[Market-farming] re roundup

Karen Sutherland and Roots Farm rootsfarm at marpin.dm
Sun May 15 10:32:42 EDT 2005

Apologies for not having saved more information about the sources quoted 
below. I believe Roundup should be scrutinized very carefully before 
use. The issue is not just glyphosate in isolation. It is the entire 
formulation of inerts and the synergies unleashed when used in the real 
world, not just as tested in a lab and reported by scientists whose 
bread & butter comes from associations with chemical companies.

> *Roundup Doesn't Poison Only Weeds*
> By Hervé Morin
> Le Monde
> Saturday 12 March 2005
> The most used herbicide in the world: Monsanto's Roundup and its 
> competitors, formulated, like Roundup, on a base of glyphosate, have 
> long enjoyed a reputation for harmlessness to human health and the 
> environment. However, several recent studies seem to indicate that 
> this active ingredient, used by farmers as well as by public road 
> services and Sunday gardeners, could well not be as inoffensive as its 
> promoters claim. The stakes are big, because the usage of glyphosate 
> grows along with that of genetically modified organisms, the great 
> majority of which have been specifically conceived to "tolerate" this 
> active ingredient, fatal to plants.
> In fact, while Roundup and similar products were originally used 
> against weeds, "they have become a food product, since they are used 
> on GMOs, which can absorb them without dying," maintains the 
> biochemist Gilles-Eric Séralini. A member for years of the French 
> Commission on Biomolecular Genetics (CBG), responsible for preparing 
> the files for requests for field studies, then GMO commercialization, 
> he ceaselessly demands more intense studies on their eventual health 
> impact.
> Also a member of Criigen, an association which has made control of 
> GMOs its passion, he has oriented his own research toward the study of 
> the impact of glyphosate. In an article published February 24 in the 
> American journal /Environmental Health Perspective/, the biochemist 
> and his team from the University of Caen demonstrate, /in vitro/, 
> several toxic effects of this compound as well as of the additives 
> associated with it to facilitate its diffusion.
> For their study, the researchers used human placental cell lines, in 
> which very weak doses of glyphosate showed toxic effects and, at still 
> weaker concentrations, endocrinal disturbances. This, for Gilles-Eric 
> Séralini, could explain the high levels of premature births and 
> miscarriages observed in certain epidemiological studies - which are, 
> however, controversial - covering women farmers using glyphosate. "The 
> effect we have observed is proportional to the dose, but also to the 
> length of exposure," he emphasizes.
> His team has also compared the comparative effects of glyphosate and 
> Roundup. And it has observed that the commercial product is more 
> disruptive than its isolated main active ingredient. "Consequently the 
> evaluation of herbicides must take into account the combination with 
> additives in the product," he says.
> Full story
> http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/printer_032805HB.shtml

>The Product of el Diablo 
>Roundup is an herbicide and all herbicides are pesticides. The EPA definition of a pesticide includes all forms of –cides. Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, are made by Monsanto. Other products and contaminants that can be attributed to Monsanto are: Saccharin, Astroturf, agent orange, dioxin, sulphuric acid, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), plastics and synthetic fabrics, research on uranium for the Manhattan Project that led to the construction of nuclear bombs, styrene monomer, an endless line of pesticides and herbicides (Roundup), rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone that makes cows ill), genetically engineered crops (corn, potatoes, tomatoes, soy beans, cotton), and it's most significant product to date; Lies, Factual Distortions and Omissions. More.
>On to Roundup….
>The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is linked to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma—a cancer—and the inhibition of steroidogenesis— the obstruction of steroid creation in the body. This means that it is a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor.
>Roundup's surfactant—reduces surface tension, allowing the pesticide to flow better over the crop—is more toxic than its active ingredient, glyphosate. In combination with glyphosate, a synergy is created that makes Roundup many more times toxic. For the same reason that the surfactant promotes a reduction in surface tension, it may also aid the penetration into the body.
>Many of common household chemicals, cleaners, and beauty and health care products, and plastics also act in synergy with many pesticides. Nuclear radiation works this way also. It is made more deadly by the chemicals in the air, water, and in our bodies.
>Think of the thousands of troops who have been exposed to the ionizing radiation of depleted uranium (DU) in the war in Iraq—as well as Afghanistan, Gulf War I, the Falklands, Vieques, etc.—in the presence of an extremely wide range of other toxicants such as Roundup. There are so many combinations that no one could possibly keep track of them all. But that doesn’t mean we should be nonchalant about any of this stuff.
>The head of the Army’s DU program in Gulf War I, who was actually in charge of all environmental elements, has said that he has no idea how many or what chemicals were used on the soldiers. More.
>Because of a greatly reduced efficacy—its effectiveness has dropped significantly in the few years that it has been in use—many other pesticides must be used in combination with Roundup. These old pesticides were supposed to have been made obsolete by the use of Roundup on crops genetically engineered to resist it. And many of these old pesticides are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Right now, no one knows exactly what the combinations being used by farmers are doing to the environment, but I can assure you it isn’t good.
>Roundup by itself lasts a long time in soil. Its persistence varies with each soil and condition, but the range of its half-life is from 3 days up to 3 years. Aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) is one metabolite—breakdown chemical—of glyphosate. AMPA lasts between 119 and 958 days in soil and has been found in lettuce and barley planted a year after glyphosate treatment. More. 
>A new unpublished study in Denmark has noted that glyphosate is polluting the ground water at a rate of five times more than the allowed level for drinking water. The Denmark and Greenland Geological Research Institution (DGGRI) did the study. If it hasn’t been found here in the US then it no one has looked sufficiently yet. But this is how we work here, don’t ask, don’t tell. Stick your head in the sand and hope it gets better. More.
>It is possible that the size of the dose of Roundup does not matter—that ANY detectable amount can cause cancer or disrupt the endocrine system, and in turn all other systems. It has been shown with many pesticides and other synthetic chemicals that the timing is critical and dose is significantly less important. An example of such dose timing is dioxin, which was found as a contaminant of Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War.
>By the way, in spite of the fact that it hasn’t been used in decades, the blood levels of dioxin are actually rising in the people of Vietnam. It is bioaccumulating in the food chain. More. 
>Dioxin has been found to be hormonally active in the single-digits of parts per trillion. And that is not the threshold—the lowest point at which it is hormonally active. That has not been found because scientific research capabilities are not able to find the point at which it is no longer toxic! Glyphosate has a different mode of action, but we just do not know what its threshold is.
>Present day toxicology was invented in the 15th century and hasn’t changed an awful lot since that time. It used to be thought that the dose-response threshold relationship was a straight line. But this is now known to be far from the reality of the situation. More. 
>Glyphosate is the “active ingredient” in Roundup, but far from the only toxic ingredient. The “inactive ingredients” must also be included at the same time in any study if that study is to have any validity to it at all. But Roundup’s safety is based on testing done only on glyphosate by Monsanto itself.
>The EPA has a list of the inert ingredients, but by law it is obliged to keep Monsanto’s proprietary formula secret from the public. This is the same for all pesticides. Because of this, no one can make an informed judgment on the safety of any pesticide.
>If all this doesn’t convince you to stop using it and start letting others know about it, then nothing will. But still, for more on Roundup, glyphosate and Monsanto click here.
>Stick to organic! And not the commercial variety either.
>If you have come to this page from an outside location click here to get back to mindfully.org
>Please see the Fair Use Notice on the Homepage
Description/reporting of "Truth" -- including the above -- is always 
slanted, due to the very nature of language, among other human 
definitional/recognitional tools. In absence of real clarity, I believe 
it is better to err on the side of safety..

Best wishes to all,


*Karen Sutherland **
**Roots Farm**
Organic Produce : Fruits, Roots, Vegetables & Herbs*
Cockrane, Dominica
rootsfarm at marpin.dm <mailto:rootsfarm at marpin.dm>

Jack Lane wrote:

>      Round up poisons people? Where did you hear that? Roundup is quite
>safe. Do you have any literature to back up your claim? If I spray
>roundup on a field it has absolutely no residual activity in the soil.
>If I don't spray green plants with it I am wasting my money. You can
>even spray roundup inside a greenhouse. But take an organically
>certified herbicide like devrinol, and you will have years of persistent
>poison in the soil.  
>	There are plenty of other chemicals to pick on besides
>glyphosate. I am not an organic grower, because the term organic is VERY
>misleading. I try to use as few chemicals as possible, but I also know
>the importance of growing the best crop to take to market. Without
>Commercial fungicides, I couldn't grow apples in Kentucky. 
>	I agree that chemicals should be kept to a minimum. Roundup is
>one of the few tools that I feel comfortable using.

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