Garden Update and Big News: Glyphosate Listed as Probable Human Carcinogen

May 20th

For that past couple of weeks my husband and I have been dealing with the most terrible flu bug we’ve experienced in years. Sore throat, sinus headaches, all over aches and pains – it’s been terrible! We’re on the mend now, but cursing the loss of a solid week of work in the yard. Two Saturday’s ago, Seattle experienced the warmest, sunniest Saturday of the year. And where was I? Curled up in a ball on the couch about ready to cry from the sinus headache.

I try to take it in stride and tell myself it’s my bodies’ way of saying “rest”.

We are on the mend now, though a lingering cough and some congestion persists, but we’re back in the garden. All of our plants and seeds are planted. We are just wrapping up the landscaping and fencing and after that we’ll reveal all of our hard work!

I also wanted to share some incredibly news that I’m a little late reporting on. If you haven’t heard already, the World Health Organization has categorized glyphosate (the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup TM) as probably carcinogenic to humans.

“Probable Human Carcinogen” is the second highest rating a substance can be assigned, with “Known Human Carcinogen” as the next rank. It’s important to understand what probable vs. known means. Probable means that independent research has shown that the substance causes cancer in animals and has been linked in some studies to human cancer. “Known” means there is a thorough body of research showing a connection between a substance and human cancer. Don’t diminish the word probable in this case!

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world1 and is applied to Roundup Ready GMO crops such as Roundup Ready corn, soybeans, canola, cotton and alfalfa. When you consider that 89 percent of U.S. corn acreage in 2014 was GMO2 – you start to get a grasp on how prolific Roundup really is.


Now, for a quick refresher on the history of Roundup. For this, we need to rewind back the clock to the mid 90’s. Where were you in 1995? If you were like me you were still in elementary school J

But to the point – when Monsanto first introduced Roundup it marketed it as biodegradable. Ads claiming Roundup was “safer than table salt” was fed to the American public. Soon, Roundup was the no. 1 herbicide in the country. But growing evidence proved that Monsanto’s claims that Roundup was “practically nontoxic” led to a lawsuit. In 1996 the New York attorney general sued Monsanto for “false and misleading advertising”. Monsanto had to agree to stop claiming Roundup was biodegradable and to remove ads that claimed Roundup was safer and less toxic than it actually was.

You would have thought we would have learned our lesson then!

I’m cautiously hopeful that this newest “revelation” that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen will stall the exponential growth in the use of Roundup. But I’m not holding my breath.