Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer is the most widely used herbicide in the word. The active ingredient is glyphosate. Application usage is increasing dramatically. In 1994, over 124 million pounds of glyphosate were used worldwide. By 2014, this amount had increased to over 1.8 billion pounds.https://www.statista.com/statistics/567250/glyphosate-use-worldwide/
Glyphosate exposure has been correlated with a plethora of health problems including:
- “probably” a carcinogen
- birth defects
- Autism and Alzheimers
- endocrine disruptor
- liver disease
- shortened pregnancy
Furthermore, Roundup potentially decreases birth weight. According to an ongoing study by Dr. Paul Winchester, director of neonatal intensive care at Indianapolis’ Franciscan St. Francis Health, high glyphosate levels during pregnancy are associated with lower newborn weights.https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2017/04/study-shows-monsanto-s-roundup-can-harm-fetuses?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=201804NewsPest&utm_medium=email#.Wt4iFbbMwWp
The study followed 69 pregnant women and monitored their glyphosate levels in their urine. Over 90% had detectable levels. Women living in rural areas had the highest levels.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5844093/ Dr. Winchester explained,
In our study, which is ongoing, mothers with relatively higher levels of glyphosate were more likely to have shorter pregnancies and deliver babies with lower birth-weight, outcomes that everyone should be concerned about…Shorter pregnancies with relatively lower birth weights have been linked to lower cognitive ability later in life and higher risk of metabolic syndrome.https://sustainablepulse.com/2017/04/05/high-glyphosate-levels-in-mothers-leads-to-shorter-pregnancies-and-smaller-babies-new-ongoing-study/#.Wt4phLbMwWo
Researchers used both head circumference and birth weight to determine the results.
With increased applications of Roundup worldwide, there is a correlating increase in detectable levels of glyphosate in human urine and blood. Due to genetically modified crops that are “Roundup Ready”, pesticide use is expected to continue to dramatically increase. Larger studies are warranted to find further correlation and perhaps causation between Roundup use and lower birth weights.