What Happened to Monsanto's Claims That Roundup is "Biodegradable"and "Environmentally Friendly"? It is apparent the chemical is not only persisting in theenvironment, it's persisting at alarmingly high levels, despiteMonsanto's claims to the contrary. (In 2009, a French court upheldtwo earlier convictions against Monsanto for false advertising.) The overall quantity of glyphosate in the environment has beendifficult to analyze due to its physicochemical properties, such asits relatively low molecular weight and low organic solventsolubility. Furthermore, since the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) stopped updating its pesticide use database in 2008, it'sbecoming increasingly difficult to estimate how much glyphosate isactually used in the US, but the following 2006-2007 market usageestimates were reported by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) in 2011: iv Agricultural market used 180 to 185 million pounds of glyphosate Home and garden market: 5 to 8 million pounds Industry, commerce and government: 13 to 15 million pounds It's safe to say that usage has increased steadily since theseestimates were made, rising right along with the acreage of GMcrops. |
And now the environment and our bodies are paying the price. One recent study used a magnetic particle immunoassay to test forthe presence of glyphosate in roughly 140 samples of groundwaterfrom Catalonia, Spain. The analysis found that glyphosate waspresent above the limit of quantification in 41 percent of thesamples. v Of course, because groundwater is used as a drinking water source,this contamination poses a risk to animals, plants and humansalike.
The chemical was also detected in 60 to 100 percent of all air andrain samples tested during two growing seasons in Mississippi andIowa, vi which lends further credence to the fact that Roundup does notreadily break down in the environment, but rather is lingering allaround us. Along with the potential implications for human andanimal health, the chemical is also linked to a number ofdevastating environmental consequences, including Sudden DeathSyndrome (SDS), a serious plant disease, and the creation of superweeds . Today there are more than 750 products in the United States thatcontain glyphosate, and the problems to human health and theenvironment are only slated to get worse if drastic changes are notmade in the massive use of Roundup herbicide across the UnitedStates. You Can Help Curb the Use of Glyphosate by Avoiding GMOs It's important to avoid the use of Roundup on your lawn and garden,but on a larger scale the best way to fight back against thischemical is by boycotting the GM crops that were developed for itsuse.
Several organizations, including Mercola.com, the OrganicConsumers Association, the Institute for Responsible Technology,and the Environmental Working Group, are working to generate atipping point of consumer rejection to make GMOs a thing of thepast. Here's how you can get involved: If you live in California and are willing to attend a shorttraining session and then start collecting petition signatures (youwill be part of a team of 2-4 people) for the California BallotInitiative, sign up here . (For more information see: The California Ballot Initiative: Taking Down Monsanto .) Also remember to share this information with family and friendsin California! Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Look for products(including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMOcontent.
You can also download the free iPhone application that isavailable in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching forShopNoGMO in the applications. In the meantime, the simplest way to avoid GM foods is to buywhole, certified organic foods. By definition, foods that arecertified organic must never intentionally use GM organisms, mustbe produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and comefrom an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics,growth promoters or other drugs.
Additionally, grass-fed beef willnot have been fed GM corn feed, although now that GM alfalfa isapproved, grass-fed will not always mean GMO free. You can also look for foods that are "non-GMO verified" by the Non-GMO Project . Your Opportunity to Eliminate Genetically Engineered Foods from theU.S. In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to"immediately" require GM labeling if elected.
So far, nothing ofthe sort has transpired. Labeling of genetically engineered food is way overdue... Be assured that what happens in California will affect theremainder of the U.S., so please support this important stateinitiative, even if you do not live there! i Chemical Research in Toxicology 2010; 23(10):1586–1595 ii Chemical Research in Toxicology 2010; 23(10):1586–1595 iii Chemical Research in Toxicology 2009 Jan;22(1):97-105. iv U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage, 2006 and 2007 Market Estimates (PDF) v Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry November 20, 2011 vi Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 2011 Mar;30(3):548-55.
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