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France Bans World Leading Herbicide from Garden Shops

Discussion in 'Nature/Habitat/Garden Corner' started by KTdid, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    Likes Received:
    The move follows the World Health Organization’s finding that Monsanto’s Roundup is a probable carcinogen.

    Walk into any neighborhood garden store and you’ll most likely find weed-killing jugs of chemicals right next to the tulips, daisies, and bird feeders.

    So, Why Should You Care? As weeds become more resistant to herbicides like glyphosate, the spraying of glyphosate-based Roundup has increased. More than 88,000 tons of glyphosate were used in the U.S. in 2007, compared with 11,000 tons in 1992. That means more human exposure to a potentially carcinogenic chemical.

    Glyphosate has also been linked to the precipitous decline in monarch butterflies. The herbicide can kill milkweed, which is monarch caterpillars’ sole food source.

    “Eliminating Roundup, as France has done, will help protect the iconic monarch butterflies, and we believe that other countries, including the U.S., must address Roundup and glyphosate use…as it has essentially wiped out milkweed,” said Tiffany Finck-Haynes, a pollinator expert at Friends of the Earth.


    It’s a blow to U.S.-based biotech giant Monsanto, which first developed glyphosate-based Roundup products 40 years ago. In the 1990s, the company introduced “Roundup Ready” genetically modified crops that can withstand glyphosate.

    That led to widespread use of the herbicide in corn and soybean fields around the world. Now, the International Agency for Research on Cancer says there’s “limited evidence” that exposure to Roundup aids in the formation of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in humans, based on studies conducted on farm workers in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden.

    Under the conditions recommended on the label, the product does not present any particular risk for the user,” a company representative said to Reuters in an email. Monsanto executives contend that the IARC’s findings on glyphosate didn’t include the “full body of science” on the herbicide.

    “In total, 160 nations have reviewed the scientific record and have concluded that glyphosate is safe for use,” Monsanto states on its website—but that should probably be changed to 159 now.

    Glyphosate now shows up in everything from honey to soy sauce and flour, said Paul Towers, spokesperson for the Pesticide Action Network North America.

    “The international community has sent a wake-up call to the U.S., underscoring the point that industrial agriculture is a disaster in the making,” Towers said.

    President Obama’s national pollinator strategy, released last month, didn’t propose curtailing glyphosate or other chemicals known to be harmful to pollinators. Instead, it focused on setting aside “pollinator friendly” land while inviting more research on a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

    “There is a need for a countrywide transition to least-toxic ecological weed management,” Towers said. “The new plan must break the cycle of weed resistance that keeps farmers on a pesticide treadmill and phase out reliance on health-harming herbicides.”


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