Compilation of Facts About Glyphosate Formulations


1. Glyphosate was first introduced and registered in 1974 by Monsanto under the product name, Roundup®. 

2. Since the expiration of the patent on Roundup® in 1999 in the U.S. and 2000 outside the U.S. glyphosate has been sold in many different formulations under many different names. Belize currently has 17 registered glyphosate formulations.

3. Formulations contain active and inert ingredients, adjuvants and impurities.

4.  “Inactive” ingredients have been shown to be 1000 times more toxic than glyphosate alone. (The acceptable daily intake for pesticides is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone.)

5. Glyphosate breaks down into other compounds such as AMPA which is also biologically active and toxic although never been tested by manufacturers.

The Effect of Glyphosate on Plants and Soil

1. Glyphosate inhibits the function of the plant enzyme EPSPS in the shikimate pathway which inhibits amino acid synthesis which leads to rapid cell death in all plants, fungi and many bacteria species.

2. Glyphosate chelates important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, cobalt, zinc, and manganese in the soil which inhibits mineral absorption by the plant which results in mineral deficiencies in food.

3. Glyphosate impairs water intake and damages physiological processes in the plant including disease resistance and photosynthesis. (More than 40 diseases are known to be increased in weed control programs with glyphosate, affecting a wide range of species: apples, bananas, barley, bean, canola, citrus, cotton, grape, melon, soybean, sugar beet, sugarcane, tomato and wheat.)

4. After glyphosate application root-colonizing Fusarium increases significantly as well as the virulence of soil pathogens such as Xylella fastidiosa which causes citrus variegated chlorosis, while the presence of beneficial soil organisms decreases.

5. Glyphosate destroys earthworms.

The Effect of Glyphosate on Human and Animal Health

1. Glyphosate disrupts the gut microbiome in humans, causing the suppression of biosynthesis of Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and key amino acids; beneficial gut bacteria are destroyed and pathogens are increased, leading to intestinal diseases such as leaky gut, Celiac disease, and other inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease.

2. Similarly glyphosate disrupts the gut microbiome in domestic farms animals, resulting in highly pathogenic bacteria to cause diseases.

3. CYP26, a key enzyme in the retinoic acid pathway, is also adversely affected by glyphosate through cell-signaling and physiology, resulting in a range of developmental impacts including damage to DNA, bone metabolism, liver metabolism, reproduction, pregnancy, behaviour, and hormone-dependent diseases such as breast or prostate cancer and birth defects.

4. In March 2015 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogenic to humans.

5. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), the fastest-growing cancer, has been linked to glyphosate.

6. The neurotoxic effects of glyphosate include autism, Parkinson’s disease, depression, senile dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

7. Glyphosate’s strong chelating properties allow it to combine with heavy metals and arsenic in hard water, resulting in damage to renal tissues and thereby causing chronic kidney diseases.

8. The US Presidential study on health disclosed that only 23% of food tested for pesticide residue had no residue.  Belize is not testing for residue.

The Effect of Glyphosate on the Environment

1. Glyphosate and its main metabolite AMPA can remain in the soil even years after the last spraying. That means the herbicide and its residues can remain active and accumulate in soils with increasingly devastating effects on soil ecology and fertility.

2. Runoff pollutes streams and other waterways.

3. Glyphosate use impacts animal biodiversity and health either directly or indirectly through destruction of habitats. It is considered to be particularly toxic to aquatic and amphibian species, due to its high water solubility.

4. 10 – 30% of pesticides applied from the ground and 50 – 75% of aerially sprayed pesticides spread off-site.

5. Glyphosate was detected at all sample sites in a three-year study in the Maya Mountain Reserve by Kristine Kaiser, 2011.

6. The destruction of habitat of birds and butterflies, especially the Monarch, has resulted in significant decreases in their populations.

7. Honeybee colonies are being decimated directly by glyphosate poisoning and indirectly by bees’ impaired cognitive capacities to navigate.

8. When glyphosate affects key species, whole ecosystems are affected.

Regulatory Issues

1. Data used for determining safety of glyphosate is based on studies done in the 1980’s, conducted by or funded by Monsanto.

Most studies were conducted using only the active ingredient and conducted over short periods of time.

3. Most studies were conducted on adult animals.

4. Most studies were conducted using high dosages, under the assumption that low dosages have no adverse effect.

5. Even though manufacturers’ data in the 1980’s disclosed adverse health effects due to glyphosate, it is still marketed as being safe.

6. The USDA, FDA, and European Union Food Safety Agency are staffed with former Monsanto employees or directors.

7. The Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) guidelines are set by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), a body dedicated not to public health but to promoting international trade and economic development. GLP is a management system and does not guarantee good science.

Glyphosate Usage in Belize

1. Of the registered 515 pesticide formulations 17 are registered glyphosate formulations and all are classified Restricted Use Pesticide.

2. Glyphosate was the second-most imported pesticide in Belize in 2021: 157.81 metric ton of active ingredient.

3. Glyphosate is sprayed widely and freely in Belize to control weeds: under fences, along roadways, in playgrounds, around gardens and walkways, around fields, under trees, and in orchards.

4. Glyphosate is used by all major crop growers, individual farmers, gardeners, and home owners.


Given the compelling case against the safety of glyphosate in our environment, soil, water and air, many organizations, including Pro-Organic Belize, are advocating that GOB

1. Educate the public on the consequences of spraying it liberally and being exposed to it.  Not only children who play around and on areas that have been sprayed but everyone who breathes the aerial contaminants is jeopardizing his/her health.

2. Ban its use on all public land including schools, playgrounds, forests, hotels, restaurants, food preparation facilities, and animal feed facilities.

3. Ban aerial spraying.

4. Implement a testing program for pesticide residue in our food.

5.  In an accelerated phased approach ban the importation of glyphosate in all its formulations, assigning the burden of compliance to Customs and BAHA

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