Is it safe to kill my weeds with Roundup?

Spring in Kentucky means that the beautiful bluegrass once again comes to life. It also means that weeds try to choke it. If you are like many Kentucky residents, you likely use Roundup to kill those pesky weeds. But is Roundup use hazardous to your health?

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization agency, it is. The IARC was the first to raise red flags about Roundup, Monsanto’s most popular weed killer, back in 2015. The Mercury News reports that IARC studies found that glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, is a probable carcinogen.

Monsanto’s response

Not surprisingly, Monsanto immediately disputed the IARC findings and has since engaged in a vigorous ongoing campaign to discredit any research study, of which there are several, warning of glyphosate’s carcinogenic effects. In 2015, Monsanto brought in $15 billion from Roundup’s worldwide sales. Today, Roundup’s U.S. sales alone account for $4.8 billion of Monsanto’s annual revenue, and 250 million pounds of it are sprayed on American crops, parks, golf courses and lawns every year.

Burgeoning lawsuits

Despite Roundup’s continued usage, nearly 1,000 former Roundup users have sued Monsanto and its distributors. They claim the following:

  • That using Roundup caused the plaintiffs to develop cancer
  • That Roundup is an inherently dangerous product
  • That Monsanto engaged in false research to the effect that glyphosate is not carcinogenic
  • That Monsanto covered up legitimate research to the contrary

A California federal judge recently released inhouse Monsanto documents filed in court that appear to back up several of the plaintiffs’ allegations. One such document shows a conspiracy among Monsanto employees to ghostwrite allegedly factual favorable glyphosate study results. The published results, however, attributed the study to legitimate academic research organizations. Another document verifies that an Environmental Protection Agency senior employee worked with Monsanto to suppress negative glyphosate studies.

There is no doubt that Roundup kills weeds and does so effectively. The question remains, does its effectiveness warrant its usage in the face of ever more evidence that it may kill human beings, too? Only you can answer that question for yourself. This information is educational in nature and you should not interpret it as legal advice.