The bad news is that even though it’s easier and more affordable to buy organic food than ever before, most Americans still purchase nonorganic food. While the demand for organic food seems to be rising, the Department of Agriculture still estimates that organic food sales account for only about 4 percent of all food sales in the United States.
There are many reasons people don’t buy organic. According to the Organic Farming Research Foundation, the No. 1 reason is cost. Many people also say they can’t find organic food in their area. Food deserts in urban areas make this especially challenging.
At the same time, even the most diehard consumers of organically grown fruits, vegetables, meats, and packaged products usually buy conventionally grown flowers and decorative plants.
After all, if you aren’t eating it, why buy organic?
Here’s why: Every farm worker exposed to glyphosate is at an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia, among other health problems.
In fact, recent scientific evidence—from studies done long after glyphosate was approved for use in the growing of food—shows this herbicide is a major factor in several debilitating diseases, including neurological, metabolic, autoimmune, reproductive, and oncological illnesses.
Glyphosate Causes Blood Cancer
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a blood cancer that develops in the body’s white blood cells. Symptoms include exhaustion, night sweats, swollen glands, fever, and unexplained weight loss, and the condition is often fatal.
Scientists have been publishing studies on the link between exposure to pesticides and the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma for more than 20 years.
One particularly well-done study, conducted by scientists in Sweden and published in 2008, analyzed pesticide exposure in Swedish individuals between the ages of 18 and 74.
This population-based case-control study found a twofold increased risk of lymphoma for glyphosate-exposed people compared to controls, and a threefold increased risk for the rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called hairy cell leukemia.
A 2019 meta-analysis, conducted by research scientists from the University of Washington and published in the journal Mutation Research, found that glyphosate exposure increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 41 percent.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer now states that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans.
When the issue was brought to court, the evidence was convincing. In 2018, after just three days of deliberation by the jury, a California groundskeeper was awarded more than $289 million from a court that found Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, hadn’t done enough to warn consumers of the cancer risk. Although industry lawyers kept the case tangled up in court for more than three years and the amount Monsanto was finally ordered to pay was reduced by other courts, the verdict in Johnson v. Monsanto Co. was upheld in 2020.
In 2019, Monsanto was ordered by a court in California to pay $86.2 million to a couple who both suffered from non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup.
Monsanto appealed, but the lower court’s decision was upheld by the California Supreme Court in November 2021. Since then, more than 100,000 others have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, according to HerbicideFreeCampus.org.