There has been a lot of discussion in the media lately about glyphosate (Roundup) and what some see as a huge risk of exposure to a possibly carcinogenic chemical.

Some examples:

A lot of this discussion was spurred by the IARC's reclassification of glyphosate as a Group 2A carcinogen: IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides

Is exposure to glyphosate through the food supply something to be concerned about? I'm not talking about field workers who may come in contact with concentrated amounts, but whether the levels that could be encountered on or in produce in a general consumer type setting could be a health risk.

1 Answer 1


Glyphosphate is an organophosphate compound that is used a herbicide - it is generally aimed at inhibiting enzyme synthesis in plants.

Generally, on oral intake from raw produce can produce toxicity, but the impact is low. [1] Glyphosphate formulations are usually mixed with additives that allow more rapid or easier transferral to the inside of plants, which can also increase acute toxicity in humans. [2] With additives (which is how glyphosphate is usually in circulation) one of the more frequent problems is photocontact dermatitis due to preservatives used.

[1] - https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.scitotenv.2017.10.309

[2] - https://www.fs.fed.us/r5/hfqlg/publications/herbicide_info/2003_glyphosate.pdf

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