RoundupIn the last week, a report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluated and determined that the most commonly used weed killer in the world is “probably carcinogenic.”   While this is hardly definitive language considering the fact that the pesticides and herbicides that this one replaced have such well documented negative impacts on human and environmental health, I do think it is a good example of how we are using human ingenuity to our own detriment. The mechanism by which this “smarter,” next-generation chemical kills weeds is also killing beneficial plants and microbes. This secondary impact in turn is having wider health effects on our environment through harm to ecosystems and in our bodies by less well correlated means such as disruption of beneficial digestive microflora. Even if the health impact is less severe and occurs at a lower rate than in the past, evidence is building that a risk remains. In addition, as “weeds” adapt and change, it is requiring higher and higher chemical concentrations of pesticide to have the same weed whacking effect. At this rate, it is hard to imagine the health risk lessening over time and all too easy to see it getting worse.

 

For me, the WHO finding is just the latest reason why I choose, whenever possible, to support my local organic farmers who have opted out of the chemical hamster wheel, especially when it comes to corn, soy, wheat, meat and dairy products. In order for food to act as medicine in our body and for our planet, it has to be safe.  Why put ourselves or our families at risk when we are blessed to live in a place where we have the choice of what foods we eat?

 

For additional perspectives on this issue, please see the links below:

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/03/24/394912399/a-top-weedkiiller-probably-causes-cancer-should-we-be-scared

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsanto-roundup-herbicide.aspx