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Is is safe to use glyphosate (Roundup etc)?



Not the last word, however some very plain and clear speaking.

The explanation of how the IARC part of the WHO reports and how the Australian Cancer Council assesses the reports is most useful.

So you can end up with two different carcinogens in the same IARC grouping, where one will hugely increase your risk of getting cancer and the other might just shift it by a minuscule percentage, Dr Saunders said.

For example, processed meat — including salami, sausages and bacon — is in Group 1, along with tobacco smoke, plutonium, asbestos and even sunlight (solar radiation).“

For any one interested the article from the ABC explains some of the considerations made by the Cancer Council in how it responds to any new reports.



A sad demise caused by an uneducated public :disappointed_relieved:


Yes, let there be education.

Would you use this product after reading the Safety Data Sheet. Sorry, this only applies to NZ.

Here’s the Aussie advice on the product.

The active herbicides in weed and feed are MCPA and diKamba. Both are high risk to acquatic wildlife. Oh and don’t feed any clippings from treated lawn to the chooks!

I still use glyphosate following the APVMA approval and safety precautions. If you added dye marker to it when in use any leakage, over spray or even pickup on clothing is easy to observe and take action to manage. I choose the red version. The same precautions go for MCPA and diKamba. I use the latter selectively. Compared to glyphosate diKamba has a longer residual in the environment and is certainly not suitable for use in any riparian areas or areas likely to flood or water log. I don’t use MCPA, but I understand it is in the same class of herbicides.

The end point here is if increased restrictions on the use of glyphosate came to pass, it is perhaps at the safer end of the herbicide options, what next? Will every home lawn owner take to doing 100% of their weeding on hands and knees in a zero herbicide world? Should hope it’s not all bindis and giant sensitive weed!


This is an important point that most opposed to glyphosate don’t realise. Without glyphosate, one of the safest and most sustainable farming tools we have, farmers will be forced to return to older technology pesticides that are much more toxic to human and planetary health. This is a case of well-intentioned environmentalists causing further destruction to the environment and human populations. It is unfortunate, and the reason why we must keep educating people to make the right decisions :slight_smile:

EDIT: typo



There’s the real cancer right there. Such absurdly excessive awards mean that all sense of proportion is lost, and these awards are hugely distortionery.

This case doesn’t tell you much about your risk of getting cancer from the occasional use of glyphosate or even ingestion in minute quantities via the food chain. Read the details of the case! The guy used it extremely frequently (it was part of his job), had the occasional major accident and was exposed to spray in windy conditions.

Do follow the safety instructions. That means cover all of your skin as far as is possible, including gloves, nose and mouth mask, and goggles. Learn from the above guy’s experience. (I use it from time to time and you do look a bit funny but better safe than sorry.)

There are any number of studies that show that chemical X is toxic but, when you read the details, the subjects (presumably always animals) were being fed 1000 times a dose that anyone would normally ingest. That could, for example, lead to chemical X being labelled a definite, known carcinogen - while still being safe to use if used in normal quantities and in accordance with the safety instructions.


It also notes though: “a 125-pound adult would have to consume 308 gallons of wine per day, every day for life to reach the US Environmental Protection Agency’s glyphosate exposure limit for humans” (excuse the obsolete units of measure, just quoting the text)

I reckon that you aren’t going to die of cancer from glyphosate if you drink 308 gallons of wine per day. :slight_smile:

It is always possible that the US EPA’s safe exposure limit is wrong - human knowledge is constantly changing and expanding - but there’s a large margin for error. The article notes: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets daily exposure limits at least 100 times below levels shown to have no negative effect in safety studies”

The real message from the article - always best to ignore the headline - is that glyphosate may be getting into the environment pervasively and further studies are warranted.


Thanks for the evidence-based summary, @person. There still seems to be a lot of fear-mongering around gardening tools that have been proven to be safe if used according to the instructions. I always find it amusing when people fret over 1ppb of “possible carcinogen” mixed into the 999,999,999ppb carcinogen (alcohol). Perspective is always needed when talking about these issues.