[permaculture] roundup - glyphosate

Keith Johnson keithdj at mindspring.com
Wed Dec 20 11:45:15 EST 2006

Monsanto claims to put our health before its profits with "safe" 
Roundup. Riiiight.


Compiled by Caroline Cox, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to 
Pesticides- (NCAP)

Roundup, and related herbicides with glyphosate as an active ingredient, 
are advertised as products that can "eradicate weeds and unwanted 
grasses effectively with a high level of environmental safety." However, 
an independent, accurate evaluation of their health and environmental 
hazards can draw conclusions very different from those presented in the 
ads. Consider these facts:

1. Glyphosate can be persistent. In tests conducted by Monsanto, 
manufacturer of glyphosate-containing herbicides, up to 140 days were 
required for half of the applied glyphosate to break down or disappear 
from agricultural soils. At harvest, residues of glyphosate were found 
in lettuce, carrots, and barley planted one year after glyphosate 

2. Glyphosate can drift. Test conducted by the University of California, 
Davis, found that glyphosate drifted up to 400 meters (1300 feet) durng 
ground applications and 800 meters 12600 feet) during aerial applications.

3. Glyphosate is acutely toxic to humans. Ingesting about 3/4 of a cup 
can be lethal. Symptoms include eye and skin irritation, lung 
congestion, and erosion of the intestinal tract. Between 1984 and 1990 
in California, glyphosate was the third most frequently reported cause 
of illness related to agricultural pesticide use.

4. Glyphosate has shown a wide spectrum of chronic toxicity in 
laboratory tests. The National Toxicology Program found that chronic 
feeding of glyphosate caused salivary gland lesions, reduced sperm 
counts, and a lengthened estrous cycle (how often an individual comes 
into heat). Other chronic effects found in laboratory tests include an 
increase in the frequency of lethal mutations in fruit flies, an 
increase in frequency of pancreas and liver tumors in male rats along 
with an increase in the frequency of thyroid tumors in females, and 
cataracts. (ne fruit fly study used Roundup; the other studies used 

5. Roundup contains toxic trade secret ingredients. These include 
polyethoxylated tallowamines, causing nausea and diarrhea, and 
isopropylamine, causing chemical pneumonia, laryngitis, headache, and bums.

6. Roundup kills beneficial insects. Tests conducted by The 
International Organization for Biological Control showed that Roundup 
caused mortality of live beneficial species: a Thrichgramma, a predatory 
mite, a lacewing, a ladybug, and a predatory beetle.

7. Glyphosate is hazardous to earthworms, Tests using New Zealand's most 
common earthworm showed that glyphosate, in amounts as low as 1/20 of 
standard application rates, reduced its growth and slowed its development.

8. Roundup inhibits mycorrhizal fungi. Canadian studies have shown that 
as little as 1 part per million of Roundup can reduce the growth or 
colonization of mycorrhizal fungi.

9. Glyphosate reduces nitrogen fixation. Amounts as small as 2 parts per 
million have had significant effects, and effects have been measured up 
to 120 days after treatment. Nitrogen- fixing bacteria shown to be 
impacted by glyphosate include a species found on soybeans and several 
species found on clover.

10. Roundup can increase the spread or severity of plant diseases. 
Treatment with roundup increased the severity of Rhizoctonia root rot in 
barley, increased the amount and growth of take-all fungus, a wheat 
disease), and reduced the ability of bean plants to defend themselves 
against anthracnose.

Keith Johnson
"Be fruitful and mulch apply."
Permaculture Activist Magazine
PO Box 5516, Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 335-0383
also Patterns for Abundance Design & Consulting
also Association for Regenerative Culture
also APPLE-Bloomington (Alliance for a Post-Petroleum Local Economy) It's a small world after oil.
also Bloomington Permaculture Guild

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