What can you tell me about glyphosate? What should I know about its safety?

Each week, we will answer a question from our readers regarding our operations and community outreach in the State of Hawaii. Submit your question by visiting the contact page. Thanks for reading. Mahalo! 

What can you tell me about Roundup brand products; specifically about the herbicide used in it, called glyphosate? What should I know about its safety?

Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides have a long history of safe use and are a valuable agricultural tool in more than 100 countries around the world. Comprehensive toxicological studies repeated over the last 40 years have time and again demonstrated that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® branded agricultural herbicides, does not cause cancer, mutagenic effects, nervous system effects, immune system effects, endocrine disruption, birth defects or reproductive problems.

Glyphosate degrades over time in soil and natural waters and has favorable environmental characteristics, including tight binding to most soils, making it unlikely to move to groundwater or reach non-target plants. In fact, Roundup branded herbicides have been used by habitat restoration groups in the Galapagos Islands.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the primary agency responsible for assessing the safety and setting limits, known as tolerances, on how much of a pesticide residue can remain on food products. Tolerances are set to protect people from harmful levels of pesticides on our food. In setting tolerances, EPA evaluates toxicity data and considers its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA considers the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

At Monsanto Hawaii, the safety of our employees, the communities where we operate, our customers, consumers and the environment are our highest priority. Hawaii is blessed with great natural beauty and we plan to keep it that way. Roundup herbicides are not a threat to Hawaii’s natural resources or the health of its citizens.

Thanks very much for your questions; please keep them coming.