Roundup with Glyphosate: harmless herbicide or poison for nature & humans?

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Roundup - a harmless weedkiller of the extra class. At least that's how it is advertised. But is it really as good for the environment as its manufacturer promises?

Glyphosate use

When I recently took a look at my driveway, a slight shiver came over my neck. Because again the weeds had pushed through the paving stones. When I sighed loud, even my neighbor called: "Well, you have to go back with the Fugenkratzer, right?" I rolled my eyes and waved off only. It suddenly said: "Try it with Roundup." I became curious about this great medium, which my neighbor warmly recommended, and made me a little smart on the internet.

What I immediately realized: Roundup seems to be THE weedkiller par excellence. At least as far as the effect is concerned. I came to this conclusion, because I came across countless forum posts and testimonials from allotment gardeners who swear by almost on Roundup. It should keep the beds and garden paths tiptop clean and easy to use. Roundup seems to be a real bestseller. The good reviews and high sales ranks in well-known Internet shops confirmed only these statements.

But I could not ignore some of the headlines that I stumbled upon during my research. There were in connection with Roundup, or the contained drug glyphosate, words such as "carcinogenic", "toxic", "malformations" and "contaminated food". That, of course, contradicted everything I had previously learned. It became clear to me that I should get more information here before I put the remedy on the next visit to the garden center in the shopping cart.

Mode of action of glyphosate

Roundup glyphosate

First of all, I wondered what this glyphosate is. On the Internet, I learned that it is the world's most used by industrial agriculture herbicide. Although agriculture is the main area of ​​application for pesticides, home gardeners and gardeners also like to use the miracle cure Roundup. But why is it even a "miracle cure" and why do so many swear by it? Quite simply: the glyphosate contained in the Roundup acts via the leaves and inhibits a specific enzyme required for the metabolism of most plants (EPSP synthase). This enzyme is in turn needed for the production of vital amino acids. So if it is killed, then the plant dies within a few days. [5]

But how can it be that soy, sugar beet and Co. survive on the field even though Roundup is sprayed? That too was explained to me pretty quickly. In the past, the use of glyphosate on the field was only possible if crops did not grow at the same time. But that was a thorn in the side of many. As a result, the manufacturer of Roundup, Monsanto, got down to work and started manipulating genes. In 1996, the agribusiness finally succeeded in incorporating a gene into soybeans, which is used to form the enzyme EPSP synthetase. Thanks to this enzyme, the soybean plants finally survived the poisonous rain. But it should not just stay with soy. Meanwhile, there are also so-called Roundup Ready (RR) corn, rapeseed, sugar beet, cotton and Alfalfa. [5]

Who is behind Roundup?

Behind the weed killer product Roundup lies the seed and genetic engineering group Monsanto based in St. Louis, Missouri, which is currently merging with the German chemical group Bayer [10]. The agrarian multicounter brought Roundup in 1974 first on the market. Today Monsanto is a leading manufacturer of glyphosate-containing herbicides and glyphosate-resistant, genetically modified plants. Over time, of course, many followed, so glyphosathaltige herbicides are also produced by other companies.

Today, glyphosate is used as the main constituent of many herbicides worldwide. Especially in agriculture. Here it was initially applied only before sowing. Thanks to the genetically modified Roundup Ready plants Roundup can now also be applied during cultivation. And even shortly before the harvest, some farmers use it, because the glyphosate-containing agent dries out the plants, so that Cereals can be harvested even in bad weather. [6]

So it looks like Roundup really seems like a good medium. And not just for agriculture. Finally, it is also sprayed in private gardens, on public areas, on railway embankments and on the edge of the motorway.Why has the use of glyphosate been regulated in Austria since 2013 [9]? Why is France even banning the sale of Roundup in garden centers? And why is Roundup constantly making headlines?

Roundup - the silent poison

It is estimated that 2.5 million tons of plant toxins are sprayed worldwide every year. 99.7 percent of them arrive unfiltered into the environment, the soil and the waters. In the case of glyphosate-containing sprays, this in turn can have devastating effects. The remedy is said to not only damage the soil life, it should also promote pathogenic fungi and affect the uptake of microorganisms. But not only the nature suffers from the use - also the animal world takes a big damage due to the worldwide use of Roundup. Research shows that glyphosate also has a negative impact on the population of earthworms, spiders and birds. [5]

The groundwater and surface water, of course, come into contact with the glyphosate through surface runoff and washout. The Devastating: Glyphosate is highly toxic to water. Depending on the dose, the agent in the water can destroy almost everything that lives and grows in it. Be it aquatic plants, fish, amphibians or dragonfly larvae - if they come in contact with the glyphosate, they die. Of course, the agent also seeps into the groundwater and sooner or later gets into the drinking water. [4]

More and more farmers are fighting for their existence

For years a mysterious cattle dying in Europe worries. Animals are born deformed [7], milk, chicken and pig farmers lose their livelihood and farmers and their families get sick. One of the reasons seems to be one thing: the glyphosate. Gensoja has been used as animal feed in Europe for almost 20 years. Since then, farmers are seeing a significant increase in animal diseases. Although many authorities do not see a link between the disease and the drug glyphosate. The farmers disagree. Many report malformations and miscarriages.

And as if that were not bad enough, the number of sick farmers is also increasing dramatically. Even in stable air and bovine faeces, glyphosate residues have already been detected. As a result, many farmers in Germany are already seriously ill today.

The situation is different in rural areas of Latin America, where glyphosate-resistant plants are grown and a lot of roundup, e.g. by plane, is injected. Not only do farmers get sick here, newborns are also getting more and more ill with diseases. Mostly with physical and mental disabilities. Here, research has shown that there are many more cases of cancer, leukemia and non-Hodgkin in increasing numbers among younger and younger people in areas where Roundup is injected. In addition, there were more and more miscarriages and fewer pregnancies in these places. On top of that, cases of congenital malformations, which did not occur elsewhere in the regions, began to increase. [1]

Also we Germans take on glyphosate

Who now thinks that only the animals and the farmers are affected, is wrong. The glyphosate passes from the field to the stables and finally over eggs, milk, meat and cereals to us on the plate. Unfortunately, whether and to what extent residues of glyphosate in foods occur is only controlled sporadically. But the fact is that in 2012, a random survey in 18 European cities showed that almost half of all people had glyphosate in their urine. And that also applies to Germany. Well over half of Germans have glyphosate in their body. [1] [2]

How this can happen, show several studies. For example, a study by the magazine Ökotest showed that eight out of ten tested rolls are loaded with glyphosate [3], [6]. Also oatmeal, flour and bread. Because humans and animals do not possess the enzyme, which inhibits Glyphosat, it was for a long time as harmless. So far, the necessary tests in the course of the approvals have survived the herbicide without any problems. Now that we seem to be eating it, the number of examinations is increasing.

A worrying study of International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a body of the WHO, For example, it has now been shown that the herbicide glyphosate is most definitely a cause of cancer in animals and in humans. First and foremost, lymphatic and lung cancer is expected to trigger glyphosate and thus the popular herbicide Roundup. [4]

Monsanto denies all allegations

Monsanto vehemently denies all allegations so far. For example, it is often said that examinations were intentionally disregarded. It's almost always this way: studies are released where glyphosate is classified as a ticking time bomb, Monsanto quickly row and counter-attack. Monsanto also responded promptly to WHO's investigations. Monsanto says that it has not been proven by scientific studies that Roundup could cause cancer.Monsanto now even insists on a revocation from the WHO. [4] [8]

The good: next to Austria and France, now also Germany responds. In May 2015, the consumer protection ministers of the Federal Government had called for a ban on plant protection products containing the active substance glyphosate. The Ministry of Agriculture had then responded only that for a ban yet the legal basis is missing. However, the approval of glyphosate is currently being re-examined by the EU, as the current approval of the active substance will expire in December 2015. Update: The approval has been extended to 30.06.2016.

In May 2015, the Greens in the Bundestag also called DIY stores to voluntarily abandon glyphosate. Some DIY stores responded promptly. toom Baumarkt has determined to withdraw all remaining glyphosate-containing products by 30 September at the latest. [8th]

Conclusion to Roundup, Glyphosate and Co.:

The fact that the first countries want to regulate or prohibit the use of Roundup or glyphosate-containing herbicides is at least a small step in the right direction. It can not be that every Roundup can easily buy in the trade and use in their own garden, if it is so harmful to nature and man. Most do not even know about this danger. Those who want to protect themselves, their family and our environment should, in our opinion, keep their hands off Roundup and similar glyphosate-based herbicides. Otherwise you only support Monsanto. And that should stop in my opinion as fast as possible. I have now taught my neighbor a better one. He will certainly not use Roundup again in his garden (I hope).

Interesting video about Roundup / Glyphosate & its effects:


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