Scientists question safety of glyphosate exposure regulations

Photo Credit: Chafer Machinery Photo Credit: Chafer Machinery

A new article published in Environmental Health addresses growing health concerns with the increased use of the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. The use of Roundup has been skyrocketing over the past decade, with the pesticide touted as a “safe” alternative to other pesticides. Unfortunately, this has led to increased tolerance level regulations without new testing to examine the short- and long-term safety of exposure to glyphosate. This is happened despite new research on the potential hazards of the pesticide and calls from international health agencies, such as the conclusion of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

This article pulls together the growing body of evidence showing that glyphosate contamination is widespread, and likely does not break down as quickly in the environment as previously thought. The authors also show that human exposure to this pesticide is rising quickly, despite being classified as a carcinogen. They point out that current regulations on tolerable exposure to glyphosate are outdated, and do not take the most current scientific research into account.

The study authors conclude with a Statement of Concern, offering several recommendations on studies that are needed to reassess the safety of glyphosate.