Roundup is one of Monsanto’s powerful broad-leaf weedkillers. Because Roundup’s patent expired in 2000, a number of companies now manufacture products using Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate.Glyphosate is not made using genetic modification. Instead, crops labeled Roundup-Ready are modified to withstand drenching with this weedkiller.15 In a 2011 report called Roundup and Birth Defects: Is the Public Being Kept in the Dark?, eight international scientists cited study after study linking glyphosate to birth defects in birds and amphibians, as well as to cancer, endocrine disruption, damage to DNA, and reproductive and developmental damage in mammals, even at very low doses. Moreover, the report said, Monsanto and the rest of the herbicide industry has known since the 1980s that glyphosate causes malformations in animals, and that governments ignored these studies. Here in the United States, the EPA continues to assert that Roundup is safe.Another concern is environmental damage. Roundup ends up in wetlands because of runoff and inadvertent spraying.
In one study, the recommended application of Roundup sold to homeowners and gardeners killed up to 86 percent of frogs in one day, according to University of Pittsburgh assistant professor Rick Relyea. Roundup also damages soil. Two Purdue scientists, Professor Emeritus Don Huber and G.S. Johal, said in a paper published in 2009 that “the widespread use of glyphosate … can significantly increase the severity of various plant diseases, impair plant defense to pathogens and disease and immobilize soil and plant nutrients rendering them unavailable for plant use.” The pair warned that “ignoring potential non-target side effects … may have dire consequences for agriculture such as rendering soils infertile, crops non-productive and plants less nutritious.”Huber is point-blank about glyphosate’s dangers. “Glyphosate is the single most important agronomic factor predisposing some plants to both disease and toxins,” he said in an interview with The Organic and Non-GMO Report. “These toxins can produce a serious impact on the health of animals and humans. The toxin levels in straw can be high enough to make cattle and pigs infertile.”