LET’S TALK ABOUT GLYPHOSATE (or why do farmers wear gas masks when spraying RoundUp)
In 1974 Monsanto introduced a new chemical called glyphosate to the farming industry. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in RoundUp and is used to kill weeds by blocking proteins that are essential for plant growth. Monsanto also created genetically modified (GE) SEEDS that are resistant to glyphosate so when farmers sprayed their fields the weeds would be killed but not the crop they were growing. Sounds good, right? Not so fast!
Since 1974, farmers have needed to use more and more RoundUp on their fields as weeds have become resistant to glyphosate. Between 1987 and 2012, the annual usage on US farms grew from less than 11 million pounds to nearly 300 million pounds. While the US does not prevent the use of this chemical, many other countries, including France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Colombia have banned the use of glyphosates. Plus, it is not included in US testing of food for pesticides!
Glyphosate is a systemic chemical, meaning it is taken INTO the plants that we HUMANS and ANIMALS eat. So it is not only in GMO vegetables, but in any animal that has not been raised organically! You will find it in commercially raised beef, sheep, pigs, chickens and any of their products, such as eggs, milk, cheese etc. Even “pastured” cows are not spared because many farmers spray glyphosate on their pastures, along with a host of other toxic chemicals. Adding insult to injury, vineyards routinely use it under their vines to kill their weeds. So, just about everything we eat and drink has come in contact with glyphosate. Now think about this…independent studies in the US and around the world have shown that glyphosate is a carcinogenic causing endocrine disruptions, organ damage and birth defects. It has been found in our air, rain, streams and surface water.
RoundUp is also a hugely popular product for home use and at this time of year, when weeds are popping up all over, folks are grabbing their containers and spraying it on their driveways and walkways. It is a small quantity compared to the farming industry but is still harmful to animals and people and adds to the overall build up of this dangerous chemical.
So please, dispose safely of your jugs of RoundUp (or any weed killer with glyphosate) and consider a safe alternative to weeds and unwanted grass. One such alternative is to mix 1 gallon of Vinegar with 2 cups Epsom Salts and 1/4 cup Original (green) Dawn dish detergent and spray your unwanted weeds. Plain white vinegar, all by itself, is also effective (if you don’t want Vinegar made from GE plants, then use Organic Vinegar) and some stores carry a natural form of weed killer with clove oil and citric acid such as BurnOut II.