(NaturalHealth365) For the past 15 years, Robert Kremer, a microbiologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, has been studying the impact of glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup, a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide produced by Monsanto. And now, he is sounding the alarm.
But, according to Kremer, the USDA is not only turning a deaf ear to his warnings – and those of other researchers like him – it is suppressing them.
Who uses Roundup, and why?
Roundup is designed to be used with Roundup Ready crops, which have been genetically modified to be resistant to its effects. It is commonly used for weed control by amateur gardeners and professional farmers alike, with Roundup Ready versions of soy, corn, cotton, canola and sorghum all currently available.
Warning: The negative financial outcome as a result of using Roundup.
Kremer says that field surveys have shown that Roundup is causing an increase in the Fusarium fungi affecting the roots of GM soy and corn. Fusarium can cause root rot, wilting and sudden death syndrome in plants. When the fungus strikes such commercial crops as wheat and barley, losses can number in the millions of dollars.
Kremer also alleges that Roundup is altering soil biology with regards to plant root bacteria and nutrient availability, and is stimulating detrimental pathogens in the soil. Glyphosate being released from plant roots into surrounding soil can have toxic effects on microorganisms, and can also stimulate them to colonize root systems.
Even more alarmingly, glyphosate in Roundup can be toxic to rhizobia, a beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacterium. As nitrogen is the nutrient most likely to be deficient in soil, this could seriously affect plant growth and health.
Glyphosate has already contaminated seed supplies
Kremer reports that spillover, contamination and runoff are also a concern. Seed contamination, in which Roundup Ready genes have been introduced into the food supply, are already an issue; in addition, Kremer fears that glyphosate could run through soil and into rivers and streams – a scenario made more likely to occur by high phosphorous content in soils.
As far as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned, glyphosate is safe for humans in small concentrations. Shockingly, the EPA even regulates allowable concentrations of glyphosate in our drinking water.
Fact: The use of Roundup creates “superweeds”.
Kremer, also an adjunct professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at University of Missouri, notes that there are eight different types of glyphosate-resistant weeds in Missouri alone. One of the most troublesome, giant ragweed, is resistant to Roundup, even though it is one of weeds Roundup was designed to inhibit.
Kremer is not alone – glyphosate is creating ‘superweeds’
In 2009, a Purdue University study stated that over-reliance on Roundup was weakening the herbicide’s ability to control weeds. The researchers noted that the most benefit obtained from Roundup was experienced by those farmers who alternated GM crops with conventional crops. The use of an alternate herbicide was also recommended.
The scientific warnings are clear – are we listening?
In a 2012 analysis published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe, researchers noted that the use of herbicides in GM cotton, soybean and corn crops had actually increased. Although herbicide-resistant crops performed well for the first few years, over-reliance on glyphosate led to the eventual development of tougher-to-control “superweeds,” forcing farmers to increase application rates and spray more frequently.
And herein lies the problem. Because Monsanto GM seeds feature “terminator technology” that makes second-generation seeds sterile, farmers must purchase new Roundup Ready seeds every year, along with the Roundup herbicide, thereby increasing the chances of weeds developing ever-growing resistance – a vicious cycle with no end in sight.
Does our government even care about us? Add to that the fact that the USDA seems to have no interest in publicizing Kremer’s research – although he says his papers have been well-received in Europe – and we have what appears to be a recipe for agricultural disaster.
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