The Roundup Hall of Shame
In addition to all the things Roundup is doing to our hormones, scientists have linked it to these other problems:
To kill weeds, glyphosate inhibits a plant's ability to take up trace minerals like manganese and magnesium. Those are things humans need to be healthy, and plant pathologists are noting a decline in nutrients in food since heavy pesticide use ensued. “[Glyphosate] is the most abused chemical we’ve ever had in agriculture,” veteran plant pathologist Don Huber, PhD, professor emeritus of Purdue University, told Rodale.com earlier this year. “We’re using chemical quantities we never would have imagined in the past.”
Birth Defects and Infertility
Scientists released a report earlier this summer citing evidence that Monsanto has known about Roundup's link to birth defects since the 1980s, when internal research found mutations in animals exposed to high doses. In a 2005 study involving human placental cells, Roundup affected synthesis of aromatase, the key enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. If it's doing the same thing in human bodies, especially fetuses, it could alter sexual development and possibly lead to diseases linked to infertility, like polycystic ovarian syndrome. [Correction: The article previously indicated monkeys were involved in the 2005 study, but it was actually human placental cells.]
Farmers were sold on Roundup Ready crops as chemical dealers promised less work and less chemical use. Unfortunately, as more weeds are exposed to Roundup, they are developing a resistance to it. These hard-to-kill superweeds are emerging, and farmers aren't able to destroy them, even when they dump even higher doses of pesticides on the crops.
Lower Crop Yields
In years of drought (and let's face it, we're experiencing more severe weather extremes these days), chemically treated fields perform worse than organically managed ones, despite promises from chemical companies that Roundup Ready crops perform better in extreme weather conditions. When conditions are more stable, organic farming and Roundup Ready farming methods yield the same amount of a given crop.
So how can you tell the chemical companies to keep Roundup out of our rain and our food?
• Eat organic. Eat healthy, organic food on a budget by purchasing organic fare directly from farmers when it's in season. Choose organic dried beans for a super-cheap and healthy protein source.
• Practice nontoxic weed control at home. Instead of reaching for Roundup or other lawn chemicals to kill weeds, try organic-approved BurnOut—its main ingredients are clove oil and food-grade vinegar. And start setting your mower deck to at least 3 inches. The longer grass length discourages weed growth.