By Janet Fang
Posting in Cancer
Glyphosate, the chemical in the world's top selling agricultural herbicide, Roundup, is being reviewed for safety. A nationwide ban could be possible by 2015.
Glyphosate is the key ingredient in the world’s top selling weed killer, Roundup. And it’s now being federally reviewed for safety – against a backdrop of lawsuits and demands for a global ban, Reuters reports.
But critics say it speeds the growth of super weeds. And still others say it raises health concerns like infertility and cancer.
The chemical is found in more than 750 products in the US.
Last year alone, Monsanto made more than $2 billion in sales of glyphosate-based herbicides (and these numbers are much lower than before the patent expired and generics started appearing). The world spends more than $14 billion on herbicide a year.
The Environmental Protection Agency is examining the human and environmental health risks and has set a deadline of 2015 for determining if glyphosate should continue to be sold or limited in some way.
In the meantime, Monsanto and its corporate agricultural rivals are scrambling to roll out different herbicides and new herbicide-tolerant crops that they hope will halt the advance of weed resistance and silence critics.
Some study results circulating about glyphosate and being evaluated by US regulators:
- Some users of glyphosate were observed to have a higher risk of multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting bone marrow, than people who never used the chemical.
- The chemical could be contributing to spontaneous abortions and infertility in pigs, cattle, and other livestock, while causing malformations in frog and chick embryos.
- Detectable concentrations of glyphosate have been found in the urine of farmers and their children in two states.
- The Institute of Science in Society has called for a global ban, citing research showing the chemical has extreme toxicity, including indications it can cause birth defects.
The EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs is in charge of the review and has three main options: continued approval with no changes, canceling the registration to ban its use, or continue as an approved product but with some modifications for its use.
Image: weed by tobym via Flickr
Apr 12, 2011
By adopting Zero Budget Natral Spiritual Farming advocated by Sub hash Palekar of Amaravathy Maharashtra India the World can Solve the problem easily.Never destroy weeds,they are essential for the fertility of soil.So also the earth worms.Use dung and urine of local cows. That is enough Dr.Kanam Sankara Pillai Ponkunnam Farmer's Club,Kerala ,India www.pkmfc2011.blogspot.com
Genetic engineered crops brings up more issues. 1. Stability and transfer of the genes to weed plants. Roundup may have worked perfectly well, to kill all existing weeds, then plant the crop. Add in resistant genes, and through cross-pollination end up with a resistant weed, and roundup is useless. see canola. 2. Accidental crossing of the patented, expensive, restricted GE crop with a neighbor farmers seed crop. Then monsanto, somehow invoking recent laws, tests the neighbors crop, finds the genes, destroys the crop, and sues the farmer for infringement.
The article is missing the real agenda of those who oppose Glyphosate. The biggest reason for genetically engineering crops is adding a gene for resistance to Glyphosate. Once the gene is successfully added to, say, sugar beets, you can plant this strain and easily kill all weeds in your fields by spraying Glyphosate. No other weed management system has proven as effective or cheap. This method is so successful that it is the number one reason why crops are genetically engineered. But of course, many Luddites are deeply afraid of any genetic engineering. They are well-aware that if they can ban Glyphosate they will kill a big reason for genetic engineering and thus greatly cripple it. All these concerns about Glyphosate's effects (which has been around for decades) are really just a veiled attack on genetic engineering of crops. It's no different than using the Endangered Species Act to stop land development. You simply find some "rare and endangered species" of insect or plant on a plot of land, invoke the Act, and achieve your real goal of stopping development. In my town (Boulder, CO) this strategy has been used to stop development on plots as small as one acre. In this same town there is also a huge outcry against genetically modified sugar beets planted on farmland which are resistant to Glyphosate. It's really the same tactic, and why not? It works, after all.
Nice, we've been part of a science experiment - again! They should test these chemicals on Monsanto lobbyists for 20-years before releasing the product for public and commercial use.
Glyphosate bonds to minerals in the soil that plants require, thereby reducing the fertility of the soil and lowering crop yields. Great stuff.
I see another termanal dease. ITS called 'SEW U ITUS". PORMAGAED/ COPED by lawers mostly 4 their benifit!!!
Isn't it funny that when a lucrative product that makes a company millions or billions of dollars are found to be ineffective, or dangerous once the patent expires? Only for the original patent holder to come out with a newer and better product that obviously costs more to use? One only has to look at refridgerant freons to see how that works! I've noticed this on medicines as well! Once they go generic, there's some serious side effects and you have to get the "new" one from the drug company!
I guess France and the E.U. are just "overreacting", despite the fact that Monsanto went to the Supreme Court twice, and lost both times. It was proven that glyphosate builds up in the soil, not dissipates as Monsanto has claimed, and leaves in the potatoes, corn, soybeans and grains planted in it. It is nice to know it is not carcinogenic based on .................? I guess it is something else causing our cancer rates to skyrocket, not the chemicals they spray the crops with days to a week before harvest? Just a hunch we have not heard the last of this.
Because we don't really know the cause of cancer almost anything can qualify to produce "cancer fears." And because we have increasingly sensitive analytical equipment we can detect any miniscule amount of anything almost anywhere we look. Oh well, it keeps a number of scientists on the government dole.