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Is it safe to use glyphosate (Roundup etc)?



The classic smoking lobby debate. Deny deny deny and then demand statistics…which are then also denied.
You might yourself Google this rather than play politics but to humour you here are but a few:

Do your own research. Avoid the paid scientists who post with industry money. Same deal in the climate change debate where the industry put forward ‘studies’, in the absence of a suitable word, to claim that there is not a problem. Smoking debate? Same deal. That’s how big business works.

You may want to now provide evidence that glysophate is safe from RELIABLE sources. Look forward to you proof.

This debate is ongoing but I’ll put my money on there being a problem. Agent orange in the Vietnam war makes my point and the large number of returning soldiers who have died from cancers of all sorts is what farmers are now starting to develop albeit in smaller doses. There’s no such thing as a safe herbicide…other than boiling water!


Some very long bows being drawn there. Nobody’s denying that chemicals that kill things are toxic. It’s the nature of the beast. None of what you post supports your panic.

Do you consider the International Agency for Research on Cancer reliable? Glyphosate is classed as a Group 2A probable carcinogen. Whether you view it as “safe” depends on your definition of “safe”. It’s as dangerous as red meat. As your links show, few human deaths have been credibly linked to glyphosate (which surprises me). There are no reports of death or injury when used sensibly. The chemical works by disrupting metabolic pathways in cells. The fact that it disrupts isolated human cells should not come as a surprise.

Even breathing carries risks. Our mitochondria use oxygen to produce energy for our cells. The process releases free radicals, which can damage DNA. Damaged DNA can lead to cancer. Put another way, if you stop breathing, then I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t die of cancer. :wink:

But don’t drink concentrated weedkiller; glyphosate or any other.

Oh, and:


So the short answer to my question is that any credible evidence against your ideological viewpoint is pure and simple shilling? Thank you for being honest. It saves me time in choosing to engage with open-minded and reality-based people versus people who simply have an agenda.


Sounds like an industry support group or a farmer representative protecting its right to use glysohate. I get that.
The Cancer Council does not agree that glysophate is safe. It is on the fence but is sceptical about the company claims of ‘no problem’…the response you ALWAYS get from industry hanging onto a cash cow. Human life and suffering is never important.
Regarding your claims of legitimacy please read the following about the International Agency for Research on Cancer:

Who funds public organisations is a similar issue to who funds right wing governments. This is a perversion which has conflicted truth an honest government if they happen to work against the money pot big business rolls in.
IARC(the International Agency for Reasearch on Cancer) says glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic”.

Please end withe the demands and start with the evidence which is starting to roll out…as it did in the smoking debate, which cigarette multinationals still dispute.

For what it’s worth I use Roundup and I am concerned about the product. And yes I understand it is an easy fix for farmers who don’t want to rat out the one weed in their paddock and turn to glysophate when the whole paddock is infected but that is a poor management issue by lazy farmers. We could do without Roundup if all weeds in the nation were ratted out. I won’t hold my breath on that one as Australians and their governments don’t have the ticker to solve any problem let alone one of this proportion.


The classic “science has been wrong before, so it MUST be wrong now! (whenever I disagree with it)” rhetoric simply doesn’t hold up logically, or in the face of evidence. Science never said cigarettes were healthy, science never said climate change isn’t happening, science never said glyphosate poses any health effects in the doses we currently come in contact with. You need to consume millions of times more glyphosate than you already do before you start seeing minor health effects. Follow the evidence, not your predisposition, Rambo.

I highly recommend reading this whole article, as it will explain many nuances of the scientific method that you may not yet understand.

A small article explaining your current though patterns:


This article is particular interesting as it relates to assessment of other ‘innert’ compounds added to roundup and not the gyphosate salt per say. It is argues that POEA causes human cells to suffocate.

It is also interesting that if common household salt is also placed in a petri dish at sufficient concentrations, it will also cause cell mortality through the dehydration of the cells.

While interesting article, not sure what it really means in relation to use compared to dosing a cell culture in a laboratory so it has direct contact with the chemical. Wondering if such occurs in the real world?


Take a deep breath.

It is no doubt fact that there are risks in using, handling or having just about every chemical substance known to mankind.

We use simple chemicals around the house every day. Natural gas, ammonia cleaners, hydrogen peroxide, acids such as vinegar which we not only consume but also effectively strips dirt and oxide filters from copper.

We even allow people to fly in planes knowing that there is a reasonable probability that sometimes they can fly too close to the ground (crash).

We have not put a prohibition on any of these things, even when we know there are risks to others fro there use. We have not banned aircraft travel which is anecdotally safer than driving on our roads. We even help our sometimes uncontrollable teenagers get a license.

We may even get a cancer one day for any number of reasons, including our individual genetic susceptibility and lifestyle factors. Some of us spend too much time in direct sunlight for our fair skin and freckles.

If there is a risk with using a particular product including herbicide that is no different. We know there may be risks. That does not suggest we should stop using any one product.

We have individual choices whether to fly, ride a bicycle, or use any number of products from chainsaws to herbicides.

If we consider all the facts and the number of fatalities arising from the use of any item then would our energy be better spent banning the motor car and air travel and chainsaws and definitely sunshine?

Rational debate aside if anyone desires to now ban glyphosate so be it. The risk is that we may to be consistant also need to ban the automobile and flight. That leaves the horse as an option for transport. Which considering personal family history over the pervious 150 years has caused the death of more direct family relatives than motor vehicles or crocodiles or even wells and kitchen stoves.

I can choose to trust or not trust a big company such as Bayer. I trust the APVMA to respond if necessary re glyphosate. It is a much more difficult choice when it comes to trusting other motorists. I accept those risks despite knowing some of our fellow motorists cannot be relied upon 100% of the time.

That to me is life.


I’ll avoid getting in the middle, but IMO quoting a US Congress investigation is perhaps the most ideologically driven, partisan inquisition one could cite in this century! The majority party is mostly anti anything that starts with the words ‘United Nations’ or ‘World [anything]’.

One just need look at everything Jason Chaffetz, the chair and chief instigator, opposed to see where he ‘comes from’.

Not a very good reference as I see it and him.


That’s a fair comment but remember that politicians are often puppets for business interests. The comment taken in that light made a point.
In the end research will keep coming. And as occurred in the smoking debate and coal debate the business interests will fund scientists and trolls to shoot down any dissent. That’s how it works. We’ll see if/when the fat lady sings I guess.


There are a significant number of compounds/chemicals/biological agents on the IARC lists.

and those at this stage not known to be carcinogenic:

The American Cancer Society has also compiled a summary of the IARC list as well:

The ‘possible carcinogenic’ list which 'Roundup" is on also includes things like aloe vera, Ginkgo biloba extract, talc-based body powders, potatoes (which contain acrylamide) etc.

‘Possibly carcinogenic’ also means…agents, mixtures and exposure circumstances for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It may also be used when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In some instances, an agent, mixture or exposure circumstance for which there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but limited evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals together with supporting evidence from other relevant data may be placed in this group.

In effect means that the substances are not known (proven) not to be carcinogenic and the ‘jury is out’ in relation to whether they are in fact carcinogenic.


To quote from the Scientific American article linked above:

… “if the product is used according to labeled directions, both people’s health and the environment will not be harmed.”

But some inert ingredients have been found to potentially affect human health. Many amplify the effects of active ingredients by helping them penetrate clothing, protective equipment and cell membranes, or by increasing their toxicity.

Every herbicide I know contains dihydrogen monoxide. Perhaps the problem is not glyphosate, but this common additive.

Cleaning products that are worse than water

It could be. It kills thousands each year, mostly from full immersion in the compound.


Very insightful!
A little knowledge is dangerous.

I think you jest and misjudge this magic substance.
For some substances without this magic additive some others are highly toxic and can be fatal. Eg if enough Dihydrogen-monoxide is combined with CH3-CH2-OH it enables this diabolical poison to take on more pleasing and aromatic properties such that moderate human ingestion is tolerable.

It may be useful to know some herbicides are designed to be mixed with diesel, while others may come as a dispersable granule. There is no Dihydrogen-monoxide required. Given some hydrocarbon fuels are known carcinogens perhaps this is also another additive to avoid.


One could reasonably assume that Bayer might be starting to regret their takeover of Monsanto.

It looks like Bayer will need more than a few of their aspirins and a good lie down with this headache.

split this topic #75

3 posts were split to a new topic: Glyphosate Affect on Bees and Hence Pollination


This could be interesting.


Now the Cancer Council is on the bandwagon again.

There will be a lot of interested persons watching Four Corners tonight.


Oh interesting! Thanks for sharing. Keen to hear what they have to say


I haven’t had time to watch the Four Corners report yet, hopefully later this week. What did they have to say, Nemo?

Also, The Conversation’s timely (and peer-reviewed) article on the evidence for and against glyphosate is an interesting, evidence-based read - what we’ve all been asking for. The comments on it’s Facebook post are quite a good insight for some fact-checking and myth-debunking as well :slight_smile:

Remember to always keep an open mind and accept all of the evidence, not just the part that sounds nice. :slight_smile:


The Four Corners report is about as balanced as possible under the circumstances. Monsanto has done what I’ve come to expect of the private sector; push the boundaries of legality. If they haven’t crossed that line, then their behaviour is undoubtedly criminal in character. That is bound to colour public perception and tends to discredit subsequent industry push-back.

All of the “victims” admitted to being outrageously careless; repeatedly ending up soaked in herbicide mixtures. The US case, had it happened in Australia, would probably have led to conviction of the employer. The poor bloke was evidently given no training; the workplace was far from safe.

The IARC no doubt has good reasons for classifying glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. They put it in the same category as red meat (amongst other things). As with all chemicals, glyphosate should be handled with care. As far as I can remember, it’s always carried warning labels. Of course, the marketing encourages complacency.

I agree with one of the comments above. The real problem is water. It causes breathing difficulties, you know. :wink:

All jokes aside, glyphosate is never used alone. At the very least, it’s usually mixed with surfactant. I’ve used it myself, in a mixture with metsulfuron-methyl, to tackle lantana. Health affects through occupational uses should probably be investigated with that in mind.

For anyone who’s terrified of coming into contact with a carcinogen, I have bad news: