The world’s most widely used herbicide – Roundup weedkiller, is said to be linked to birth defects in a new report calling for heightened regulatory response for the popular product.
According to Huffington Post, critics across the country have spent decades trying to draw attention to the product and its harmful qualities. The report states that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, poses a serious threat to public health. Industry regulators are said to have overlooked the issue for quite some time.
A review of existing data conducted by Earth Open Source, an organization that uses open-source collaboration to advance sustainable food production, suggests that industry regulators in Europe have been aware for years that the active ingredient in Roundup has caused birth defects in embryos of laboratory animals.
Earth Open Source is not the first group to investigate the dangerous qualities of the world’s most popular weedkiller. Starting in 2008 the U.S. Department of Agriculture stopped updating its pesticide use database, making it difficult to obtain exact figures regarding the use of Roundup in American industry.
However, the EPA estimates that 180 to 185 million pounds of glyphosate were used in the agricultural market between 2006 and 2007. According to the Pesticide Industry Sales & Usage Report 2006-2007 period, 8 to 11 million pounds of the product was used in the non-agricultural market between 2005 and 2007.
The Earth Open Source study also depicts that by 1993 the herbicide industry was aware that issues such as dilation of the heart were occurring in relation to the product. The report also implies that since 2002 regulators with the European Commission have known that glyphosate was linked to malformations in animals tested.
There has been limited discussion around the possibility of replacing glyphosate with a less harmful alternative.