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How Much Glyphosate Is Used in The US?
5 Ways to Minimize Exposure

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Glyphosate herbicide is one of the most popular herbicides in the United States.

It is a wide-spectrum herbicide that controls grass weeds and sedges with little toxicity to crops or other vegetation. Glyphosate is used in agriculture, as well as commercial, industrial, and residential use. 

We have extensively researched how much Glyphosate herbicide use is occurring in the United States and how this has changed over time.

We have represented plaintiffs in several lawsuits who were exposed to Glyphosate-based herbicides and developed adverse health effects.

Quick Summary

  • 280 million pounds of Glyphosate is used annually in the United States.
  • Glyphosate is used on crops at a rate of .75 pounds per acre.
  • Many midwest states use the most Glyphosate, including Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, North Dakota, and more.
  • The states with the least usage are New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
  • You can avoid Glyphosate exposure by eating organic, avoiding GMO foods, and avoiding Roundup exposure.

How Much Glyphosate Is Used In The US?

A farmer using glyphosate on a farmAround 280 million pounds of Glyphosate are used annually in the United States.

Several high-value crops, including fruit and vegetable crops, cotton, corn, and soybeans, are treated with generic Glyphosate herbicides [1].

Considering global agricultural Glyphosate use, the United States is the number two user of annual agricultural Glyphosate behind China [2].

The United States has developed a reliance on this chemical which has caused Glyphosate-resistant weeds, which has only increased use in the U.S. 

Resistant weeds have also put conservation tillage systems at risk. Conservation tillage is a farming practice that maintains plant residues on 30 percent of the soil surface after tilling.

These resistant weeds have caused farmers to adapt their tillage strategies, leaving more Glyphosate residues on crops [3].

We are way over-reliant on Glyphosate. Nobody thought we were going to be dealing with the problems we are dealing with now.”
– Bill Curran, Professor of Weed Science, Penn State University.

What Is the Rate of Use on Crops?

Glyphosate is used on crops at a rate of .75 pounds per acre [4]. As resistant weeds grow taller, it is recommended to use as much as 1.5 pounds per acre.

Related Article: Glyphosate Lawsuit Update

How Glyphosate Works

A farmer spraying glyphosate on plantsThe broad-spectrum herbicide Glyphosate works by moving through plant tissue and suppressing enzymes needed for plant growth.

This herbicide is helpful for plants that grow above the water line. We then come in contact with this chemical through Glyphosate residues in our food.

How Herbicide Use Has Changed After “Roundup Ready”

Glyphosate use has grown 15-fold since “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered Glyphosate tolerant crop technology was formulated in 1996  [5].

Since 1974, Glyphosate farmers worldwide have applied over 1.6 billion kilograms of this pesticide. Roundup is a brand of weed killer that uses the chemical Glyphosate in its formula.

Related Article: Roundup Lawsuit Update

Which State Uses the Most Glyphosate?

A scientist pointing to the state that uses the most glyphosateBased on Glyphosate herbicide data, a vast agricultural chemical usage occurs in more agricultural areas.

The states that have the most annual agricultural pesticide use include:

  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Indiana
  • Missouri
  • California
  • Washington

States like Montana and South Dakota rely on Glyphosate for over 50 percent of their pesticide use [6].

Which States Use the Least Pesticides?

According to the US Geological Survey, as of 2016, the states with the least Glyphosate use are Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut [7].

Why It Is Important to Understand How Much and Where Glyphosate Is Being Used

A woman holding glyphosate sprayUnderstanding how much and where Glyphosate is used is necessary to evaluate a pesticide’s health effects.

Knowing how much pesticide is being used in the region allows them to assess these effects.

In addition to location, the timing and method of application also contribute to these studies.

Reasons for the Recall of Glyphosate

There has been no recall of Glyphosate to date. However, research has tied this herbicide to several cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In a 2019 study, researchers concluded that high exposure to the chemical increased the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 41 percent [8].

This chemical has been banned in over ten countries, including Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Germany. At least 15 other countries have restricted the use of this chemical [9]

Other Health Issues Glyphosate Causes

A doctor holding a clipboard of health issues with glyphosateThis herbicide has been known to cause other adverse health effects besides cancer.

These include:

  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Arrhythmia
  • Eye irritation
  • Skin irritation
  • Increased saliva production
  • Burns of the mouth and throat
  • Vomiting

Symptoms of Exposure

Glyphosate has immediate effects from exposure.

These include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Blue lips
  • Throat and mouth irritation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

How to Avoid Glyphosate

A woman holding vegetables without glyphosateThere are several ways to minimize your exposure to this chemical.

These include:

1. Eating Organic Foods

Organic foods aren’t allowed to be sprayed with pesticides. Research shows that eating an organic diet for a week reduces pesticide exposure by 90 percent [10].

2. Avoid GMO Foods

GMO crops are exposed to more pesticides and are one of the worst for Glyphosate contamination.

GMO crops include [11] :

  • Margarine
  • Biscuits
  • Snack bars
  • Cereals
  • Sodas
  • Cooking oils

3. Avoid Using Roundup On Your Lawn

Another obvious way to reduce your Glyphosate exposure is to avoid using Roundup on your lawn for weed control. Choose some healthier, natural alternatives that are safe for your health.

4. If Neighbors Are Spraying, Stay Inside

Glyphosate is harmful when inhaled, so stay inside if someone is spraying Roundup. Studies have shown that inhaling Glyphosate can cause DNA damage [12].

5. Avoid Recently Sprayed Areas

Cities and sports fields worldwide use Roundup. When visiting local parks, be on the lookout for recently sprayed signs. Avoid parks or other areas during these times.

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What Is the Burden of Proof for a Glyphosate Claim?

If you have experienced non-Hodgkin lymphoma or any adverse health effects associated with Glyphosate, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Bayer may be liable for your illness based on the failure to warn customers of the potential risks of the chemical.

To hold Bayer accountable, you will need to prove two key elements.

  1. First, you must prove you have a history of exposure to Glyphosate, whether you used it commercially or on your lawn as a weed killer.
  2. Second, You will need medical proof that you have been identified as having non-Hodgkins lymphoma or any other adverse health effect that Glyphosate can cause. You must prove that your cancer has developed within two years from the first use of Roundup.

Average Settlement

A lawyer checking the average settlement of a glyphosate lawsuitThe average Glyphosate lawsuit settles for $5,000 to $250,000.

As of 2020, Bayer has been ordered to pay $10 billion in settlements to people who have developed adverse health risks or cancer through Glyphosate exposure [13].

Factors Affecting the Amount Received From a Lawsuit

Several other natural factors pose a risk to the amount received from a Bayer product liability lawsuit.

These include:

  1. Length of exposure: Those with the most exposure will have the strongest case.
  2. Cancer diagnosis: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma from Roundup develops within two years, so you will need to ensure that the date of exposure and your cancer diagnosis date fit into this time frame.
  3. Scientific data: Scientific data to prove that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma, another cancer, or any other adverse health effects.
  4. Having other health issues: Underlying issues that could have led to cancer or other adverse health effects, such as alcohol use, age, or immunosuppression, can decrease your chances of winning the case.

Related Articles:

See all related toxic tort lawsuits our lawyers covered so far.

FAQs

What Is the Most Used Herbicide in the US?

Glyphosate is the most used herbicide in the United States. It has been the most widely applied pesticide since 2001.

Which Crops Use the Most Glyphosate?

The crops that use the most Glyphosate are soybeans and corn. Several other foods are high in Glyphosate, including almonds, apples, canola, corn, dates, and more [14].

How Do I Know if Food Is Free of Glyphosate?

A food free of Glyphosate will have a “Glyphosate Free” label. Organic foods are also free of all pesticides.

Can You Wash Glyphosate off of Food?

Glyphosate can’t be washed off of food. It also can’t be removed through heating or cooking.

Why Is Roundup Still Sold? 

Roundup is still sold because the Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t found Glyphosate harmful to humans, although researchers concluded Glyphosate does cause adverse health effects and cancer [15]. 

Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation with Our Lawyers

The Product Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP is an experienced team of lawyers representing plaintiffs from all 50 states in Bayer lawsuits.

If you or a first-degree relative has been diagnosed with lymphoma or any other adverse health effect after using or being exposed to Glyphosate, contact us immediately for a free lawsuit evaluation.

You may be entitled to file a lawsuit, and our law firm can help.


References:

  1. https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2019-04/documents/glyphosate-response-comments-usage-benefits-final.pdf
  2. https://www.worldometers.info/food-agriculture/pesticides-by-country/
  3. https://sarep.ucdavis.edu/sustainable-ag/conservation-tillage
  4. https://www.pioneer.com/us/agronomy/glyphosate_use_optimum_field_performance.html
  5. https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-016-0070-0
  6. https://www.news-medical.net/health/US-States-that-Use-the-Most-(and-Least)-Glyphosate.aspx#Which%20U.S.%20states%20use%20the%20most%20glyphosate
  7. https://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/usage/maps/show_map.php?year=2016&map=GLYPHOSATE&hilo=L
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1383574218300887
  9. https://www.wisnerbaum.com/toxic-tort-law/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit/where-is-glyphosate-banned-/
  10. http://www.rmit.edu.au/news/newsroom/media-releases-and-expert-comments/2014/april/going-organic-for-one-week-cuts-pesticide-exposure
  11. https://www.alexfergus.com/blog/how-to-protect-yourself-from-glyphosate
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22331240
  13. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/business/roundup-settlement-lawsuits.html
  14. https://www.mygenefood.com/blog/why-glyphosate-is-dangerous-and-how-to-avoid-eating-it/
  15. https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/glyphosate#:~:text=EPA%20scientists%20performed%20an%20independent,risks%20to%20children%20or%20adults.

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