ahughes798
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Glyphosate and Roundup Revisited

Why the anti-glyphosate rant is a sticky and locked topic.

opabinia51
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The glyphosate thread is not a rant, it is an informative post that I made so that people could educate themselves on the product. It has been banned in several cities.

We talk a lot about not using anything that ends in the suffix -cide here because of the detrimental effects that such products have on plants, soil, wildlife and even human health. So, the post was made by me to inform people about the active ingredient in that specific product. I derived the material from a very popular organic gardening book from the West Coast.

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Opa, you need to do some more research, some of that information on Roundup is outdated and some is incorrect.
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Feel free to start a Roundup discussion. :idea:)

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Can do Mr. webmaster, and btw, how can I get one of those nifty avies? I can't seem to get one to resize.

Thanks!
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I personally do not believe that the information is outdated, glyphosate is a hazardous chemical and does have negative effects on soil soil ecology. Regardless of newer information that may come up on herbicides and what not, they do have a negative effect on soil ecosystems. All scientific studies that I have read using herbicides and other poisons vastly harm the ecosystems that they were trialed in.

Peer reviewed research points to the fact that the use of poisons harms both soil, animal and human health. Peer reviewed research also shows that the microflora growing on plant foliage in very healthy and good for fiighting plant disease.

Using chemical warfare on plants is subverting mother natures natural defense mechanisms. Furthermore, studies done on North Americans has shown that we do have and increased amount of toxins in our systems. There has been no direct correlation between this and some of the health problems that we are currently suffering from but, it is better to be cognisant of potential problems.

Poisons like DDT, Roundup, 2,4 D and so on are rampantly used in North America and in third world countries with no education about their lethal side effects. I have seen the direct effects of people working under these conditions and it is scary.

I also have colleagues that agree with what I have described here. And I have researched these topics extensively using both books and peer reviewed journals. I have read hundreds of articles over the years and i've done laboratory experimentation.

And I have friends and colleagues who have not only worked and ran large scale agricultural farms in the food industry and seen the direct effects of these chemicals on human, plant and animal health but, some of them have also gone on to do graduate work in this field.

Furthermore I have other colleagues who work hands on trying to sway the corporate mist that is pulled over our eyes right now and work with people in third world countries where a lot of these chemicals are used rampantly.

But yes, let's continue this discussion.

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I used to be really, really anti-herbicide, too....until I started working in natural areas management.

And you know what....if you're working in natural areas management...fire and Round-up/Rodeo are your friends. How in the edited do you cover 500 acres in 8 inches of mulch to discourage non-native invasive species?

Yes, glyphosate has environmental effects. But used sparingly and wisely, THEY ARE MINIMAL. Scott's Weed N' Feed is much more detrimental, and everybody and their mother uses it all the time.

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I doubt seriously if anyone at THG would disagree that RoundUp is bad stuff. Don't understand why there would be a need to start a whole new thread though. Wouldn't it be best to keep all discussions together so that lurkers may find them? Maybe someone could unlock the sticky so that others might be in a position to share their opinions on "best science". I wanted to comment a month ago and found it odd that particular sticky was locked when others weren't.

That being said, Rodeo and AquaMaster are far superior glyphosate products than RoundUp if one really must resort to using this type of an herbicide.

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I'll tell everyone a little story about my ancestors back in the 1800's in Rural (there as only Rural) Sasksatchewen. They farmed 6 sections (which, incidentally is still farmed by the family today) and James William did not use herbicides, pesticides and the like. Every morning he would get up and start to walk his fields (probably used horses but, the story is that he walked them) and would pluck any unwanted plants out of the ground.

We can fast forward to 10 years ago when I friend of mine had his property on Sask, and they didn't use any harmful chemicals either. They did use a tractor as it is very tough to manage land without such implements.

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I disagree that it is bad stuff.

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Take into consideration the cumulative effects of millions of property owners looking for a quick, easy, and cheap fix all armed with their handy dandy dispensers ready and willing to take aim and fire. Millions of gallons of ejected silver bullet spray is being aimed at anything green regardless of air temps, wind velocity, timing, or even if glyphosate will kill what it's being aimed at. And all of this is being hurled into our environment annually.

What percentage of the population do you believe is using RoundUp in accordance with the label? I truly believe the vast majority of people using the product simply aren't taking time to read the label let alone bothering to call the 800# on the dispensers with any questions they have.

You strike me as someone who is probably all too familiar with the existence of glyphosate resistant weeds. My bet is what's manifested itself so far is but a drop in the bucket of what's to come if we don't begin turning to more environmentally friendly methods of controlling our undesirables.

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>>>I disagree that it is bad stuff.

It's fine that you disagree, because from disagreements we can challenge and test commonly held assumptions. While we can challenge and test them, I would also like to remind that being discussions, nobody wins or loses, these are discussions not debates. Everyone can read the thread and make up their own mind, and they will make up their minds differently. Just a friendly heads up to everybody. :)

When discussing the environmental impact versus economic expenditure or impact, this is where philosphical beliefs and economic realities are going to lock horns on level with religious disagreements. This is the fork in the road where one herd goes this way, and the other herd goes thatta way.

The second part about minimal use/minimal damage may strike some as a bit nebulous because it depends on the definition of minimal and how much damage is acceptable. I fully understand that covering 500 acres in mulch is daunting and maybe a non-starter as far as ideas go, but does that really justify a (slightly) harmful solution/shortcut? The answer depends on the view of several demands and issues from where one stands.

I think these issues go deeper than whether or not herbicides are good, bad, or acceptable under certain conditions. I suspect that the answer to where one stands on chemical solutions depends on the philosophical ground you stand on in relation to the desired result and the ecology, and whether ecological compromises are justified or not. I agree with you 100% that the answer is easier for a home gardener than it is for someone who is a custodian of hundreds of acres.
Last edited by webmaster on Wed May 07, 2008 5:03 am, edited 9 times in total.

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It's bad stuff when used by people who can't read labels and follow simple directions.

I still maintain that Scott's Weed N Feed has much more dire effects on the environment than glyphosate. I'd be willing to bet that 100% of the people who use glyphosate responsibly and per the dilution rates are causing lots less environmental damage than the people who use Chem-Lawn. Or is it called True Green, now?

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I fully understand that covering 500 acres in mulch is daunting and maybe a non-starter as far as ideas go, but does that really justify a (slightly) harmful solution/shortcut?

Yes. Try getting enough volunteers to pull 500 acres of non-native invasive plants.

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The 100% of the people who use glyphosate responsibly and per the dilution rates are probably outnumbered 100 to 1 by those who don't. That's a good enough reason for me to want RoundUp and most other pesticides removed from shelves.

Let the small percentage of people who have the wherewithal to pursue an applicators license do so. That would certainly cut down on the amount of pesticides introduced to the environment while prompting people to re-think their weed management strategies.

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No thank you. The test for an applicator's license is given once a year in the dead of winter here. Plus, I can read and follow instructions. I know how to use glyphosate(Haven't used it in years, I did use it 4 years ago to establish my prairie). I read it on the back of the bottle. In fact...it comes pre-mixed in garden centers...so I don't even have to figure out dilution rates, it's already at the proper strength.

Joe blow using RoundUp on his dandelions once a year is doing really negligable damage to the environment. My car does more environmental damage than Joe Blow and his glyphosate.

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I'm somewhere between ahughes798 and the TheLorax on this issue. Almost anything including a number of the wingnut "natural" gardening remedies can be dangerous if misused. My beef with the existing locked sticky is that it includes erroneous information and no sources are cited for any of the information. Never mind scientific publishing conventions you don't even produce a freshman college paper without citing your sources.

One glaring example of the problems with the existing sticky is the contention that gylphosate is extremely toxic to humans/mammals. This is is simply nonsense from every credible source I've seen.
[url]https://extoxnet.orst.edu/pips/glyphosa.htm[/url]
The "inert" ingredients in Round-Up are substantially more toxic to humans/mammals than glyphosate itself.

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I think MaineDesigner has a very important point. A locked sticky represents more than one person's opinion or philosophy. It has a status of being permanent, and is presumed to be an important statement of the site. As such, they need to be carefully selected. It is essentially held up as an unchallengeable truth. This particular sticky has lots of problems with bias and unsupportable statements.

This kind of permanent post reflects on the philosophy of the membership as well as the site. It's kind of a guilt by association type of thing. I think that feeling is what is behind some of the strong emotions expressed.
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The "inert" ingredients in Round-Up are substantially more toxic to humans/mammals than glyphosate itself.
Bingo. And those very same “inertâ€

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A locked sticky represents more than one person's opinion or philosophy.
A locked sticky (or any other thread) means it's an old discussion and it's locked because of that. I periodically go through the forums and lock old discussions because they tend to meander and morph into something other than what the OP intended. The intention is to prevent huge threads that are off topic and rendered useless as a consequence. That's all the locked status denotes. ;)

In the case of that thread nobody responded and during the course of locking old threads I locked it. It's a finished discussion and any new discussions must be started on their own. Hence my suggestion, Start a new discussion, which is what you're reading today. :)

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Regardless of why some threads are locked while others aren't, this particular thread was made a sticky and stands as such currently for all who visit THG to read. Barring incorrect and incomplete information, the content of that post was delusive in the absence of productive debate even for the year in which it was originally started... yet it is allowed to remain as a sticky?

With so many name brand and generic glyphosate formulations out there readily available to the buying public in addition to RoundUp containing the surfactant polyethoxylated tallowamine, the altruistic intentions of the person who started that thread to inform are being undermined every time a gardener reads it and conscientiously chooses to NOT purchase RoundUp in favor of purchasing a product such as UltraStop or any other glyphosate formulation du jour containing polyethoxylated tallowamine. We've all read other posts of the person who started that thread and I'd wager a thousand bucks it was NEVER his intent to mislead anyone.

In this particular situation, it's the surfactant POEA (polyethoxylated tallowamine) that is deadly not the active ingredient glyphosate. That information is absent from the sticky.

In consideration of information being shared currently, please consider "unstickying" (sp?) the thread so it drops down and out of sight. I don't believe for one instant that anyone who cares about our environment would want any gardener looking for a quick fix being led to believe that RoundUp is the only glyphosate formulation product out there to steer clear of purchasing and using around one's children, a pregnant wife, wildlife, or pets. RoundUp may be the most popular and hence purchased more frequently due to aggressive marketing campaigns, but... it certainly doesn't stand alone in the category of products containing polyethoxylated tallowamine as that sticky would have others believe.

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I'm sorry...but there just isn't anything much better in the restoration world than watching a Japanese Honeysuckle, or buckthorn, or phragmites, or mimosa, or mellealuca, or purple loosestrife die a slow death due to application of glyphosate.

Nothing I've read has convinced me that WHEN USED SPARINGLY, AND IN THE DILUTION RATE RECOMMENDED ON THE DANG LABEL, that Round-Up has much environmental impact. It DOES have environmental impact...but it's minimal.

Yes, if you stand in a shower of full strength glyphosate..it's not good.

Oh, and by the way....you can't cut back a plant to the point it dies. I've seen Queen Anne's Lace and Canada Goldenrod bloom and set seed at 2" tall.

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This is a great thread and I think it embodies the spirit of what makes you all good community members. It's the way the members can discuss these issues and come to their own decisions. And it seems no two members are coming to the exact same position on the issue. :)

Let's see them try that on GardenWeb! LOL

Nice discussion.
:wink:

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Actually, I'm quite fond of GardenWeb. Been a member for over 10, closing in on 15 years. Has it's pros and cons.

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Japanese Honeysuckle is so shallow rooted you can generally pull those out with a riding lawn mower no matter how mature they are. Hook em up and then yank them out. All the others you mentioned, with the exception of the Phragmites australis and the Lythrum salicaria, can be pulled out with a weed wrench non-chemically if you get them young enough (under a 2" caliper). For mature nasties of Rhamnus spp., Albizia julibrissin, and Ailanthus altissima... I'm ok with using a chain saw on them and painting the stump with an appropriate chemical because they sucker repeatedly and even if you tried to get them out mechanically you'd end up with a crater considerably larger than the size of those really old satellite dishes and then those THINGS would still be popping up elsewhere and you'd still be left with a crater sized hole. I won't use RoundUp though and the surfactant I've been using with Rodeo concentrate and AquaMaster concentrate is this one-
https://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=1891
Actually, I'm now using Accord concentrate with the above surfactant instead of AquaMaster but Rodeo is still out there.

Phragmites australis can actually be drowned. All you have to do is repeatedly cut it down below the water level. Incredibly, same thing with Typha angustifolia. Granted, that often requires flooding an entire area and water to flood out several acres isn't always easy to come by however you can sometimes work with nature and get out there late winter cutting them down real low and then just pray for heavy spring rains. Lythrum salicaria is a little bit trickier but I have had ***some*** success digging up whole plants particularly when they've gone terrestrial.
Nothing I've read has convinced me that WHEN USED SPARINGLY, AND IN THE DILUTION RATE RECOMMENDED ON THE DANG LABEL, that Round-Up has much environmental impact. It DOES have environmental impact...but it's minimal.
Gosh, ever since I took that adult continuing ed class on how to do Internet searches I feel as if I've slept at a Holiday Inn Express every time I google...

https://www.catoxics.org/pdfs/cottonwoodcrAppendixA.pdf
Selected excerpts from the above-
Product: ROUNDUP (also Rodeo, Accord)
Active ingredient: GLYPHOSATE
Type: HERBICIDE, (Systemic)
Other ingredients: includes polyethoxylated tallowamine (POEA) and isopropylamine
Although the active ingredient for Rodeo and Accord is glyphosate, they are NOT formulated with polyethoxylated tallowamine although RoundUp is.
TOXICOLOGY
Active ingredient
While often touted by manufacturers as relatively safe and nontoxic, glyphosate and its formulations can in fact cause serious health repercussions, most commonly respiratory or contact symptoms. The eye and skin irritation is sometimes quite severe and can persist for months.5 Roundup is a potential endocrine disrupter, depressing cytochrome P450 activity in human placental cells and thereby potentially compromising toxin metabolism.6 While glyphosate is not classified as a carcinogen or mutagen by the EPA, a widely received Swedish study has linked glyphosate exposure to the lymphatic cancer non-Hodgkins lymphoma.7 Additionally, glyphosate is nitrosated “very readilyâ€
Last edited by TheLorax on Fri May 09, 2008 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

TheLorax
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Oops, people were posting while I was on a roll!

Just noticed that THIS thread was made into a sticky... ugh!

If Garden Web shows up in a search engine for me, I have to really really really want to read what ever I found because I hate having to clean up my computer every time I try to read something over there. Admittedly, they do have several heavy hitter members based on some of what I've read. If you're a member over there, please invite them over here ;)

No, no one is ever going to agree. That's virtually impossible because to each situation is brought a new set of variables and we do all have different life experiences we draw upon when making the best decisions we can make for ourselves however I don't like the long lasting effects of all the blast advertising that Monsanto did back over 10 years ago. And all they were fined was 50k??? That sucks considering so many people are still brainwashed into thinking RoundUp is safe (and this doesn't include ahughes who hasn't used the product in 4 years). Monsanto did pull all of their RU advertising however by the time they did so, the public had it ingrained in their heads that RoundUp was perfectly fine to use around children and pets so the damage was already done.

Here's another link I found-
https://www.pitt.edu/~relyea/Roundup.html
And his work was funded by by the United States government's National Science Foundation.
This research has no anti-pesticide, anti-agriculture, or anti-forestry agenda. We simply asked the question, "What happens to tadpoles if Roundup is present in aquatic habitats"

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So, what you're saying is that the problem is not the glyphosate...it's the surfactant that's the problem.

It's kind of like ciggarettes...it ain't the tobacco..it's the additives.

Since I trust your sources, I'll stick with straight glyphosate and Joy in the future, and encourage my workplace in the same direction.

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Excellent analogy to cigarettes and the additives.

Although in my mind glyphosate is most certainly a cause for concern, it's no where near in the league of polyethoxylated tallowamine which is used as the surfactant in RoundUp as well as in many other readily available products.

Here's where Accord can be ordered-
https://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=1899

Interestingly enough, I notice your location as being Wauconda Illinois. Check out this supplier located in Wauconda IL-
https://home.conservfs.com/index.cfm
Very knowledgeable people there.
I don't know where you work but if your employer has been relying upon RoundUp, a change over to Rodeo and an appropriate nonionic surfactant would be a major improvement to your work environment. Mineral Oil will work, so will Joy or Dawn. Considerably more economical, easier to use, and less foamy to use a product like Cide-Kick II though.

I wish you all the best when attempting to encourage your employer to make the change over.

Thank you for trusting my sources, that means a lot to me. Besides which, I slept at a Holiday Inn Express recently so I'm off to diffuse a bomb or perform brain surgery somewhere!

Question for you ahughes, would you have your employer check this product out please and share with me what they know about it if anything-
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=38510&highlight=#38510

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While I don't disbelieve that the additives in RU are a problem...I wonder how much of that problem is due to inappropriate use, i.e., people who can't read and follow simple directions, etc.?

If round up were used by everyone in the correct concentration...would the additives still be a problem?

Just a thought.

And finally, I keep coming back to this question....has anyone surveyed the problems caused by stuff like Weed N' Feed?

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Even if everyone was using RoundUp properly; I'd still be a proponent of removing it, as well as every other product formulated similarly, from shelves. It defies logic to make formulations such as that available to the public when there are so many non-chemical options out there as well as products formulated without highly toxic "inert" ingredients for everyone.

Yes, I'm somewhat familiar with Weed-N-Feed however I haven't kept up to date on it since I canceled the lawn service years ago. I didn't want our kids rolling around in chemicals and my lawn service refused to share with me what they were using on my lawn. I checked into that Weed-N-Feed product at the time as well as a host of others out there and decided to stick with the corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent until at such time as I am able to eliminate my lawn. That particular product stuck out like a sore thumb to me because of the ingredients (I recall Dicamba being one of the ingredients but would have to look up what else was in there- probably nasty not to mention those "inert" ingredients) as well as the fact that it is a combo product and in granular form. Birds will pick up the granules and one of the active ingredients was Dicamba which is carcinogenic.

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Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Round Up:

In tests by Monsanto Manufacturer of the herbicide Roundup, up to 140 days were required for half of the applied glyphosate to break down of disappear from agricultural soils. At harvest, residues of glyphosate were found in lettuce, carrots and barley planted one year after the glyphosate treatment

Glyphosate Can Drift Test conducted by the University of California found that glhphosate difted up to 400 meters during round applications, and 800meters during aerial applications.

Glyphosate is actutely toxic to humans Ingest three quarters of a cup can be lethal. Symptoms include eye and skin irritation, lung congestion and erosion of the intestinal tract. In California between 1984 and 1990, glyphosate was the third most frequently reporte dcause of illness related to agricultural pesticide use.

Glyphosate shows a wide specturm of chronic toxicity in laboratory tests. The National Toxicology Prgram found that chronic feeding of glyphosate caused alivary gland lesions, reduced sperm count and lenthened the estrous cycle. Other chronic effects found in laboratory tests included an increase in the frequency of lethal mutations in fruit flies; an increase in the frquency of pancreas and liver tumours in male rats along with an increae in the frequency of thyroid tumours in females and cataracts.

Roundup contains toxic trade secrete ingredients. These include plyethoxylate tallowamines, which can cause nausea and diarrhea and isopropylamine, which can cause chemical pneumonia, laryngitis , head and burns.

Roundup kills beneficial insects Test conducted by the Internation Organization for Biological Control show that Roundup causedmortality of live beneficial species when tested on predatory mites , lacewings, ladybugs and predatory beetles

Glyphosate is hazardous to earthworms. Tests using New Zealand most common earthworm show that glyphosate, in amounts as low as one 20th standard application rates, reduced the earthworms growth and slowed development.

Roundup inhibits Mychorrhizal Fungi Canadian studies have shown that as little as one part per million of Roundup can reduce the growth or colonization of mycorrhizal fungi

Glyphosate Reduces Nitrogen Fixation Nitroen fixing bacteria, shown to be impacted by glyphosate, include the species found on soybeans and several species of bacteriafound on clover. Amounts as small as two parts mper million had significant efftects. Effects were measured up to 120 days after treatment.

Round up can increase the spread or severity of plant diseases
Treatment with Roundup increased the severity of Rhizoctina root rot in barley, increased growth of take all fungus (a wheat disease), and reduced the ability of bean plants to defend themselves against Antracnose.

Furthermore, a study conducted in 2005 by a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh exammined a ponds entire community, foudn taht Roundup caused a 70 percent decline in amphibian biodiveristy and an 86 percent decline in the total mass of tadpoles (which of course are amphibians).

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And one of RoundUp’s “inertâ€

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Don't mind glyphosate being toxic to earthworms, they aren't native to my area, they're starting to cause problems, and good riddance.

However, the fact that it's the surfactant that is toxic, and not the glyphosate, just strengthens my resolve in believing that glyphosate is the "safest" herbicide to use.

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Roundup is a low risk herbicide to use at home in my opinion.

Any real hazard would seem to stem from overuse and not preventing drift.

If I were ever to be concerned about Roundup based on what's published now, I may as well have my family walking around our yard and town wearing respirators.

Because on a microscopic level, there is so much stuff in the air we breath, that it makes Roundup rather minor and inconsequential.

I tend to apply it at our residence at just 50% of the recommended label strength, and it seems to work fine, although a bit slower.

Culturally though, I think the USA could easily get by with just 1/3 as much of that product.

One key to using less herbicides residentially, often involves increasing the frequency of applications.

The following phrase is possibly amusing:

Glyphosate is actutely toxic to humans Ingest three quarters of a cup can be lethal.

I've read that before, and right away recognized it. I've never met a person in my life that would drink or ingest nearly a full cup of Glyphosate. To show how rediculous that phrase is, it's not even talking about Roundup. Roundup is usually not even 50% Glyphosate.

That means someone would have to ingest a cup and half of Rounduup.

How many people have we ever met that ever filled a shot glass with Roundup, or even Glyphosate, and took a straight shot. As we really start to imagine someone taking a straight shot of the stuff, the panic and desparation behind some of these informational sources becomes evident.

It's not like they are just lying. A lot of the info is factual, but it's twisted and compiled in a way as to distort the real scenario.

A typical residential application using a 2 gallon sprayer, will probably hold a diluted 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. of Glyphosate in it, and that small amount will primarily be applied to an area that can be as large as 1000 square feet, with an infinitisimal amount in the air.

If the use got but even a single drop of the active ingredient in their system, I'd be surprised.

This is exactly how we were taught to evaluate this kind of stuff in college level pesticide classes so we could make decisions about using these products and sift through different informational sources.

We've used Glyphosate in all our yards for the last 20 years, and there are earthworms present still in every square foot of the soil.

And in the areas that get occassional spot spraying with Roundup AND get cultivated for gardening, the number of earthworms has increased.

Carefully highlight any use of "CAN" or "MAY" such as "Roundup can" or Roundup may"

Such sentences rarely say Roundup "WILL".

See ... I can say Driving a car "can" kill you. Why not - someone will die in Oregon today at the wheel of a car. Or ... Driving a car "may" kill you. But it's different to say that driving a car "WILL" kill you.

Often, this is not a matter of "Buyer beware" - but of "Reader beware".

A far more realistic way to approach this are just simple approaches to reduce the amount of herbicide applied. Like reduced rates. Not pumping the pressure too high which causes a drifting mist. Don't spray when there is wind. Avoid spraying dusty weeds, but just do clean ones. Stuff like that.

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Chemicals in the garden is so fifties. That mindset where chemicals are going to save you should really go the way of the basement bomb shelter. We're in the 21st century now. We know it can be done a better way. So let's move on.

Sorry, but Opabania's post is pretty clear that Roundup disturbs the natural order from the fungi to beneficial insects. It's entirely possible to have a great garden without resorting to these kinds of products.

My friend has a couple acres of vegetables, trees and fruits all grown organically. He has no problems with pests. The key is working with nature.

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mdvaden
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:56 am

You are right.

It's entirely possible to have a good garden without chemicals.

Likewise, it's entirely possible to maintain a healthy yard and keep insects, mycorrhizae and earthworms with a certain amount of herbicide use.

There are 2 options.

If there was a lecture at a local garden show that introduced that ingesting 3/4 of a cup of Glyphosate was lethal, the audience would smirk, and in a few minutes half the crowd would trickle into the next meeting room.

In our area, the average urban dweller needs presentations that are believable. If people are listening and focused, it's more likely to get more people to quit herbicide use altogether.

But folks around here just wouldn't relate spraying diluted Roundup with ingesting or drinking vessels full of concentrated full ingredient. Even if true - it's not their language.

In this neck of the woods, I think that much of what hinders people from reducing herbicides more than they do, is especially due to a few cultural things:

1. They work too much
2. Many kids don't like gardening
3. Keep up with the Jones's

milifestyle
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Australia

I use this quote a lot these days...

I am reminded of the old guy sitting in the pub having a smoke. A young guy walks up to him and says "those smokes will kill you ya know", to which the old guy replies... "I've been [cough] [cough] smoking ALL my life [cough] [wheeze] and it [cough] hasn't done anything to [wheeze] hurt me [cough] yet.

The effects of chemical use can be right under our noses... the majority are either blind to it or simply don't believe there is a connection.

Glyphosate on its own... probably not going to cause a health epidemic any time soon.

However, together with the dispersent used and glyphosates reaction and interaction with other chemicals on the market. I feel there is no where near enough interaction research undertaken to prove the products safety in ANY application.

I used to use glyphosate all the time in my business, together with other chemicals. My first child was born with a Genetic deletion causing a severe multiple disability - Is anyone going to say there was no connection between my chemical use and her disability - perhaps there wasn't, but I'm not going to leave my head in the box and pretend there was no connection just because the product makes life mildly easier.

My cousin has just had a new baby (about 2 weeks ago). Her husband works in the agricultural industry. Surrounded by chemicals daily. The baby was born with a 6th finger on each hand - maybe there was no connection...?

Before agreeing with or believing any research results, make sure the research was NOT carried out by the product manufacturer or funded by an industry that supports the products use.

milifestyle
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Australia

farmers tan wrote:I grew up on a farm and currently work on a farm where Round-up, 2-4-D, and several other chemicals that you have probably never heard of are used on a regular basis. While I agree that greater care and caution are needed, these chemicals save millions of dollars to the agriculture industry. In the days when parcels were only 5 acres and were used to feed a family, it was fine to walk through the rows with a hoe and manually weed. However, in todays society, it is impossible to weed every acre on a 5000 acre farm or even a 200 acre farm by hand and still make a profit doing so. On a smaller scale, such as a backyard garden, I'm all for the organic method and envy the people who can do this successfully, but for large scale operations this is simply impossible. In my area we are not feeding families but are feeding nations and to do so without the aid of herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides is simply impossible. Here there is probably a higher concentration of Glyphosate in the air then most places in the country and it has been there way since it was invented. There cancer rate here in below the national average, the mortality rate is higher. We welcome all those kids with 6 fingers, 3 arms, or whatever, because that gives them one extra finger or arm to pull the weeds with in the organic gardeners gardens. If you can increase your weeding capicity 16% by adding 2 additional digits or 50% by adding that extra arm, maybe you should consider adding more Glyphosate to the water you drink so we can have enough organically grown food to feed us all.
Of course, manually weeding a large scale farm would be logistically impossible. Unless of course you wanted to halve your (any) countries unemployement rate.

However, i have heard of many successful large scale farmers who use varying methods to eradicate and control weeds, pests and disease.

Pigs are great weeders. I know a few farmers who use pigs to root out weeds by strip feeding larger pastures inbetween crops. Pig manure is amongst the most fertile out there. Kill 2 birds with one stone.

Cattle and/or sheep (sheep especially) are also good for strip grazing.

Goats are a wonder of nature. Put them near just about any plant and they will eat it bare. Watching a goat eat through a blackberry bush is amazing.

Not only can these go a long way towards removing weeds but they can also increase a farmers profit during a down turn or off season.

One of the biggest causes of disease amongst crops is suffocation. Let some more light in. Adjust your hopper to allow your plants to breath. A slight reduction in output would be no greater loss than the chemical cost used to control it.

Pests often live on the "disease" in a crop. Eradicated the cause of the disease first and minimise pests.

JONA878
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If the world wants to continue to have relatively cheap food and be able to feed the huge population increase that the next couple of generations will see, then I cannot see how this will be achieved without extensive chemical or genetic interferance in agriculture and horticulture.
In the garden it will allways be possable to pull the weed and kill the pest with the hand and boot. Not so in the larger world.
The great increase in mono-culture of crops will present the ever greater need for pest and disease specific controls.
It will be up to the goverments and food agencies to make sure that the control of these methods are as strict and safe as possable, while ignoring the pressures applied by the chemical giants.

Meanwhile those of us fortunate enough to be able to grow our own can at least keep our produce as near to natural as we can.

Jona.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

milifestyle
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Australia

Tilling is not the best method when it comes to land degredation, but i'd personally rather see large scale farmers use slash & till methods instead of using chemicals.

With the number of chemicals sprayed over food crops to control weeds, pests and disease, how long before we will need a Doctors prescription just to have a Salad for Dinner ?

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