Tag Archives: roundup

Monsanto suspected in Monarch butterfly population decline

Over the past 20 years, the Monarch butterfly population has decreased up to 90 percent, according to a study by Lincoln Brower, a leading Monarch researcher at Sweet Briar College. The culprit? In an article by Mike Kilen in the Des Moines Register, Brower points a stern finger toward Monsanto’s Roundup, which kills off milkweed, the caterpillar’s only food source.

A monarch butterfly pauses on a milkweed plant on Bill and Sibylla Brown’s land in Decatur County in southern Iowa. Milkweed is the monarch caterpillar’s only food. Photo: Photos Special to the Register

A monarch butterfly pauses on a milkweed plant on Bill and Sibylla Brown’s land in Decatur County in southern Iowa. Milkweed is the monarch caterpillar’s only food. Photo: Photos Special to the Register

The fact that it took 20 years to discover such a startling decrease in a species makes us wonder what else is declining from Roundup poisoning? And how long until we discover that? Often, it is too late for many animals whose habitats are coveted by human beings; let’s hope the Monarch stands a better chance.

Monarch butterflies dying — and Roundup is a suspect

by Mike Kilen, August 29, 2014, Des Moines Register

The monarch butterfly weighs a fourth of a gram, yet migrates thousands of miles every September through Iowa to overwintering grounds in Mexico.

[...]

It’s why on Monday Brower joined three nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, to petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rule the monarch butterfly threatened and give it Endangered Species Act protection.

His studies have included visits to Iowa, a state that historically has been a prime territory for their birth, but now is at the center of his criticism.

He blames the decline in migration numbers on the widespread use of Roundup herbicide, used to kill milkweed but not the genetically-engineered row crops resistant to it. Milkweed is the monarch caterpillar’s only food.

Check out the full article, Monarch butterflies dying — and Roundup is a suspect, on the Des Moines Register.

 

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Study links Monsanto’s Roundup to increased cancer rates

Glyphosate, the star player in Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup, has been linked to lymphoma, according to a study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. While we certainly know that Roundup is used in fields and front yards across the world, the toxic effects of this use can be found in one of the most unassuming places – our children’s playgrounds. In her article “Study: New Yorkers Face Cancer Spike From Monsanto’s Roundup in City Parks,” Christina Sarich explains how cancer rates are rising, but the city maintains that its use of Roundup is perfectly safe.

How exactly does this sign convey that this use is safe? Photo: Natural Society

How exactly does this sign convey safety? Photo: Natural Society

Let’s take a moment here to digest – NYC claims that its use of a toxic chemical in and near parks and playgrounds where children play is completely safe. Scientists and environmentalists have argued from day one that the use of Monsanto’s aggressive toxins could be dangerous. We don’t know to what extent, but that should be cause for alarm, not justification for its use. This is the very argument that Monsanto uses to support its continued production of Roundup, which has lately been engineered even stronger in order to combat plants that are building up a resistance (Go Nature!). Not knowing the long-term effects is exactly why these toxins should be banned and especially not used near playgrounds. Like usual, however, officials are only convinced with dollar signs, so instead of listening to scientific evidence, they put children’s lives at serious risk for developing cancer.

Study: New Yorkers Face Cancer Spike From Monsanto’s Roundup in City Parks
by Christina Sarich, Natural Society, August 22, 2014

The Parks Department in New York, which was responsible for spraying pesticides on greenspaces more than 1,300 times last year, is likely leading to more prevalent cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and breast cancer, according to the findings of recent studies. The pesticide they use most often (even where children are at play) in order to eliminate weeds that house rats in New York is Monsanto’s Roundup – full of glyphosate carcinogens.

Even though the city posts warning signs 24-hours prior to spraying, the toxic chemicals in RoundUp linger, and no one really knows for how long. They say they spray in ‘little-used’ areas in the park – but we all know that with a little rain, pesticide runoff travels into the park’s lakes and soil, contaminating larger areas.

Read the full article on Natural Society.

 

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Monsanto’s Roundup found in 75% of air and rain samples

By John Deike, February 27, 2014. Source: EcoWatch

In recent years, Roundup was found to be even more toxic than it was when first approved for agricultural use, though that discovery has not led to any changes in regulation of the pesticide. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

In recent years, Roundup was found to be even more toxic than it was when first approved for agricultural use, though that discovery has not led to any changes in regulation of the pesticide. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

A new U.S. Geological Survey has concluded that pesticides can be found in, well, just about anything.

Roundup herbicide, Monsanto’s flagship weed killer, was present in 75 percent of air and rainfall test samples, according to the study, which focused on Mississippi’s highly fertile Delta agricultural region.

GreenMedInfo reports new research, soon to be published by Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry journal, discovered the traces over a 12-year span from 1995-2007.

In recent years, Roundup was found to be even more toxic than it was when first approved for agricultural use, though that discovery has not led to any changes in regulation of the pesticide. Moreover, Roundup’s overuse has enabled weeds and insects to build an immunity to its harsh toxins. Continue reading

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Monsanto’s Roundup may be linked to fatal kidney disease, new study suggests

February 27, 2014. Source: RT

A farmer tills a rice paddy field on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka (Reuters / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)

A farmer tills a rice paddy field on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka (Reuters / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)

A heretofore inexplicable fatal, chronic kidney disease that has affected poor farming regions around the globe may be linked to the use of biochemical giant Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide in areas with hard water, a new study has found.

The new study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Researchers suggest that Roundup, or glyphosate, becomes highly toxic to the kidney once mixed with“hard” water or metals like arsenic and cadmium that often exist naturally in the soil or are added via fertilizer. Hard water contains metals like calcium, magnesium, strontium, and iron, among others. On its own, glyphosate is toxic, but not detrimental enough to eradicate kidney tissue.

The glyphosate molecule was patented as a herbicide by Monsanto in the early 1970s. The company soon brought glyphosate to market under the name “Roundup,” which is now the most commonly used herbicide in the world. Continue reading

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New report shows record decline in Monarch Butterflies: Monsanto a major culprit

By Larissa Walker, January 29, 2014. Source: Center for Food Safety

Photo: Center for Food Safety

Photo: Center for Food Safety

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, again, but the 2013-2014 overwintering population numbers for Monarch butterflies in Mexico were just released this morning, confirming our bleak predictions from a few months ago: the situation is worsening. Last year’s overwintering numbers were an all-time low, with monarchs occupying 1.19 hectares. The area occupied by monarchs this year is a frightening 0.67 hectares – a 44% decline in just the past year. So what does that number actually mean for the population size of monarchs? An average estimate of about 50 million butterflies per hectare would mean there are roughly 33.5 million monarchs – a huge drop from just one year ago. Another way to visualize this downward spiral is to look at the trend of declining overwintering numbers in Mexico throughout the past two decades:

These data points and trends, compiled by World Wildlife Fund Mexico, clearly illustrate North American Monarch butterfly populations are in serious trouble, and it’s only going to continue to get worse unless we make some big changes to our agricultural system. Continue reading

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Filed under Biodiversity, Industrial agriculture, Latin America-Caribbean

The rise of superweeds – and what to do about it

January 20, 2014. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

horseweeds

Horseweeds. Photo: Union of Concerned Scientists

A policy brief by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), entitled “The Rise of Superweeds – and What to Do About It”, has raised the alarm on ‘superweeds’ resistant to glyphosate over-running 60 million acres across the United States. The UCS cites three reasons for the emergence of the weeds: year after year of huge monoculture farming on the same land; over-reliance on a single herbicide, namely, glyphosate; and the neglect of other weed control measures.

For almost two decades, farmers growing Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to glyphosate (sold as Roundup), have been spraying the herbicide with careless abandon. When resistant weeds emerged, they resorted to applying more and different herbicides. Overall pesticide use in the U.S. in 2012 was an estimated 404 million pounds greater than if Roundup Ready crops had not been planted.  Meanwhile Monsanto and other pesticide and seed companies are offering the next generation of GE seeds resistant to two older but more toxic herbicides, dicamba and 2-4D. The brief warns that“the use of multiple herbicides would speed up the evolution of weeds that have multiple resistances— a nightmare scenario for farmers who rely primarily on herbicides.”  Continue reading

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Earth Minute: RoundUp Herbicide Contaminating People and the Environment

Note: Global Justice Ecology Project collaborates with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK each week for an Earth Minute on Tuesday and an EarthWatch segment on Thursday.

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Governments urged to limit weed killer found in humans

Note: Originating from a partnership which included Monsanto, South Carolina-based ArborGen intends to plant millions of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees across the US Southeast, for which they are currently awaiting approval from the US Department of Agriculture.  Given the ecological and public health nightmare of GMO crops like Monsanto’s RoundUp-Ready line, it’s not hard to imagine the disasters that would ensue if native forests were allowed to be converted into heavily sprayed monoculture tree plantations.

Take action today by signing Global Justice Ecology Project and the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees’ petition calling for a ban on the release of all genetically engineered trees into the environment here: http://globaljusticeecology.org/petition.php

-The GJEP Team

June 17, 2013. Source: Friends of the Earth International

A farmer sprays the weed killer glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill.  Photo: Seth Perlman/AP

A farmer sprays the weed killer glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill. Photo: Seth Perlman/AP

Friends of the Earth International today urged governments around the world to limit the use of the weed killer glyphosate, after laboratory test results released last week showed that people across 18 European countries have traces of the weed killer in their bodies.

The unprecedented tests carried out by Friends of the Earth Europe revealed that 44% of samples from 182 volunteers in 18 European countries contained traces of the herbicide.

Glyphosate is one of the most widely-used weed killers in the world, used by farmers, local government and gardeners, and is sprayed extensively on genetically modified (GM) crops.

In the United States and Latin America, farmers are using increased amounts of pesticides -including glyphosate- due largely to the heavy adoption of genetically modified crops.  Continue reading

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