I’m exaggerating. Only glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup, is in my Cheerios.
Glyphosate = “a widely used herbicide” that has been used “in the U.S. since 1974.”¹
Instead of Cheerios, maybe try a Nature Valley bar for breakfast. Oops, that has glyphosate in it too. How about a Fiber One Oatmeal Raisin cookie? Nope, that does too.
It’s ok, you think. I’ll just ingest my glyphosate in the morning and eat glyphosate-free the rest of the day. Limit my intake. Better put that hummus down, then. There’s glyphosate in there, too. Who knows in what else?
So. How did we get here? How did we end up eating toxins for breakfast?
The story is pretty short. Glyphosate was registered as a pesticide in the U.S. in 1974. It was/is used by farmers to “manage invasive and noxious weeds” and was/is applied to many crops, including soybean, corn, cotton, canola, as well as cereal grain.²
These crops are harvested. The glyphosate doesn’t miraculously disappear once harvest happens. Crops are gathered, sold and used as an ingredient to create your favorite version of Cheerios, from honey, multi grain, and whole grain to chocolate peanut butter (those definitely didn’t exist when I was 10!), along with cookies, bars and biscuits, among other food items.³
We eat the foods (and the glyphosate). So what happens to us?
A 2015 assessment by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO IARC) utilized 17 independent experts from 11 countries to review over 1,000 scientific studies on glyphosate.⁴ They concluded that glyphosate is a probable carcinogenic to humans, not to mention there is evidence that glyphosate can cause cancer in…animals.⁵ Don’t forget that the pesticide “also caused DNA and chromosomal damange in human cells.”⁶
So, what happens to us? What happens when you ingest any amount of toxic chemical? Sure, one Cheerios breakfast probably won’t hurt you. But Cheerios every morning, for a decade? Glyphosate Cheerios for breakfast, glyphosate hummus for a snack and glyphosate cookies for dessert?
That’s not even counting the times you may have exposure to glyphosate externally, like the Roundup used in your backyard, park, or playground. Multiply all of this exposure, add in exposures to any other chemicals and their reactions to each other, in you. What happens to you?
Let’s just say the owner of Roundup has already paid out billions to individuals who have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.⁷ If you’d like to read the down and dirty lawsuit, please check out the New York Times article cited. You’ll find the EPA doesn’t quite have our best interests at heart, and neither does Roundup.
I don’t think Rachel Carson would be surprised.
For those of us that live in New York State, Governor Cuomo has just signed (December 2020) a bill prohibiting the use of glyphosate on state property.⁸ You Californians have had warning labels noting glysophate as a cancer-causing agent since 2017.⁹ Who’s next?