Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Is Glycophosphate Bad For You?

Also Known As: Glyphosate, Roundup



Short answer

Glycophosphate is indeed bad for you. The chemical, although useful as an herbicide, poses many serious risks on the body.



Long answer

Glycophosphate, commonly called glyphosphate is an herbicide that targets broadleaf plants and grasses that compete with food crops.  Monsanto chemist, John E. Franz, discovered its weed eliminating properties in 1970, and the weed-killer made its debut in 1974 under the brand name, Roundup.  By 2007, glyphosphate had cornered the market as the most used herbicide in US agriculture.

Glyphosphate is a systemic herbicide, absorbed through the stem and leafy parts, and somewhat less through the roots.  It travels through the growing plant only, and for this reason, is less effective when used on pre-emergent crops.  It acts by targeting an enzyme needed to synthesize three amino acids involved in the growth process.  This causes the plant to stop growing within a few hours, and leaf yellowing to occur in a few days.

Glyphosphate has been used liberally to spray along the edges and in cracks of sidewalks to inhibit weed growth, and along railroad tracks to prevent weeds from covering the rails.  The USDA estimates that approximately 24% of the chemical sprayed on hard surfaces runs off.  This results in surface water contamination by glyphosphate.

The success of glyphosphate as an herbicide led Monsanto to develop Roundup-resistant, genetically modified crops.  Today, 92% of all corn, 94% of soybeans, and 94% of cotton (cottonseed oil) are genetically modified (GMOs).  These ingredients are staples in so many products, it is estimated that 75% of processed foods contain these genetically modified ingredients.  It is hard to estimate how much glyphosphate we ingest in our daily diet.

One of the detrimental effects of glyphosphate on the human body is its impact on the gut.  Typically, the human digestive system contains harmless bacteria that are necessary for digestion, nutrient absorption, and play a huge part in our immune system.  Glyphosphate is killing these necessary microorganisms, contributing to potential problems like leaky gut, which compromises the protective gut lining and allows toxins and bacteria a pathway into the bloodstream.

There have also been numerous recent studies linked to increased instances of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in farmers who work in close contact with glyphosphate.  In fact, these studies suggest that exposure nearly doubles their risk of contracting this disease.

The excessive amount of Roundup that is being poured on crops by non-organic farmers is estimated to be in the millions of pounds.  This amount is so excessive that government scientists have recently detected glyphosphate in the air and rain.

Roundup use has been linked to the decline in the population of the monarch butterfly, as its use has all but wiped out the milkweed plant – the only plant the monarch uses for food and survival.  Glyphosphate has also been linked to the decrease in the honeybee population.  Studies show that when honeybees are exposed to this weed killer, they lose their ability to eat, and have a more difficult time learning how to forage.

Here is the irony – Roundup is not nearly as effective as it once was.  The weeds themselves are now getting stronger as they have evolved with increasing resistance to glyphosphate.  Always check labels on foods for GMOs.  All organic foods and even those that are “made with organic products” are required to be GMO-free.  We cannot do anything about the exposure to glyphosphate through air, rain, and runoff water, but we can control what food we put in our body.

Possible short-term side effects

  • viruses/toxins
  • allergies
  • stomach irritation
  • decrease of ‘good bacteria’ in the stomach
  • inflammation

Possible long-term side effects

  • antibiotic resistance
  • low immunity
  • leaky gut
  • non-hodgkin’s/lymphoma
  • eradication of certain vital insects
  • inhibits honeybees’ ability to feed


  • kills weeds

Healthier alternatives

  • make your own weed killer from organic natural herbs

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 03-07-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 03-07-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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