Monsanto’s Glyphosate Now Most Widespread Weedkiller in History
A new landmark study entitled “Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and Globally,” published in Environmental Sciences Europe has labeled Monsanto’s herbicide glyphosate as the most widely and heavily used weedkiller in both U.S. and world history.
Glyphosate of course is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s famous Roundup herbicide product. The paper which was published on Feb 2, 2016, claims that as of this time, 18.9 billion pounds of glyphosate has been used across the world.
According to a press release by Environmental Working Group,
In 2014, enough glyphosate was sprayed to leave more than three-quarters of a pound of the active ingredient on every harvested acre of cropland in the U.S., and remarkably, almost a half pound per acre on all cropland worldwide (0.53 kilogram/hectare).
Dr. Charles Benbrook, the author of the paper, stated that, “The dramatic and rapid growth in overall use of glyphosate will likely contribute to a host of adverse environmental and public health consequences.”
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As EWG points out, since genetically engineered Roundup ready crops were publicly introduced in 1996, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold.
EWG also highlights the heavy dousing of agricultural products with glyphosate over a concentrated amount of time:
Remarkably, 74 percent of all glyphosate sprayed on crops since the mid-1970s was applied in just the last 10 years, as cultivation of genetically engineered corn and soybean crops exploded on both U.S. and global croplands.
Glyphosate was first sold commercially in 1974, but its use by farmers was limited at first because the active ingredient killed both weeds and crops. The subsequent development and approval of genetically engineered (GE), herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops dramatically changed how farmers could apply it. Starting in 1996, Monsanto and other seed companies began marketing GE-HT versions of three major crops — cotton, corn, and soybeans -making it possible for farmers to apply glyphosate for months after crops started growing.
The use and efficacy of HT technology, particularly in its first decade, led to its rapid and near-universal adoption in the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and a half-dozen other countries. As a result, glyphosate use by U.S. farmers rose from 12.5 million pounds in 1995 to 250 million pounds in 2014, a 20-fold increase. Globally, total use rose from 112.6 million pounds in 1995 to 1.65 billion in 2014, a nearly 15-fold jump.
My hope is that this paper will stimulate more research on glyphosate use and human and environmental exposure patterns to increase the chance that scientists will quickly detect any problems that might be triggered, or made worse, by glyphosate exposure.
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Benbrook is no stranger to the issue of genetically engineered crops and pesticide use. His paper “Impacts of genetically engineered crops and pesticide use in the U.S. – the first 16 years,” published four years ago, is the most heavily accessed paper in the history of Environmental Sciences Europe.
Clearly Benbrook and his work should be taken seriously and the United States as well as the rest of the world should pay careful attention to what his research has revealed.
Photo credit: JeepersMedia via Visual hunt / CC BY
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions andDispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andv olume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria,and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.