It’s time to lovingly embrace the knowledge revolution as the toxic chemical age draws to a close. Roundup herbicide and its ‘active’ ingredient glyphosate are rejected everywhere in the world.
Monsanto saw the collapse coming, so sold its poisoned chalice of Genetically Manipulated crops and Roundup herbicide to Bayer in June, for $66 billion. The market is deserting Roundup, with Bayer/Monsanto and Nufarm – key Roundup makers and marketers – losing more than 10% of their share value.
This followed the Johnson vs Monsanto ruling that awarded a dying victim of Roundup $289 million. Evidence that Roundup’s ‘active’ ingredient is unsafe to humans and animals is accumulating and juries agree. There will be thousands more court cases, in the USA and globally.
A Brazilian court also banned glyphosate on health grounds. Cities and regions everywhere are opting for alternatives, including 35 Australian municipalities so far.
In North and South America, Roundup Ready GM seed massively increased the chemical’s use but those markets are now fully supplied and have dried up. Weeds also resist Roundup wherever it has been repeatedly used, driving farmers and other land managers to use toxic tank mixes that wreak even more havoc.
Australian growers are deeply divided over a new Cooperative Bulk Handlers’ segregation that has zero tolerance for glyphosate residues in barley for export, which customers demand. This results from Roundup (and other toxics) being used in crop topping and crop dessication prior to harvest, which leaves detectable residues in the grain.
Food contamination is a critical issue for us all. The Maximum Residue Limits which our regulators set create just a gloss of safety that potentially ruins our quality of life with chronic illness and premature death.
Agribusiness and chemical industry leaders demonise anyone who questions Roundup safety as ‘fanatics’. A more mature approach is to embrace people like Matt Landos, director of Future Fisheries Veterinary Services, who calls for more R&D resources to discover and develop affordable non-chemical alternatives, such as the Harrington Seed Destructor.
Non-chemical weed management innovations could be a bonanza for everyone and we should welcome and embrace them.
Bob Phelps Executive Director Gene Ethics