Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beware, Roundup Users

I have been known to use the occasional squirt of Roundup to try to control bindweed (this is after hand-pulling, hot vinegar and boiling water treatments). My head hangs in shame! I had comforted myself that I had tried the organic methods & nothing was working on this invasive weed that was strangling my poor, innocent hostas, toad lilies and strawberries.

Garden Rant's post today links to a Scientific American article on that Roundup may not be as innocent as you think. Glysophate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is not the focus of the new research...the mixture of the inert ingredients are. Now, I don't mean to be an alarmist or tell you that if you use Roundup you are the devil. However, I think it's always a good idea to be an informed consumer and to know the risk of the chemicals around you.

Here are some excerpts from the article, but I encourage you to read the entire thing:

"The research team suspects that Roundup might cause pregnancy problems by interfering with hormone production, possibly leading to abnormal fetal development, low birth weights or miscarriages."

"In the French study, researchers tested four different Roundup formulations, all containing POEA and glyphosate at concentrations below the recommended lawn and agricultural dose. They also tested POEA and glyphosate separately to determine which caused more damage to embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells.

Glyphosate, POEA and all four Roundup formulations damaged all three cell types. Umbilical cord cells were especially sensitive to POEA. Glyphosate became more harmful when combined with POEA, and POEA alone was more deadly to cells than glyphosate. The research appears in the January issue of the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology."

"Most research has examined glyphosate alone, rather than combined with Roundup’s inert ingredients. Researchers who have studied Roundup formulations have drawn conclusions similar to the Seralini group’s. For example, in 2005, University of Pittsburg ecologists added Roundup at the manufacturer’s recommended dose to ponds filled with frog and toad tadpoles. When they returned two weeks later, they found that 50 to 100 percent of the populations of several species of tadpoles had been killed."

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