Glyphosate is the most common herbicide used around the world today. It is the base ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, and has been classified by the World Health Organization as a probable carcinogen for humans. In spite of this classification, glyphosate continues to be used to increase yield of monoculture, genetically modified crops while decreasing expenses.
Why Is Glyphosate Used?
Glyphosate is an effective weed killer that can be used on genetically modified crops created to resist its plant killing capabilities. About 90 percent of the soy grown in the U.S. is glyphosate tolerant and 70 percent of the corn and cotton U.S. crops have the same modified genetics making them easier to cultivate while eradicating unwanted plants around them. It is estimated that glyphosate is used on 80 percent of the world’s genetically modified crops to create higher yields and greater profits in the food industry.
Why Is Testing Necessary?
All life is made of water. Without clean water, people grow sick and die due to disease or dehydration. Because of glyphosate’s widespread use, especially on genetically modified crops like corn and soybeans, glyphosate residue is regularly found on food and in water. Aside from its probable cancer-causing properties, glyphosate also seems to be an endocrine disruptor. These two effects can cause health problems that are expensive to treat and, in the end, may result in death. In order to avoid consuming glyphosate, people must know if it is found in their water and how to remove it when necessary.
Public Water Safety
Most people believe that the utilities are responsible for water safety. While that may be true in a legal sense, cases against utilities, like the one involving Erin Brockovich, and statistics about radioactive contamination in the water of 275 million Americans bring to light the fact that utilities are willing to cut corners and ignore the safety and long-term health of their customers to avoid extra expenses and lawsuits at the moment. While it’s nice to be able to trust the public water system, it’s also necessary to verify their results. Even when regulators test for glyphosate, which isn’t often, they may use liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) testing methods that are unreliable.
Independent water test labs can provide you with the peace of mind that you need to use your water well, or they can give you confirmation that you need to do something to mitigate the contamination in your water system. The best laboratories will use a validated or verified LC-MS/MS test that has the best accuracy in detecting glyphosate at one part per billion in water. The price of these tests has come down to make them more affordable and more realistic.
By testing your water yourself, you’re keeping the utilities and government agencies responsible for clean water honest. If you find that your water is contaminated, you can take steps to protect yourself and others in your community while holding the water company accountable for its lack of action. What you don’t know can hurt you. Contact Environmental Testing and Research Laboratories to learn more about checking the safety and purity of your water.