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Key Points/Overview

Glyphosate helps farmers and homeowners control weeds in a variety of plantings, including fruit, vegetables and other food crops, ornamental plantings, forest plantings, greenhouses and aquatic areas.

Many regulatory agencies have reviewed glyphosate, which has been in use since the 1970’s, and according to the EPA glyphosate products can be safely used by following label directions.

The European Food Safety Authority has stated that glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.”

Uses & Benefits

Agriculture & Farming

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Glyphosate is an active ingredient a variety of herbicides used to control broadleaf weeds and grasses. Glyphosate works by preventing plants from making certain proteins that are necessary for growth.

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When used precisely and according to label instructions, herbicides help to keep weeds from competing with crops for water, sunlight and nutrients. Glyphosate helps farmers and homeowners control weeds in many different kinds of plantings, including:

  • A wide variety of fruit, vegetable, and other food crops.
  • Ornamental plantings, lawns and turf, greenhouses, aquatic areas, forest plantings, and roadside rights-of-way for vegetation control.
  • Glyphosate-resistant (transgenic) and GMO (genetically modified organisms) crop varieties that include canola, corn, cotton, soybeans, sugar beets and wheat.
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Safety Information

Many regulatory agencies in the world have reviewed glyphosate, which has been in use since the 1970s.

Is glyphosate a carcinogen?

Alternatively, WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a statement in March 2015 that classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” but WHO and IARC also noted there was limited evidence of glyphosate’s carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

FAQs

Does glyphosate cause cancer?

The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) said glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans” through dietary exposure in May 2016. Before the FAO and WHO report in 2016, WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a statement in March 2015 that classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” WHO and IARC also noted there was limited evidence of glyphosate’s carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

An epidemiologic review of studies on glyphosate that appeared in the Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology Journal found no evidence of “a causal relationship between any disease and exposure to glyphosate.

What has acetone in it?

Acetone occurs naturally in the human body as a byproduct of metabolism. Acetone is also a primary ingredient in many nail polish removers. As a solvent, acetone is frequently incorporated in other solvent systems or “blends,” used in the formulation of lacquers for automotive and furniture finishes, for example.

Does glyphosate cause autism?

There have been very few studies that have specifically examined glyphosate and the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In 2007, a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives examined whether there was an association with maternal exposure to pesticides during gestation and ASD among children in California’s Central Valley. The study did not find an association between maternal exposure to glyphosate and ASD in children.

Can glyphosate affect birds, fish, or other wildlife?

Pure glyphosate is low in toxicity to fish and wildlife, but some products containing glyphosate may be toxic because of the other ingredients in them. Glyphosate may affect fish and wildlife indirectly because killing plants can alter an animals’ habitat.

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