ByChristopher Walljasper and Ramiro Ferrando/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Farmers have been using the weed killer glyphosate – a key ingredient of the product Roundup – at soaring levels even as glyphosate has become increasingly less effective and as health concerns and lawsuits mount.
ByPam Dempsey/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Glyphosate is the most used pesticide on U.S. agricultural crops, with the nation using an estimated 287 million pounds in 2016, according to an analysis by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. And sales continue to grow, with market researchers predicting the glyphosate market to grow to $8.5 billion to $10 billion annually by 2021 up from $5 billion now. READ ALSO: Controversial Pesticide Use Increases Dramatically Across The Midwest
Of 400 pesticides used on agriculture crops across the U.S, glyphosate is used at least three times more than all others, according to an analysis of data estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey. The second-most used weed killer in the U.S. is atrazine – with 75.4 million pounds used on U.S. agriculture crops in 2016. In 2016, the Midwest used 65 percent of the nation’s total agriculture glyphosate use on crops.
Some farmers applying pesticides to fields this summer might ignore symptoms of being exposed to the chemicals, like headaches or nausea. But mounting evidence shows chronic exposure to pesticides may increase risks for certain cancers, like prostate cancer, and for other chronic illnesses, like Parkinson’s and thyroid disease.