INVASIVE SPECIES

5/18/2019

The favorite new buzz word in crops and courtrooms is glyphosate. First marketed in 1974 by Monsanto as the weed killer ROUNDUP, this post emergent herbicide has had excellent results on noxious plants for 4.5 decades. That is, until research laboratories worldwide have found a link between the product and a specific type of cancer. The connection is not with the chemical glyphosate itself, but rather with an inert surfactant ingredient added to make it stick to leaves long enough for glyphosate to enter the plants cells and interrupt proteins, thus, killing the plant. ROUNDUP is a non-discriminatory herbicide that will kill most vegetation unless it is a genetically modified organism (GMO), able to tolerate low levels of the product such as corn, soybeans, or wheat. The new problem is the use of large amounts of these chemicals towards harvest time that accelerates growth of slower crops (the last gasp phenomenon) and then speed up the demise and desiccation of the plant in the field. Low moisture levels are desirable for less energy expenditures for drying and quicker harvest and storage times, possibly avoiding potential bad weather at the season’s end. With these tactics, it’s now in our food in appreciable amounts and are suspected in an increase in the number of celiacs, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, birth defects, and yet undiscovered ailments. It’s in our cereals, beer, wine, ice cream, and “healthy ‘ products such as certified non-GMO and organic foods. Glyphosate was touted by the manufacturer and the EPA to be completely safe if used according to instructions, but the court found Monsanto guilty for covering up its carcinogenic properties and fined them severely. The goal of the product is to rid the planet of invasive species, and it’s doing well. The most destructive species on earth is man. All it took was an increase in the dosage and the fine levied on Monsanto will be redistributed to farmers to ensure success in wiping out this noxious weed. 

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