The Fruits of Civilization (81-1) Glyphosate

Glyphosate

Glyphosate is virtually ideal: a highly effective broad-spectrum herbicide, yet very toxicologically and environmentally safe. ~ US government herbicide researcher Stephen Duke & Australian herbicide researcher Stephen Powles

The greatest reaping of GMO profits has come from genetically engineering food crops to withstand the application of the herbicide glyphosate.

Glyphosate was first synthesized in 1950 by Swiss chemist Henry Martin. Corporate chemists at Monsanto rediscovered the compound in 1970, which it markets as Roundup®.

Glyphosate adsorbs strongly to soil and is degraded by microbes there. Its half-life in water is almost a half-year. Vegetables grown under its application, including root vegetables, are invariably laden with the herbicide.

The landscape-scale application of large quantities of pesticides has negative consequences that are often hard to predict. ~ Dave Goulson

Though supposedly just an herbicide, insect pollinators of glyphosate crops are poisoned, as their gut flora are devastated by exposure to the chemical.

Exposing bees to glyphosate alters the bee gut community and increases susceptibility to infection by opportunistic pathogens. ~ American evolutionary biologist Nancy Moran et al

The use of glyphosate combined with the dominance of genetically engineered crops has produced a looming public health threat both in the US and around the world. ~ American biologist and ecologist Mary Ellen Kustin

Internal emails reveal that Monsanto paid academics to sign off on reports ghostwritten by the company.

… us doing the writing and they would just edit and sign their names…. ~ Monsanto executive William Heydens

Government regulators and other researchers, funded by industry, examined glyphosate for animal safety by testing only the compound itself, not the toxic cocktail into which glyphosate is mixed to make the weed killer that is used. Thus, the product’s mutagenic and carcinogenic properties, as well as other detrimental effects on the body, were overlooked.

Monsanto specifically went out of its way to bully and to fight independent researchers. They fought science. ~ American attorney Brent Wisner, after reviewing Monsanto internal emails

Herbicides are not designed to affect animals, but we are learning that they can have a wide range of surprising effects by altering how hormones work in the bodies of animals. ~ American biologist Rick Relyea

Prior to the introduction of genetically modified foods, very few people had detectable levels of glyphosate. Our exposure to these chemicals has increased significantly over the years, but most people are unaware that they are consuming them through their diet. ~ American physician Paul Mills

To develop crops resilient to glyphosate, genetic material was taken from bacteria resistant to glyphosate, then inserted into target plants. Monsanto genetically engineered soybeans, then corn, canola, alfalfa, cotton, sorghum, and wheat. GM seeds are sold at a premium price by Monsanto under restrictive licenses using the trade name Roundup-Ready.

Farmers have sprayed billions of pounds of a chemical now considered a probable human carcinogen over the past decade. Spraying has increased to multiple times a year recently on the majority of US cropland. The sheer volume of use of this toxic weedkiller is a clear indication that this chemical dependency is a case of farming gone wrong. ~ Mary Ellen Kustin

The widespread use of glyphosate accelerated the ability of weeds to resist the herbicide. This was countered by farmers using even more Roundup, which exacerbated the problem.

Resistance problems result from overuse and mismanagement. ~ American botanist Carol Mallory-Smith