I have to correct some misleading information provided in a letter by Dr. Boyles [in “The Readers’ Turn”] about the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate. While he is correct that glyphosate is a herbicide (weed killer) and not a pesticide, he is wrong about its use in our food chain. It is applied not only to our basic food supply, like GMO (genetically modified organism) corn and soybeans (#1 crop chemical worldwide) but also to many fruits and vegetables.
A little history. GMO crops (from GMO seeds) were designed by Monsanto to increase crop yields by huge margins by allowing our food supply to safely withstand the harsh chemical treatment of Roundup (e.g. Roundup Ready Crops). Roundup is sprayed on GMO crops like corn and soy because they are genetically engineered to withstand the harshness of the chemical. Glyphosate technically will even kill non-GMO crops not engineered to withstand the chemical. So, now we can get 200 or more bushels of corn per acre, but it comes with a heavy price for our long-term health.
Maybe even worse is that weeds are now becoming resistant to glyphosate and more and more Roundup is being sprayed to get rid of the weeds. People and animals that eat GM herbicide-tolerant food crops are eating high levels of residues of glyphosate and its main metabolite, AMPA. Both of these chemicals are toxic. The World Health Organization and the state of California have declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen.
And Roundup and other glyphosate-containing products are not just for GMO crops. Many farmers use glyphosate on non-GMO crops like wheat, oats, edible beans, and other crops right before harvest to speed up drying as a desiccant (eliminates moisture).
It should not be surprising that when cash is king and health become secondary, the maker of GMO crops (Monsanto) also happens to be the maker of Roundup.