First-ever birth study finds 93% of pregnant women have detectable levels of herbicide in their bodies

Roundup is a household name in the United States and around the world. For several years now, activists and the independent media have been voicing concerns about this herbicide’s main ingredient: glyphosate. Countless studies have linked it to everything from destroying the soil’s ecosystem and robbing it of its nutrients, to causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other illnesses.

Now, researchers from Indiana University and the University of California San Francisco, have conducted the first birth cohort study of its kind involving 71 women from Central Indiana, and have discovered that 93 percent of the participants had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine.

Why is this a problem? Science Daily explains that these levels “correlated significantly” with shorter pregnancies.

“There is growing evidence that even a slight reduction in gestational length can lead to lifelong adverse consequences,” noted Shahid Parvez, the study’s lead author.

A full-term pregnancy is defined as being 37 weeks or longer. Any baby born before that time is considered premature, and such prematurity is linked to a shocking 33 percent of all infant deaths in the United States.

Many little fighters who survive being born preterm have serious, long-term health problems and neurodevelopmental issues. UpToDate reports that prematurity is associated with 45 percent of kids with cerebral palsy, 35 percent of those with impaired vision, and 25 percent of children with hearing or cognitive impairment.

And this does not only apply to babies born very prematurely. According to UK Healthcare, even those born between weeks 34 and 36 are more likely to experience social, emotional and behavioral problems; learning issues; a higher risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); or to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Even as adults, people who were born preterm are more likely to suffer chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

So, the presence of a chemical directly linked to an increased risk of preterm birth in virtually all the study participants is a matter of grave concern, to say the least.

“Although our study cohort was small and regional and had limited racial or ethnic diversity, it provides direct evidence of maternal glyphosate exposure and a significant correlation with shortened pregnancy,” said Parvez. (Related: Learn more at

At first the researchers thought that the women might be ingesting the glyphosate through their water supply, but none of the water tested contained glyphosate. While it is good news that the water treatment process is working as it should, this means that these women likely ingested the glyphosate through the genetically modified foods they ate. Since higher glyphosate levels were also found in women who consumed more caffeinated beverages, these drinks were determined to be another likely source of the chemical. (Related: Learn more about the risks associated with pesticide use at

Granted, many of the women participating in the study came from rural farming areas where glyphosate use is pervasive. Unfortunately, however, this does not mean that those living in more urban areas are off the hook.

Independent research conducted in an FDA-approved lab by researchers commissioned by Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project, found that glyphosate is pervasive at alarmingly high levels in many of the foods we eat, including Cheerios, Ritz crackers and even so-called “health” foods.

In their executive study summary organization representatives noted:

It’s important for individuals and parents to understand that glyphosate contamination cannot be removed by washing and is not broken down by cooking or baking. Glyphosate residues can remain stable in food for a year or more, even if the foods are frozen or processed.

With all the damage it continues to cause, isn’t it about time that Roundup and other glyphosate-containing products were banned once and for all? Read for more news coverage.

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