        What jurors are expected to do, is to evaluate the evidence that is presented to them from both sides, and judge that evidence objectively.

        Your argument that “jurors are not scientists” is irrelevant, ridiculous and completely lacks the understanding of how the court system works.

        • No. and OJ approves 😉

          What jurors are “expected to do” and what they do is very different, especially when emotions are involved. There are plenty of articles exploring why courts are not the place to evaluate science.

          • Hugo, that is completely preposterous, because you’re calling into question every court case / hearing that has involved juries.

            “There are plenty of articles exploring why courts are not the place to evaluate science.”

            Really, and you didn’t even produce one?

            If there are “plenty” as you claim, you could at least provide 10 examples.

            • No, courtrooms are TERRIBLE places to decide science. All they told us, in this case, was that the plaintiff’s lawyer was the more charismatic one and that the jury felt, understandably, sorry for the victim. They could not in the course of a trial learn the principles of the scientific method, the basics of chemistry and physiology, and the rules of statistics. There is NO––absolutely NO––evidence at this time that glyphosate causes cancer (and it should be mentioned that RoundUp is not the only form in which glyphosate is applied; other formulations have different vehicles and adjuvants). We’re unleashing another wave of witless anti-science mobs like the ones attacking vaccines and wheat products. God help us.

        • Your insistence that “Your argument that ‘jurors are not scientists’ is irrelevant, ridiculous and completely lacks the understanding of how the court system works” shows you completely lack understanding of how science works, and how rocky a relationship it has with the court system. In fact, no, not even forensic science can be assumed to be understood by jurors OR judges, nor can its limitations.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2017/09/28/judges-are-terrible-at-distinguishing-good-science-from-bad-its-time-we-stopped-asking-them-to-do-it/?noredirect=on

      • Forrest Clinton Johnson

        From an article dated May 19th 2019:

        The researchers performed a meta-analysis of the epidemiological research around glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In a meta-analysis, scientists combine and analyze data from multiple studies and look for broad trends in the research. The team found a “compelling link” between exposure to glyphosate-based weedkillers and NHL. The study concluded that people exposed to glyphosate at the highest levels have 41 percent higher risk of contracting non-Hodgkin lymphoma than people who aren’t, a measure known as “relative risk” in epidemiology.

        Science, a relative word, 17 countries have banned the product roundup and the World Health Organization says that studies show that Roundup is carsonagenic.

        • And just what 17 countries are those that have BANNED RoundUp, Forrest? I doubt very much that you can enumerate them. Wikipedia tells us, “On 27 November 2017, a majority of eighteen EU member states voted in favor of permitting the use of herbicide glyphosate for five more years.” Some countries have imposed some restrictions on RoundUp, but not necessarily due to health concerns. Colombia, for example, decided to stop its being used to kill cocaine-producing bushes because it was drifting and harming other crops. And what the World Health Organization says about it is this. “A new report from the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that the controversial pesticide glyphosate is ‘unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet’.” And meta-analyses, allowing researchers to cherry-pick, are notoriously the least compelling form of scientific study.

      • Wow i really feel sorry for your ignorance about ROUNDUP…
        HOPE YOU STAY HEALTHY..PS..IM SURE U us VERY LITTLE ROUNDUP..

    • Editor’s note: First, thanks all for reading. All opinions are appreciated. Second, for those not familiar, Donald E. Sanders, DVM, is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenology, the branch of veterinary medicine concerned with reproduction, including the physiology and pathology of male and female reproductive systems of animals and the clinical practice of veterinary obstetrics, gynecology, and andrology.

      A practicing veterinarian since 1968, Dr. Sanders has consulted on the reproduction of cattle, horses, swine, sheep, and small animals in Ohio and throughout the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Korea, China, and Japan. He was named by Bovine Practitioner Journal as one of the Top 20 Bovine Veterinarians in North America in 2013 and has authored numerous books on cattle and swine reproduction. From 2006-2013, Dr. Sanders served as an Associate Clinical Professor for the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State University, Marysville, Ohio.
      In short, he is a fan of science and kindly furnished the scientific references for his article.

      Glyphosate References
      1. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/is-glyphosate-poison/
      2. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/glyphosate-in-food/
      3. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/are-pesticides-safe-for-food-consumption/
      4. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/are-pesticides-needed-to-grow-food/
      5. https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/difference-pesticide-free-organic/
      6. https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2019/02/18/41-glyphosate-cancer-increase-claim-under-fire-did-the-authors-of-new-meta-study-deliberately-manipulate-data-or-just-botch-their-analysis/
      Again, thanks all for reading.
      -Matt Reese

      • Matt, the examples you have provided, come from websites that unquestionably support biotech / agribusiness industries, and are purely propaganda arms of that industry.

        • I think that’s what’s called an “ad hominem” attack, Peter. And it’s one we hear all the time from contrarians who respond to all disagreement with, “Well, you must be in the pay of [Big Pharma, Big Ag, Climate Scientists, Round Earth Conspirators, etc.]” Who else is likely to invest time and effort in providing information on a subject other than those who are closely involved with that field?

          How about critiquing the facts and studies presented on those sites. Btw, who are you doing propaganda for? The Affiliation of Rapacious Attorneys?

  2. Round Up is Agent Orange. Agent Orange has been banned all over the world. Monsanto duped us by just changing the chemical names and paying millions to put people in our government to say it is safe. Life span in the US is lowering and right now almost 50 percent of people will have cancer. What more proof do you need. Do your own research.

    • That’s false. From US Dept of Veteran Affairs:
      “The two active ingredients in the Agent Orange herbicide combination were equal amounts of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), which contained traces of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).”
      There is no glyphosate in Agent Orange

      • it wasnt the jury saying this, it was the judge write another article when monsanto wins its first trial. 13,400 more trials to go. two 12 yearolds with non hodgkins lymphoma are suing and their attornies are asking for an expedited trial. Many of these plaintiffs have been waiting fot three to four years .might as well start talking about this, its not going to go away

      • Your absolutely right, I’ve used both products on the farm 2-4,D & round u p. They r totally diff been doing this for 40 yrs. Here needs to do his research. Roundup can only work on plants not people!!

    • Glysophate is a salt, its not agent orange.

    • No dude. Roundup has nothing to do with Agent Orange. Cool story though

    • We need an Hysterical Laughter emoji here.

  3. How much were you paid to write this article?

  4. Any mention of Monsanto or RoundUp these days brings the lawyers, Luddites, and looney tunes scurrying with their home-canned “research”, homegrown “experts”, and regurgitated fallacies.

    Well, folks, the same science that put people on the moon, cures or prevents diseases, and warns us of global climate change also has found that RoundUp (glyphosate) is among the safest herbicides ever developed when handled and applied in accordance with instructions. But apparently that means nothing when there’s deep pockets to plunder.

    The nice thing about science is that it works whether you believe it or not.

    • federal judge Vince Chhabria denied monsanto a new trial. He ruled that Edwin Hardeman presented ” sufficient , admissable evidence to the jury, that exposure to roundup caused his cancer

  5. Glyphosate kills weeds by chelation. It ties up nutrients, making them unavailable to the plants sprayed. At the very least it’s preventing those exposed from absorbing a full spectrum of nutrition. This makes it hard to track, trace, or prove. But, the smoking gun to me is the amount of effort Monsanto/Bayer has gone to, to lobby, fight, & push this product (which has actually existed over 50 years) as safe. There’s a lot of lies and misinformation on both sides of this issue. But, I sure won’t be using it around my garden.

  6. Who is Don “Doc” Sanders?

    Obviously not a real doctor, which is clearly evident in he’s gormless claptrap.

    Hey “Doc” I’ll be accepting the word of IARC, and the scientists and researchers that work for that organization, over some hack such as yourself.

    And it’s not just about cancer, it’s about what glyphosate has been proven to do in various studies, regarding the devastating effects on the microbiome.

    You don’t know what the Microbiome is?

    No surprise you feckless fool.

    • So then if the iarc is your source then we must also ban coffee, red meat, and 3rd shift as all have the same cancer rating as glyphosate.

      • Ridiculous, and completely disingenuous to say the least.

        Cite some examples of what you’re referring to, because you are comparing apples with golf balls…

        • Obviously you have trouble with comprehension. According to your all knowing IARC everything thing i listed is classified as a group 2A probable carcinogen. So if you believe we must get rid of glyphosate because the IARC says it can cause cancer then surely we must get rid of the others as well, or is this just a double standard for you? Maybe you should do a little research into a subject before you become a self proclaimed expert.

          • Oh you are hilarious Philip, you make an outrageous claim, and I asked you to back it up, and you failed dismally.

            And then you go on a rant with non sequiturs and ad hominem.

            “Maybe you should do a little research into a subject before you become a self proclaimed expert.”

            Philip, perhaps you should take your own advice…

            • Outrageous claim? I agree. The IARC’s claim that any of these should have that classification is outrageous. It is not my fault that you are incapable of looking it up and figuring it out for yourself.

              • Philip, your credentials as the class clown of this discussion is confirmed.

                You make outrageous claims, and then when you cannot substantiate them, you blame me for not substantiating those outrageous claims??

                Hilarious!

                Just like you’re wrong about the Shikimate pathway.
                Guess which organisms rely on the Shikimate pathway?

                The answer is the Microbiome, and more to the point, recent research has shown how critically important healthy gut bacteria is to overall health.

                https://gut.bmj.com/content/67/9/1716

                Hilarious!

                • So now you are changing the subject? That is a nice way to admit defeat on your part. As for glyphosate harming bacteria? Sure it does in large enough doses. That being the key word. That is why it was tested as an antibiotic and also why it never made it because the does would have to be outrageous.

    • You obviously don’t know Don Sanders. He is a veterinarian and respected member of his community. Your comments Peter Harris are rude and uncalled for in this debate. There are credible arguments on both sides here and many arguments have been proven to not have merit. Most of us who do not farm for a living believe our farmers have been putting far too many chemicals on their land for a long time. Since we do not know scientifically or otherwise how this is affecting our life or health and unless we actively do our research, maybe we should refrain from stating uneducated opinions.

      • Rick, you are just reinforcing my argument.

        Me, rude, no, just an Australian who calls it as he sees it.
        Can you provide any examples as to where I was rude?

        Trouble Is, You Americans are too easily triggered.

        As I said, you are making my argument for me…

        “…maybe we should refrain from stating uneducated opinions.”

        Just like the “Doc”?

        Oops.

  7. interesting that this news about the federal judge ruling that roundup causes cancer was reported on in the@bloomberg report on july 12, 2019. a more relable source of information than the ohio country journal

  8. My wife has celiac disease, we have figured a lot of her gut, everyone’s gut troubles are cauased by glyphosphate, kills your abilities to absorb nutrients. Causes inflammation, cancer. Everything is desacated with this crap all for profit, this is a very misleading article, very poor research. Farmers need to wake up as do everyone.

  9. I am guessing the author of this article is a paid PR rep for Monsanto. With millions of people having been poisoned by Roundup for over generation . It is the primary source of most of the gluten intolerance . Not to mention hundreds of other things that have been linked to it that will come out in the future. Monsanto has known this for a very long time and has hidden the evidence.

  10. The article is factually INCORRECT there are thousands of peer reviewer scientific studies proving glyphosate tho be a known carcinogen. It’s been banned in several countries across the planet. To state that there studies are somehow not correctly carried out is ludicrous as if only American scientist do correct studies. Add to that the notion that the levels are below allowed standards is just starting your getting less poison than drinking it straight. We know our government allows the Ag industry to poison us. Also the article points out an interesting fact glyphosate has evfectivly tainted all food supplies on the planet. Reason enough for it to be banned. I have never seen a more clear example of an industry shill trying to spin the truth. Also this guy’s nickname is doc not to be confused with an actual doctor. BTW I’d it’s so safe and only affects plants why does Roundup say to call poison control if ingested or spiilled onto the skin. Not to mention the damage it causes to the microbiota of pollinators, livestock, and humans. BAN IT ALREADY!!!

  11. Jonathan Pearson

    When Monsanto made GMO’s, the environmentalist went crazy. Anything that could destroy the company was worth it. The farmers however loved Monsanto and we’re not going to give up larger yields and weed free fields. So the farmers were not the partner the environmentalist were needing. Then the lies and false reports of cancer and other illnesses started. This is what we’re seeing in the courts the same false reports from the 90’s. Even as the court cases were started the FDA, and EPA said the product is not a carcinogen. This has always been about destroying GMO’s by any means possible.

    • I feel sorry for your ignorant response to Roundup..i have been suffering almost 3 years with non hoskins lymphoma..i used thousands of gallons of roundup since early 1980s..
      Hope u never have this cancer…

    • I’m an environmentalist and I think the hysterics attacking glyphosate are simpletons. In fact, glyphosate should be embraced by environmentalists since the alternatives are much worse.

      So, why are you attacking me as an environmentalist? How long do you think you and your grandchildren will last in a world in which we disregard our environment. We’re on the verge of finding out.

  12. You people who say it is ok to use ROUNDUP NEED TO DRINK A CUP …SEE THEN HOW YOU FEEL..YOU ALL ARE REALLY IGNORANT TO SAY IS FINE TO USE..HOPEFULLY U DONT DIE FROM USING IT..BUT PROBABLY U HAVE NEVER used very little roundup.

  13. I understand that row crop farmers love ROUNDUP..actually for many years i loved the weed control we had in the Nursery business…thousands of gallons i personally sprayed..from a 50 gallon sprayer..and also BACK PACK SPRAYERS..It is very different from RIDING IN A 100. THOUSAND DOLLAR TRACTOR .airconditioned..with FILTERS TO PROTECT YOU FROM THE SPRAY..MAYBE these farmers dont understand that we did not have that luxury spraying in
    Our nurseries..as trees and plants are not GMO..
    HOPE YOU FARMERS OPEN YOUR EYES..YOU ARE KILLING YOUR FAMILIES Y GRANDKIDS..
    GOD BLESS YOU ALL…

    • I know what the microbiome is, Peter. Do you know what a preliminary study is? Just what WERE these devastating effects on the microbiome, Peter. And what do they portend for human beings? Do you know? No, of course you don’t. Because you’re … you know … feckless. It seems they changed the relative populations of a couple of bacteria in particular. In rats. Well, only in female rats. It’s really hard to say what they will mean to humans who consume RoundUp on their Cheerios in trace amounts. So, you know what the study concluded? That more study was needed.

      So let’s wait and see, hmm? Unless you have a pet lady rat who’s gone off her feed and you think you just might have grounds for a large settlement from Monsanto for the emotional distress that’s caused you.

    • I also use a backpack sprayer, Wayne. And, you’re right: there is no protection. I spray on uneven ground on steep slopes with a lot of dead vines and branches to trip over, so it’s hard to always escape the mist the sprayer produces. But it’s not especially unpleasant. Sometimes it makes a little rainbow when the sun catches it just right. And I’ve noticed more butterflies this year than previously, often right where I’ve been spraying.

      I’ve been doing this for decades; we have a real kudzu problem here in the South, and I’m very grateful to have glyphosate available to me. If the stuff is going to shorten my life, it will have to act fast. And all members of my family are doing well, thanks.

      I mean to go spray some more before summer’s over, first free day I get.

  14. First, sorry to those replying who have NHL. Best wishes to you.

    Now, about the article… A veterinarian doctor typically doesn’t have time or training to do research, just like your family doctor doesn’t either. Research is typically done by people with a doctorate in physiology, which happen to be the same people using crisper to edit genes and study DNA and RNA. The “sources” cited are not even an attempt to look scientific, so let’s just throw those out too.

    One thing I want to know, and others have hi Ted at, is what is the currently approved “safe” method, and what was it 40 years ago in terms of applying Round Up? Seems to me things have changed a lot because it’s not safe. Also, in regards to washing your fruit, how do you propose we wash our oat meal now that it is being used as a “drying agent” roughly one week before harvest? This practice seems to go against what even this article talks about.

    Also, can we just throw out anything the EPA says now? There are no scientists left who can say anything that goes against what lobbyists want them to say.

    As for tests that farmers have to take, yea, whatever. Knowing the right way to do something and putting the time and effort in to do it the right way are 2 different things. Could it be used safely, probably. Is it being used safely, no.

  15. so jonathan pearson thinks these are false reports of cancer. my wife died of cancer in 2013, i think she was faking it at the end. 53 years old , never smoked, never drank. tellme jake bellah the `12 year old plaintiff suing monsanto faked his cancer so he could go through chemo. the federal judge who ruled that round up caused cancer called monsanto reprehensible for concealing that fact from the public for decades reprehensible means deserving blame

  16. on july 12,2019 federal judge vince chhabria ruled that sufficient admissable evidence was presented to the jury that exposure to roundup caused cancer

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  18. I’m an environmentalist and I think the hysterics attacking glyphosate are simpletons. In fact, glyphosate should be embraced by environmentalists since the alternatives are much worse.

    So, why are you attacking me as an environmentalist? How long do you think you and your grandchildren will last in a world in which we disregard our environment. We’re on the verge of finding out.

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