[NAFEX] More Evidence that Monsanto's HerbicideRoundup is Toxic

dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com
Thu Jun 26 10:42:56 EDT 2008

MessageWell, it's raining outside so i have nothing better to do than pick on "environmental researchers"....

The headline states:  Roundup Highly Lethal to Amphibians in Natural Setting, Finds University of Pittsburgh Researcher

Yet, I see where they applied the chemicals to a "tank", and it seems that there was no rate given, i.e. what was the dilute or was there no dilute?  It says that it was a "field" study in a "natural" setting, but done in a laboratory.  

If you take cyanide poison, it will kill you.  Eat an apple and it is good for you...apple seeds contain cyanide.  With this kind of research, we farmers don't have a chance!  I was a researcher for 2 years at Taylor University and would have flunked my coursework if I had come to these kinds of conclusions in my research.

We have used Roundup (as per the label instructions) since 1992 and have 2 ponds that have plenty of tadpoles within 100 feet of where we regularly spray Roundup along a fence.  Our water has been tested regularly for leaching and we have found no polyehtoxylated tallowamine in our ponds. Gee, I wonder if I could get published stating that Roundup has no effect on amphibious life?!?!

Dennis Norton
Royal Oak Farm Orchard, Zone 5
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Brungardt, Sam 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers ; Pribble, Ralph ; Maleitzke, Jennifer 
  Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 4:44 PM
  Subject: [NAFEX] More Evidence that Monsanto's HerbicideRoundup is Toxic

  April 5, 2005

  (This article just out in the journal Ecological Applications)

  Roundup Highly Lethal to Amphibians in Natural Setting, Finds University of Pittsburgh Researcher

  Some species totally eliminated

  PITTSBURGH - The herbicide Roundup(r) is widely used to eradicate weeds.  But a study published today by a University of Pittsburgh researcher finds that the chemical may be eradicating much more than that.

  Pitt assistant professor of biology Rick Relyea found that Roundup, the second most commonly applied herbicide in the United States, is "extremely lethal" to amphibians. This field experiment is one of the most extensive studies on the effects of pesticides on nontarget organisms in a natural setting, and the results may provide a key link to global amphibian declines.

  In a paper titled "The Impact of Insecticides and Herbicides on the Biodiversity and Productivity of Aquatic Communities," published in the journal Ecological Applications, Relyea examined how a pond's entire community --- 25 species, including crustaceans, insects, snails, and tadpoles -- responded to the addition of the manufacturers' recommended doses  of two insecticides -- Sevin(r) (carbaryl) and malathion -- and two herbicides-Roundup(r) (glyphosate) and 2,4-D.

  Relyea found that Roundup caused a 70 percent decline in amphibian biodiversity and an 86 percent decline in the total mass of tadpoles.  Leopard frog tadpoles and gray tree frog tadpoles were completely eliminated and wood frog tadpoles and toad tadpoles were nearly eliminated. 

  One species of frog, spring peepers, was unaffected.

  "The most shocking insight coming out of this was that Roundup, something designed to kill plants, was extremely lethal to amphibians," said Relyea, who conducted the research at Pitt's Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. "We added Roundup(r), and the next day we looked in the tanks and there were dead tadpoles all over the bottom."

  Relyea initially conducted the experiment to see whether the Roundup would have an indirect effect on the frogs by killing their food source, the algae. However, he found that Roundup(r), although an herbicide, actually increased the amount of algae in the pond because it killed most of the frogs.

  "It's like killing all the cows in a field and seeing that the field has more grass in it-not because you made the grass grow better, but because you killed everything that eats grass," he said.

  Previous research had found that the lethal ingredient in Roundup was not the herbicide itself, glyphosate, but rather the surfactant, or detergent, that allows the herbicide to penetrate the waxy surfaces of plants. In Roundup, that surfactant is a chemical called polyehtoxylated tallowamine. Other herbicides have less dangerous surfactants: For example, Relyea's study found that 2,4-D had no effect on tadpoles.

  "We've repeated the experiment, so we're confident that this is, in fact, a repeatable result that we see," said Relyea. "It's fair to say that nobody would have guessed Roundup was going to be so lethal to amphibians." http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/roundup040605.cfm 
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