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Old 15-05-2003, 11:45 AM
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Default The dangers of weed killers - Glyphosate aka Roundup, the hidden killer.

On Thu, 15 May 2003 09:06:06 GMT, Malcolm

Much as CONservation hooligans RSPB, Woodland Trust etc try to hide
it, the usage of tonnes of a highly toxic weedkiller has detrimental
effects on their reserves.

Gardeners think your OK with Roundup, a little here, a little there? I
don't think so.

The fact is there is no substitute for hard work, you keep spraying
this junk and you'll end up killing everything including US!!

You may only use a bottle now and again, times that by the millions of
bottles sold annually, and we have big problems. The farmers use
millions of tonnes per annum to grow their crops, and we end up eating
the crops! go figure.

Think before you fall for the hype.


Glyphosate can be acutely toxic to non-target plants, including
aquatic plants and algae. The effects of this toxicity on natural
plant succession alters the ecology of treated areas. In most cases,
the plant species diversity will decrease, and along with it, the
numbers of insects, mammals and birds utilizing these areas as

Santillo, D.J. et al (1989), "Response of songbirds to
glyphosate-induced habitat changes on clear-cut." Journal of Wildlife
Management, v. 53 no. 1, 64-71.

Connor, J.F. and McMillan, L.M. (1990), "Winter utilization by moose
of glyphosate-treated cutovers." Alces 26:91-103.

Glyphosate is toxic to mammals:

Most toxicity tests cited by industry and the EPA investigate toxicity
through oral exposure routes. The toxicity of glyphosate and the
common surfactant POEA is much greater through inhalation routes of
exposure, which is a likely exposure scenario for humans residing in
areas of Colombia. Experimentally induced inhalation of Roundup by
rats produced 100% mortality in 24 hours. Humans ingesting as little
as 100 ml of Roundup have died ( suicide attempts using Roundup have a
10-20% success rate.)

Martinez, T.T. and Brown, K. (1991) "Oral and pulmonary toxicology of
the surfactant used in Roundup herbicide." Proceedings of the Western
Pharmacology Society, v. 34, 43-46.

Adam, A., et al (1997) "The oral and intratracheal toxicities of
Roundup and its components on rats." Veterinary and Human Toxicology,
Jun 39(3):147-51.

Glyphosate produces toxic effects on mammalian sperm. Glyphosate is a
potential endocrine disruptor.

Youssef, M.I., et al (1995), "Toxic effects of carbofuran and
glyphosate on semen characteristics in rabbits." Journal of
Environmental Science and Health, part B, v. 30, 515-534.

Walsh, LP, et al (2000) "Roundup inhibits steroidogenesis by
disrupting steroidogenic acute regulatory (stAR) protein expression."
Environmental Health Perspectives, AUG v108(N8):769-776.

Toxic to aquatic organisms including fish and invertebrates:

Studies with fish show that glyphosate can be moderately toxic alone,
but when combined with the surfactant normally found in commercial
products, the toxicity is greater. Toxicity increases with higher
temperatures in fish; one study found that the toxicity of glyphosate
doubled in bluegill and in rainbow trout test subjects when the
temperature of the water was increased from 45 to 63 degrees F.

Folmar, L.C. et al (1979) "Toxicity of the herbicide glyphosate and
several of its formulations to fish and aquatic invertebrates."
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, v 8, 269-278.

Significant stream drift of midge larva occurred when Roundup was
added to test water at 2 mg/L.

Glyphosate can act as a phosphorous source and could stimulate
undesirable eutrophication of waterways.

Austin, A.P., et al (1991), "Impact of an organophosphate herbicide
(glyphosate) on periphyton communities developed in experimental
streams." Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, v.
47, 29-35.

Toxic to soil microbes including nitrogen-fixing bacteria,
mycorrhizae, actinomycete, and yeast isolates:

One study found that glyphosate inhibited the growth of 59% of
selected naturally occurring soil microbes.

Carlisle, S.M. and Trevors, J.T. (1988), "Glyphosate in the
environment." Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 39:409-420.

Glyphosate, by inhibiting the growth of some microbes allows the
overgrowth of others. This includes microbial plant pathogens.
Fusarium is a naturally occurring soil fungus that is a plant
pathogen. Fusarium invades the roots of plants and either kills the
plant outright or prevents normal growth. Subsistence farmers in
Colombia have noted that fields accidently sprayed with herbicides in
attempts to destroy Coca do not produce at the same level as they did
prior to being sprayed, and in some cases, no crops grow at all.

Levesque, C.A. (1987), "Effects of glyphosate on Fusarium spp.: its
influence on root colonization of weeds, propagule density in the
soil, and crop emergence." Can. J Microbiol. Vol 33, pp354-360.

Sanogo, S., et al,(2000) "Effects of herbicides on Fusarium solani f.
sp glycines and development of sudden death syndrome in
glyphosate-tolerant soybean." Phytopathology, v. 90 (N1): 57-66.

Mycorrhizae are soil fungus that function to increase nutrient uptake
by plants through a symbiotic association with the roots. Mycorrhizae
have been implicated in the improved resistance to stress, and are
necessary for the proper growth and development of most vascular
plants. Studies have shown that glyphosate inhibits the growth of
mycorrhizae. Killing of beneficial mycorrhizae can result in
overgrowth of toxic or pathogenic fungus, such as Fusarium.

Estok, D. et al (1989) , "Effects of the herbicides 2,4-D, glyphosate,
hexazinone, and trichopyr on the growth of three species of
ectomycorrhizal fungi." Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and
Toxicology v 42, pp 835-839.

Levesque, C.A. and Rahe, J.E. (1992), "Herbicidal interactions with
fungal root pathogens, with special reference to glyphosate." Annual
Review of Phytopathology v.30, 572-602.

Glyphosate destroys nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Plants are dependent on
the availability of inorganic nitrogen in the soil. In order to be
utilized by plants, nitrogen must be fixed by the addition of oxygen.
Nitrification, the oxidative conversion of ammonium ions to nitrate,
produces the principle form of nitrogen assimilated by higher plants,
and is under control of relatively few species of bacteria.

Hendricks, C.W. (1992), "Effects of glyphosate and nitapyrin on
selected bacterial populations in continuous-flow culture." Bulletin
of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology v. 49, 417-424.

Glyphosate bound to soil particles may still be toxic and bioavailable
to filter feeders, such as crustaceans and molluscs, and potentially
other organisms that ingest significant quantities of soil during
normal feeding, including bottom-feeding fish, shorebirds, amphibians,
and some mammals.

Welten, R., et al. (2000), "Ecotoxicity of contaminated suspended
solids for filter feeders (Daphnia magna)." Archives of Env. Contam.
And Tox. 39 (3): 315-323.

Glyphosate - Notes on Environmental Fate and Application

Glyphosate’s toxicity is compounded by its persistence in the
environment. Many studies show that glyphosate remains, chemically
unchanged in the environment, for periods of up to a year. Recent
research suggests that even when glyphosate binds to soil particles,
it will cyclically "desorb" or lose its attraction to soil and become
active as an herbicide.

Persistence and degradation


"Field half-lives range from 1-174 days, moderately persistent with
estimated average half-life of 47 days"

Wauchope, RD, et al. Pesticide Property Database for Environmental
Decision Making. Rev. Environ. Contam. Toxicology, 1992.

Weed Science Soc. Of America. Herbicide Handbook 7th Edition. 1994. Pp

"Persisted in soils in Oregon Coast Range with half-life of 55 days"

Newton, M, et al. 1984 Fate of glyphosate in an Oregon forest
ecosystem. J. Food Agric. Chem. 32:1144-1155.

"Persisted for 360 days in three Canadian boreal forest site"

Roy, DN, et al. 1989. Persistence, movement, and degradation of
glyphosate in selected Canadian boreal forest soils. J. Agric. Food
Chem. 37:437-440.


"Half-life in pond water is 10-12 weeks"

USDA Pesticide Background Statements. Vol I: Herbicides. Wash DC, 1987
pp 6-10.

US EPA Pesticide Tolerance for glyphosate. Fed. Reg. 57:873940. 1992
pp 10-98.

"Half-life of glyphosate (Accord) in forest pond sediments was 400

World Health Organization, UNEP, 1994. Glyphosate. Environmental
health criterion #159. Geneve, Switzerland.

"The rate of glyphosate degradation in soil correlates with the
respiration rate, an estimate of microbial activity. Glyphosate has
been found to inhibit growth (at 50ppm) of 59% of randomly selected
soil bacteria, fungal, actinomycete, and yeast isolates; of nine
herbicides tested, glyphosate was the second most toxic." This infers
that with extensive glyphosate use, soil microbes are killed which
degrade glyphosate, thus slowing degradation and increasing
persistence. Glyphosate is much more persistent in anaerobic soils
than aerobic.

Carlisle, SM and Trevors, JT. Glyphosate in the environment. 1988.
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. 39:409-412.

In water, glyphosate seems to bind tightly to soil particles,
supposedly reducing the freely circulating glyphosate in water. One
study shows that the desorption rate of glyphosate, the rate at which
it unbinds from soil particles, can be high. Thus, the persistence of
glyphosate bound to soil in the environment maintains its toxicity, to
some degree. This study found that, "80% of applied glyphosate
desorbed from soil particles in a two-hour period."

Piccolo, A. et al. 1994. Adsorption and desorption of glyphosate in
some European soils. J Environ. Sci. Health B29 (6) : 1105-1115.

Restrictions on aerial application in the U.S.

Label on most glyphosate products read:

"Do not apply to water, to areas where surface water is present or to
intertidal areas below the high water mark. Do not contaminate water
when disposing of equipment washwaters and rinsate."

"Do not aerially apply higher than ten feet above the top of the
highest vegetation treated."


So, you dont like reasoned,
well thought out, civil debate?

I understand.

('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
''...\.......... _.·´
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