By Dr Mercola
Monsanto, the world leader in the production of genetically engineered (GE) staple crops, has long claimed that its broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup is safe. In fact, they have even used the following slogans to describe it:
“It’s Safer than Mowing”
What we are now finding out — unfortunately long after hundreds of millions of pounds of the chemical have already been applied to U.S. soil — is that Roundup is proving to be a pervasive environmental threat, one that may already be poisoning a good portion of the world’s remaining natural water supply.
Roundup is Contaminating Groundwater Supplies
The quantity of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in the environment has been difficult to analyze due to its physicochemical properties, such as its relatively low molecular weight and low organic solvent solubility.
However, a recent study used a magnetic particle immunoassay to test for the presence of glyphosate in roughly 140 samples of groundwater from Catalonia, Spain.
The analysis found that glyphosate was present above the limit of quantification in 41 percent of the samples. As noted on GreenMedInfo.com, this indicates “that, despite manufacturer’s claims, it does not break down rapidly in the environment, and is accumulating there in concerning quantities.”
Groundwater, which is water from rain, lakes, streams or other bodies of water that soaks into soil and bedrock, can easily become contaminated when chemicals in the soil with low biodegradability and high mobility empty into it.
When groundwater is used as a drinking water source, this contamination poses a risk to animals, plants and humans alike. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains further:
“Contaminated groundwater can hurt animals, plants, or humans only if it is first removed from the ground by manmade or natural processes. In many parts of the world, groundwater is pumped out of the ground so it can be used as a source of water for drinking, bathing, other household uses, agriculture, and industry. In addition, groundwater can reach the surface through natural pathways such as springs.
Contaminated groundwater can affect the quality of drinking and other types of water supplies when it reaches the surface. Contaminated groundwater can affect the health of animals and humans when they drink or bathe in water contaminated by the groundwater or when they eat organisms that have themselves been affected by groundwater contamination.”
That glyphosate has been detected beyond the limit of quantification in 41 percent of groundwater samples tested reveals yet another concerning “side effect” of its rampant use: namely, that it is not biodegrading in the soil, as previously assumed by many scientists, rather, is trickling down below the soil to the groundwater, where processes of biodegradation are much slower, and the opportunity for it to accumulate to toxic levels is much greater. These findings have devastating environmental and human health implications, as glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world and is being found virtually everywhere it has been tested…
Glyphosate is Also Found in Air and Rain Samples
The results of the first report on the ambient levels of glyphosate and its major degradation product, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in air and rain water were published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in March 2011. The samples were collected during two growing seasons in Mississippi and Iowa. Glyphosate was detected in 60 to 100 percent of all air and rain samples, which lends further credence to the fact that Roundup does not readily break down in the environment, but rather is lingering all around us.
Unfortunately, thus far the United States has chosen to ignore the warning signs and allows the deceitful marketing and unabated use of glyphosate herbicides like Roundup. On a brighter note, the EPA is finally looking into the damaging effects of glyphosate on humans and the environment and plans to make a decision regarding its future by 2015. At that time, Roundup could either continue to be used as it is now, be required to have some modifications to its use or be banned entirely from use within the United States.
Read the full post at Mercola.com.