Ten Reasons why Glyphosate is Good

Originally published on 18 March 2016

See the French translation

The following is the first of a three-part blog looking at how a corrupt unethical campaign against an essential agricultural product is succeeding in the EU. This first part will look at why glyphosate is such a good product for farmers; the second part will demonstrate how environmental NGOs, activist scientists, organic lobbyists and IARC are facing some serious questions to their integrity arising from their coordinated campaign to ban glyphosate. The last part will be a reflection of my personal experience as a child of the pre-glyphosate farming generation.

There are at least ten reasons why glyphosate is such a good herbicide.

  1. Controlling invasive weeds leads to better agricultural yields
  2. Better yields = less land in production = more meadows and biodiversity
  3. Extremely low toxicity levels compared to (organic) alternatives
  4. Allows for no or low till farming – better for soil management
  5. Reduces CO2 emissions (compared to organic)
  6. Glyphosate saves lives
  7. It is much more affordable and effective than other options
  8. Glyphosate is off patent so no single company is profiting heavily from it
  9. Glyphosate-resistant crops allow for more ecological weed management practices
  10. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that glyphosate is safe for humans

The campaign against glyphosate is a clear illustration of how successful “Stupid” can be in environmental-health debates. NGO activists from Pesticide Action Network and Greenpeace to anti-industry Rottweilers like Corporate Europe Observatory and SumOfUs have run a brilliant campaign to make it impossible for the European Commission to serve the vast majority of European consumers and farmers with good regulations based on the best scientific evidence. The Environmental Defense Fund secretly planted their demon seed into the heart of IARC, and it (Christopher Portier) has grown into a weed too powerful to eradicate with any herbicide.

Of course these activists have behaved in a non-transparent, unethical manner (most NGOs and organic gurus have no ethical codes of conduct to answer to) – it has been well-established that they play to win (their fundraising model demands that), with or without any sense of human integrity. But that is not the point. What bothers me is that they are winning through ignorance – using all of the tools of Stupid to deny farmers the means farm safely, productively and in an environmentally sustainable manner. So while we still can, let’s celebrate all of the benefits that glyphosate, this “herbicide of the century”, has brought us.

  1. Controlling invasive weeds leads to better agricultural yields

sugarbeetsThis is Farming 101. Weeds compete with crops for valuable nutrients and water in the soil, often spreading seeds virulently and toxins in the soil to increase proliferation and eventually take over the land. Weeds continue to evolve to survive and farmers need every tool at their disposal to control them. Denying farmers the most efficient tool is the activists’ way of returning agricultural land back to nature, low yields and global food insecurity. Organic lobbyists are applying the Benbrook diktat: For organic to win, you need to remove the single most beneficial product on the market. Without glyphosate, farmers will have to go organic to justify the added costs and risks to agriculture from a massive drop in yields (an average of 40%).

  1. Better yields = less land in production = more meadows and biodiversity

Farmers make a living feeding populations. If they produce better yields from less land and labour, this leaves less stress on the environment (and of course, less stress on the farmer). If a farmer is having trouble surviving, or if a society is unable to feed itself, then one regrettable solution is to plough more meadowland and chop more forests down. This has knock-on effects across all elements of the environment, reducing biodiversity, putting more stress on ecological systems, reducing habitat space for valuable wildlife (including pollinators). When one looks at the amount of land needed for organic farming (across a range of crops) compared to that used by conventional farming, the answer is obvious – the environment does better with glyphosate!

  1. Extremely low toxicity levels compared to (organic) alternatives

Glyphosate has an LD50 (lethal dose needed to kill half of the studied species, usually rats or mice) of 5600. This is far less toxic than elements in products we expose ourselves to every day, like baking soda (cookies), coffee and chocolate. See a blog where I show how 12 pesticides approved for organic farming (yes, organic farmers use pesticides) are far more toxic than glyphosate. And glyphosate has been highly studied – substances of a natural origin used in organic farming to control weeds (including certain soaps and vinegars which are more toxic than glyphosate) have very little research on their consequences on wildlife and soil. Being of a natural origin does not mean substances are less toxic (Ebola is natural) and less harmful to people, pollinators and soil.

  1. Allows for no or low till farming – better for soil management

Organic farmers are not allowed to use glyphosate as an approved herbicide since it has a synthetic origin. To control weeds, organic farmers then have to till the soil regularly, in many cases around five times a year. Soil experts agree that tillage disrupts the bacterial wealth that the soil needs to restore nutrients. It tramples on the biodiversity process within the soil. Tillage also releases valuable humidity from the ground and leads to higher risks of erosion. Glyphosate has allowed farmers the ability of developing no (or low) till farming practices, improving overall soil management (and saving valuable time and energy).

  1. Reduces CO2 emissions (compared to organic)

Repeated tillage of fields entails the use of heavy machinery (tractors, ploughs …). The greenhouse gas emissions from repeated tillage (plus air and noise pollution effects on beneficial wildlife) exacerbates our battle against climate change. When pro-organic lobbyists try to convince me that organic farming is better for the planet and global warming, I usually reply: “Oh, really?” The most ridiculous example is how farmers have replaced glyphosate with an organic-approved weed control measure known as flame weeding. Natural gas or propane may be of a natural origin, but shouldn’t farmers think twice about high greenhouse gas emissions by flame-blasting their fields when simpler, more benign means exist?

  1. Glyphosate saves lives

When glyphosate is used in other, non-agricultural sectors, there is usually no other option. The European Rail Network managers are very concerned that a withdrawal of the registration of glyphosate will lead to an increase of loss of life along European rail networks. Presently, they claim that glyphosate is the only viable (environmentally-friendly) option to control the weeds along the rails, allowing train engineers to have clear visibility to any threats to rail traffic. Without that visibility, rail accidents and innocent victims will likely increase. We could go back to traditional weed control measures (goats and cows) but then the fronts of trains will have to be re-fitted with plough mechanisms.

  1. Glyphosate is off patent so no single company is profiting heavily from it

Activist troops and their B-grade scientists get fired up over glyphosate because of the evil M-word. But glyphosate went off patent many years ago and there is a wide variety of suppliers of this vital herbicide. That explains its popularity among farmers: glyphosate is not only highly efficient, having a low toxicity and environmentally benign, it is also cheap. I suspect that one reason why the crop protection industry seems to be laying over and playing dead on the renewal of the glyphosate registration is that, besides low revenues, the agricultural community needs some sort of wake-up call to the absurd crop protection policies coming out of Brussels. Now I do not think it is wise to radically increase food prices on European consumers and risk global food scarcity in developing countries, but this is not the fault of industry, but rather that of the European Commission’s DG Santé, for listening to the loud-mouthed lunatics lobbying outside of their windows.

  1. Glyphosate is much more affordable and effective than other options

We have established that glyphosate is effective, cheap for farmers, having a toxicity level below that of cookies and chocolate and having a low impact on the environment (concerning soil, water, wildlife and climate issues). The goodness of glyphosate becomes even starker when it is compared to the alternatives (which will need to be applied once the ban comes through). One option of course is to allow weeds to thrive and sap the soil of most nutrients – we will need though to learn a whole new alimentary process for weed cuisine. High tillage or flame-blasting weeds with fossil fuels might reduce weeds, but at a heavy cost to climate change and soil degradation. We could bring back paraquat, which was also highly efficient, but suffering with a certain reputation. The most viable option is to return to the traditional practice of engaging children to manually remove weeds … this of course is practiced today in many developing countries where the price or access to glyphosate products is still out of reach of most subsistence farmers. Without sounding facetious, outside of paraquat, the organic lobby favours all of these alternatives.

  1. Glyphosate-resistant crops allow for more ecological weed management practices

If anyone has ever tried to plant grass under a fir tree, it is clear that nature has evolved by fighting for competitive resources. By designing GMO seeds that have an advantage over invasive weeds, and essentially removing any competition for soil nutrients, science has created the ultimate one-up in the evolutionary arena. This increase in yield from glyphosate resistant plant varieties comes with the added advantage that farmers use far fewer herbicide applications, less or no tillage and less costs to the environment. There are of course those unwilling to embrace science and progress – every generation has such fear-mongers – but outside of their reflexive denial, those who are reasonable cannot help but be impressed by the remarkable benefits of glyphosate-resistant crops to consumers, farmers, the environment and the planet.

  1. Overwhelming scientific evidence that glyphosate is safe for humans

Every NGO activist and organic lobbyist relentlessly chants “IARC” and “WHO” and “probably carcinogenic” but the scientific establishment has rejected the IARC findings outright. The head of EFSA, Bernhard Url, has referred to IARC’s work and letter writing campaigns as the “Facebook age of science”. Given the outrage and activism against EFSA’s decision, dialogue between EFSA and this band of activist scientists has ceased. The author of one of the studies IARC used to base their decision came out against IARC’s interpretation of his research. The German Federal Institute for risk assessment, the BfR, responsible for the EU dossier on glyphosate, did not mix words on condemning the IARC study for lack of credible science. There are over 3000 studies supporting the safety risk assessments in favour of glyphosate and a few activist science publications by agitators outside of the mainstream (just Google Stephanie Seneff plus glyphosate for a good chuckle). IARC based their conclusions on eight studies (dispelling six others that had given glyphosate a clean bill of health).

But as readers of this blog know, science does not matter when activists get their teeth into something. The coming ban on glyphosate will signal a further victory for ignorance in the Age of Stupid. In the second part of this blog, I will look at how IARC has been corrupted by activists, failed to act professionally and is in dire need of a wholesale housecleaning.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Christopher says:

    Glyphosate is dangerous and causes cancer, deformities and miscarriages, as is the case with all pesticides and herbicides, as well as with all the neurotoxins, which penetrate into and are stored , Fruits, corn, mushrooms and grain. Through the food, these poisons are in harmony with human health. [0004] Along with cancer, malformations and miscarriages, many forms of allergies are also caused by all herbicides, pesticides and neurotoxins, which are, in fact, manifested by means of food and through the pores as well as by the breathing, The causes of which are not recognized by the terrestrial physicians.

    Glyphosate and all other pesticides and all herbicides as well as neurotoxins are much more dangerous than is mendaciously by the chemists, factories and users. Contrary to this, there is no more than one million kilograms of body weight, a few milligrams per kilogram of body weight, Illness Nevertheless, the World Health Organization and the American Environmental Protection Authority consider the use of this poison. The seed is already drenched in neonicotinoids, and therefore the plants are growing from it, poisoned, and ultimately, naturally, So the human being is drawn into the poison cycle of the chemistry. During the growth, the plants therefore absorb the poison. Above all, the seed is already poisoned with neonicotinoids and indeed especially canola, sunflowers and corn. These insects are many times more poisonous for the human organism than the infamous. As a rule, neonicotinoids are not used in an isolated form. An isolated application would indeed have a lesser health-damaging results for the human being,

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    1. riskmonger says:

      Thanks Christopher for your comment. Please note that herbicides are different from insecticides.

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    2. TJ says:

      “The causes of which are not recognized by the terrestrial physicians.”

      As opposed to the extra-terrestrial physicians?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Christopher Endler says:

    you read that right …

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  3. Christopher Endler says:

    Billy
    The poison glyphosate is once again a widespread topic of conversation because it is declared to be without responsibility as harmless and also harmless to human beings. It might be good if you would say something else again, because that would certainly be important.

    Ptaah
    Against all the denial of the manufacturer Monsanto, its ‘expert assessors’, and the governments and health authorities which controlled the weed killers, Total herbicide glyphosate as harmless and not harmful to human health, the exact opposite is the case. As a result of your interest, we have been able to prove in large – scale research that glyphosate is life threatening even to the smallest extent for humans as well as for all living creatures of the fauna. In humans alone, cancer and many other diseases and diseases are triggered by glyphosate, but all mammals and other forms of life are often injured in health, even by the least amount of the glyphosate, which is extremely toxic. Plant diversity is also impaired and eventually eradicated. Moreover, the lowest amounts of poison glyphosate are also found in the plants which serve as foodstuffs for humans and for mammals, etc., when treated with the weed-destroying agent. Thus, the smallest amounts of toxic glyphosate residues are found in human foodstuffs and also in industrially produced foodstuffs, as well as in fodder plants and waters, which serve the wild living organisms and small organisms as food and drinking water. In all feedstuffs, too, accumulations are found as toxic residues, particularly in products used in agriculture for the feeding of horses, cattle, pigs and poultry.

    Toxic glyphosate residues are, however, also contained in feedstuffs for lifeforms, which are kept by humans as domestic subjects such as dogs, cats, birds, mice, rats and hamsters, etc. Due to the low glyphosate residues in the natural foodstuffs, these are thus obtained in various ways In the food of humans and all living creatures, is also contaminated with the food of slaughtered animals consumed by humans. This in turn causes malformations in newborns, miscarriages, kidney damage, as well as different types of cancer. According to our research, glyphosate harms the environment and health of humans, fauna and flora in a way that is not in itself inherent in all other known herbicides. And when it rains, the leaked glyphosate is flushed from the plants and paths sprayed with it, into the next sewage ditches, into the sewers, streams, ponds and rivers, as it also seeps into the ground and poisons the groundwater Glyphosate is highly toxic to waters. Depending on the dose, glyphosate destroys almost everything that lives and grows in the water, whether fish, insects, newts, frogs, dragonfly larvae, algae or water plants, but many land creatures also die from it and become sick and sick Glyphosate contaminated water drink. And what kills the fauna and flora does not go unnoticed in humans, makes him sick and suffering, because he suffers from cancer, allergies, diseases and illnesses, and suffers miserable misery by glyphosate residues. And in this way it goes on for years, in which Glyphosate gradually creates cancer, disease, suffering and disease. This includes autism, which is usually already produced in the mother’s liver by glyphosate-contaminated food of the mother, and is then also absorbed by the newborn, which is also contaminated with mother’s milk.

    However, glyphosate is not only about farmers who I have mentioned in agriculture, because it also affects all gardeners and amateur gardeners as well as railway workers, pathkeepers, etc., who directly deal with glyphosate and, via skin pores and possibly also via the mouth, glyphosate residues Which are also found in all basic foodstuffs. Glyphosate thus comes into barley, oats, rice, rye, and wheat, and also into many flour products, such as pastry and bakery products, but also in cereal flakes of all kinds, but also in maize, soya and sugar, and so on Vegetables and berries, as well as the drinking water, because the toxic substances, as already mentioned, seep into the ground water and this is used sooner or later by humans for the food preparation and drunk also by all imaginable possible creatures. And when the glyphosate is absorbed by man through food and drink, even in small quantities, it sooner or later has its toxic effect, even in mothers with regard to the mother’s milk, by which fetuses are already present in the mother’s body in one way or another As well as malformations and miscarriages. Also, airway complaints and skin diseases are caused by glyphosate, as well as an ever-increasing, increasing loss of biological diversity, such as the rapid biennial death.

    Glyphosate also triggers chronic botulism in cattle, a disease caused by poisoning that can affect both humans and all mammals. Even in small amounts, glyphosate and other glyphosate agents harm the human embryonic and placental cells as well as the DNA of humans, amphibians, animals, animals, reptiles, birds, fish, other aquatic organisms and all sorts of other forms of life. In the human body, glyphosate can lead to complete cell death within 24 hours. Glyphosate also paves the way for Alzheimer’s and diabetes and, as already mentioned, also for cancer and all kinds of diseases and body diseases, as well as for depression, heart attacks and sterility in both sexes. Glyphosate also has very high negative effects on soil fertility and the entire soil organisms. Also certain disease-causing parasitic molds are promoted, such as fusaria, which kill their host. Micronutrients can no longer be absorbed by the micro-organisms and fungi, and the disease protection of plants can no longer be guaranteed, as a result of which the earthworms, which are essential for the aerating of soils, are also lost or that these soils contaminated with glyphosate are avoided. Glyphosate occurs in the urine of humans and animals and other creatures of many species, even if they have not come into contact with glyphosate directly when spraying plants, soil and water residues.

    There is a classic, respectively, acute botulism, and chronic or visceral botulism, both forms being produced by toxins from the bacterium , the nerve pelvic resp. Neurotoxin is of enormous importance and is the most potent poison. From a purely theoretical point of view, a quantity of only 40 grams would suffice to destroy the entire earthly humanity. If the symptoms of botulism are observed in diseased cattle, then excretion or respiration occurs in a conspicuous manner. A life-threatening emaciation, as well as a performance drop in appearance, e.g. In case of swallowing resp. Tuberculosis and cancer. Other symptoms are a duck run, also called a wading lap, as well as a raised belly, tuckles and restricted reflexes, which also include a disturbed drinking behavior and persistent salivation, as well as rashes of the stomach and non-healing skin wounds as well as rumen paralysis resp. Paralysis of the largest of the three guardians, which serves as a large ferment chamber. Primarily, botulism bacteria multiply in flesh and plants as they decay from putrefaction. If such bacteria are absorbed by cattle by food which is impregnated with the nerve-substance BoNT, then a case of classical botulism results. Chronic botulism results first from the spores of the botulism bacteria only when they are absorbed with food and only begin to act in the intestinal tract and begin to germinate. Those involved in chronic botulism
    Chronic glyphosate poisoning cattle become permanent sequestrants of botulinic bacteria. This also creates an increased and permanent risk of infection for non-diseased animals, which can also infect farmers, other people and other living creatures. In humans, in the case of an infection, eyelids, muscle weakness, swallowing difficulties, such as a lump in the throat, are frequently threatened with urge to urinate with residual residual urinary symptoms. Glyphosate kills bacteria and bacteria in the stomach and intestines in human beings, bovines and all forms of life. This results in severe damage to the intestinal flora, which means that bacteria of all kinds, especially the botulism bacterium, Can be adequately repelled.

    Billy
    However, the policy does not prejudge the prospect of an effective risk classification for glyphosate and therefore a corresponding ban on the dangerous active substance is not considered at all. It is sobering that Montanto and the majority of health researchers, politicians and rulers have known for about 20 years that glyphosate contains life-threatening substances for all living creatures. However, this is irresponsibly trivialized or fundamentally denied, as a result of which many people continue to die and die from cancer and other diseases and diseases, as are many birth defects caused by glyphosate. From a political point of view, hardly any resp. Nothing at all to prohibit the glyphosate in principle, can only be assumed as to whether there is ever any prohibition.

    The fact is that many of the politicians, commissioners and high-ranking employees who have to decide about such things, such as genetically modified feed and food, are closely connected to the agroindustry and are horrendous about their advocacy of the production and sale of glyphosate get paid. When looking at these politicians, Commissioners and high-ranking employees who vote for the glyphosate and other toxic plant protection products and their residues, it is clear that certain of these advocates are, among other things, closely linked to the toxin manufacturers , Such as the major companies BASF, Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta, etc. These are groups that are strongly opposed to a ban on certain pesticides and all of which also contain glyphosate-containing agents in their product ranges. If it is taken into account that Monsanto alone generates sales of 2 billion US dollars with its glyphosate-containing product , then it should be absolutely clear that all other agro-conglomerates and their group representatives also deserve a great deal of money and, Active ingredient. But your knowledge speaks in an absolutely clear word that the plant-destroying agent glyphosate is highly hostile to life and even deadly to man, to fauna and flora, and therefore to the whole world. The fact that, however, from a political point of view there has not yet been sufficient to prohibit glyphosate in its production, sale, and use, can be effectively treated as a political failure. It is simply incomprehensible that, despite all the negative signs, glyphosate-containing agents may continue to be mass-produced, sold and distributed, even though an immediate production, sales and utilization stop must be the only correct measure that can be considered.

    Ptaah
    Fact is that our research clearly proves that glyphosate causes health and further damage and even the death of humans and the fauna and flora.

    Billy
    The interests of agriculture and large-scale horticulture are no longer to be allowed to take advantage of any economic pre-eminence; instead, it should be done immediately where glyphosate has long been causing great damage to the fauna and flora On human health. An immediate stop of the production, sale and use of glyphosate is of utmost urgency, since food and feed are causing death, eradication of fauna and flora as well as spoilage.

    Last but not least, the entire political system, which does not account for its responsibility and which allows Monsanto and the entire economy to exert pressure on farmers and large- Companies are getting ever more horrendous profits – without regard for the people, the nature, their fauna and flora, the waters and the whole environment.

    FIGU Special Bulletin No. 104, June 2017 26
    Unofficial, unauthorized translation – see page 24 German only http://www.figu.org/ch/files/downloads/figu_sonder_bulletin_104.pdf

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    1. riskmonger says:

      Science has a methodology that is self-correcting. If all you say is correct, then there is no doubt the science will come around (Monsanto does not control science and there is no conspiracy, no matter how many times it is retweeted). However, many of the claims you make here originate from people with interests, no reliable data or any scientific credibility. But they are active on social media and have large followings and organisations behind them. Scientists do look at their research and most often debunk these claims. Even some of the anti-glyphosate scientists are debunking the outrageous claims by those like Seneff.
      I get your frustration and the need to turn to conspiracy theories but science will self-correct if necessary. But when activists lie, turn half-truths into certainties, fund second rate scientists to justify data or undermine mainstream findings, do not expect your great researchers to be welcomed in as heroic saviours of humanity. When the chief architects of the activist campaigns are funded by law firms and organic food producers, don’t expect them to be treated as disinterested actors.
      Not waiting for science and letting the activists distort the truth is not a model way to make decisions.

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      1. Christopher Endler says:

        Yes, you make good points . Information is only as good as what we do with it . Even still we must be diligent in finding the answers ourselves without any agenda save for our good health ,logic and reason .. When did we decide poisoning our food with pesticides and herbicides was a good idea ? ..

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