The Truth About Roundup and Glyphosate – That Every Gardener Should Know

Several years ago I was going to write a post about Roundup and glyphosate, its active ingredient, but decided against it because several very good science-based reports were produced by others. Unfortunately, those reviews were not directed towards gardeners and based on frequent discussions on social media, the message is still not getting through to the gardening community.

My goal in this post is not to do my usual deep dive into Roundup, but instead I want to give give readers a summary overview of the facts along with references containing more details. I hope that putting all of the information in one spot will make it a useful tool for discussions in gardening social media groups.

The Truth About Roundup and Glyphosate That Every Gardener Should Know. photo by Mike Mozart
The Truth About Roundup and Glyphosate That Every Gardener Should Know. photo by Mike Mozart

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Roundup (glyphosate), Cancer and the Courts – What Does It All Mean

The great debate about Roundup causing cancer had a major shakeup in August 2018, when a court ruling went against Monsanto (parent company is Bayer) and awarded $289 million to Dewayne Johnson because Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The courts have reduced the settlement to $78 million and Monsanto is appealing that.

A few months later two more lawsuits reached the same conclusion.

For the general public this was proof positive that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup causes cancer.

But what are the facts?

Roundup (glyphosate), Cancer and the Court Cases - What Does It All Mean
Roundup (glyphosate), Cancer and the Court Cases – What Does It All Mean?

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Unnatural Fear of Roundup – Understanding Small Numbers

If you spend time understanding the science behind Roundup and glyphosate, it’s active ingredient, you soon realize that this is a safe chemical compared to many other chemicals, even ones liberally used in the home. Why is it then that so many people fear Roundup?

Probably the biggest reason is great promotion by the anti-Roundup and anti-Monsanto crowd. That is one powerful force, that brings one misleading article after another to the attention of a lot of people.

I think that another reason for this fear is our inability to understand very small and very large numbers. A recent research study found glyphosate in natural water systems and I have seen it posted by several people as proof of a real problem that needs to be feared. If these people simply understood small numbers, they would not fear the report or Roundup.

Unnatural fear of Roundup in drinking water - Understanding small numbers
Unnatural fear of Roundup in drinking water – Understanding small numbers

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Organic Gardening – Are You An Organic Gardener?

Organic Gardening – What is it? This should be a simple question, and many of you may think you know the answer, but the answer is more complicated than you think.

I consider myself an organic gardener – but some of you won’t agree because I do use some Roundup.

Can you garden organically and still use Roundup? Can you be ‘sort of’ organic and still consider yourself an organic gardener? Do organic gardeners make the best environmental choices?

A true organic gardener, organic gardening
A true organic gardener

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Homemade Weed Killer – Roundup vs Vinegar vs Salt

Homemade weed killers are all the rage and vinegar or salt or a combination of the two are highly publicized. How well do they work? How do they compare with Roundup? In today’s post I will compare the three options by testing them on real weeds in my garden.

 

Homemade weed killer - vinegar and salt
Homemade weed killer – vinegar and salt

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