Roundup in Vegetables

Asked August 18, 2015, 11:36 PM EDT

We accidentally used Roundup, rather than a pesticide, on our squash plants. Most of the foliage on those plants has died, but the fruits -- e.g., butternut squash, acorn squash and summer squash -- remain. Some are ripe; others need time to ripen further. Will those squashes be safe to eat, or will they have absorbed the Roundup?

Lake County Illinois

1 Response

Thank you for your question to eXtension. I'm glad you asked this BEFORE you ate any of the produce!

Roundup (glyphosate) is a systemic herbicide. It is meant to be translocated through the plant, which means that some of the produce may have made it to the fruit.

The Roundup label does not provide directions for spraying the chemical onto squash or other edible crops. While some versions of Roundup have been labeled to be used on "Roundup Ready" soybeans and other agriculture crops, I do not believe any label has allowed for use on squash or other vegetables.

From both a legal and a food-safety standpoint, I would recommend discarding these squash and other vegetables and not eating them.

And, although it's like shutting the barn door after the cows are gone, I do have to remind you to be careful in the future to read all of the label directions before mixing and using them, so that you are using the right product to control your pest, and not kill your crop.

Please let me know if there's any other information I can provide for you.