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A question about the safety of Roundup & other weed killers.

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 06:32 pm
I just came across this in today's AGE letters to the editor.

How worried should we be about this information?

I know many people who use Roundup as their weedkiller of choice, because they believe it to be "safe" (as advertised.)

So I'm asking you knowledgeable gardening/plant growing folk out there:

What (if any) weed killer do you use?

Are there any alternatives to Roundup (& other glyphosate -based ) weedkillers that you have found effective?

If so what are they?

Also, any other non-poisonous weed killing/elimination suggestions (which work) would be most appreciated.

Of course, you are also welcome to comment on glyphosate-based herbicides & GM crops as well.

Thank you.

Quote:
False advertising

THE claim that glyphosate readily breaks down is not correct. Monsanto has for decades advertised that its weed-killing Roundup (main ingredient glyphosate) breaks down readily with no harmful residue. However, after a court challenge by French farmers, Monsanto has been forced to withdraw the claim. In October 2009 France's highest court ruled that Monsanto lied about the safety of Roundup. The decision confirms an earlier judgment that Monsanto had falsely advertised Roundup as being ''biodegradable'' and that it ''left the soil clean''.

There has been growing evidence of Roundup's extreme toxicity and findings that glyphosate-based herbicides are major pollutants of rivers and surface waters. This is why many are calling on a worldwide ban on glyphosate herbicide and GM crops that rely on it. While more than 80 per cent of all GM crops grown globally are engineered to be glyphosate-tolerant, there is strong evidence they have also been responsible for a 15-fold increase in glyphosate use on major crops as glyphosate-resistant super-weeds proliferate.

Glyphosate has also been found to kill human placental cells at concentrations below that recommended for agricultural use and approved by regulators, while Roundup was lethal at even lower concentrations.

Helen Disler, The Patch


http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/no-choice-about-growing-organic-20100513-v1wo.html
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 06:37 pm
They are all pretty much illegal or will be around here and I believe in most of Canada. There are only a few cities left that haven't banned them. So for me, my only choice is elbow grease.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 06:47 pm
@Ceili,
That's my weedkiller of choice, too, Ceili. Smile
But it means that the weed situation in my garden often gets away from me, like when I'm tired or busy.

So Roundup (& similar) is illegal in Canada then?
Interesting. It's still considered the "safest" of the available weed killers in my neck of the woods.
It's been suggested to me that I'm being rather silly or over-cautious when I've been reluctant to use it, or any other poison-based product, for controlling weeds or bug infestations.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  3  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 06:48 pm
This is not new information on Roundup, but I know some people will think it is. Getting rid of weeds is like losing weight - we all want a quick, easy solution that involves as little physical effort and time as possible, but the reality is there is no such solution. Weed killers are all toxic to more things than just weeds. The best way to get rid of weeds is to hand pull, apply a stirup hoe or use the permaculture technique of sheet-mulching in large areas. Sorry, no time to go into more detail.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 06:54 pm
@Green Witch,
Quote:
This is not new information on Roundup, but I know some people will think it is.


It's definitely new information to me, Green Witch, but then, Roundup is still advertised as "safe" here in Oz. I have always been skeptical about any product containing poisons (whatever it's purpose), though.

Quote:
Weed killers are all toxic to more things than just weeds.


That's what I've always suspected, which is why I don't use them.

Quote:
The best way to get rid of weeds is to hand pull, apply a stirup hoe or use the permaculture technique of sheet-mulching in large areas. Sorry, no time to go into more detail.


Well I hope you have the time to go into more detail at a later time, then.
I'm very interested!
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 06:57 pm
@msolga,
We're going back to Agent Orange. It's safe.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 06:59 pm
@JTT,
That's very helpful. Thanks, JTT.

edit: I thought I'd better put an Neutral at the end of my post. In case anyone thought I meant it & felt the need to set me straight!
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:04 pm
I've been using roundup as an under-arm deodorant for over 30 years.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:05 pm
A serious question (don't laugh): is there such a beast in existence as an effective organic weed killer?

dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:06 pm
@msolga,
napalm.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:06 pm
@dyslexia,
Have you noticed anything odd has happened to your armpits over the past 30 years?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:08 pm
@dyslexia,
Quote:
napalm.


Thanks.

Really helpful.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:29 pm
@Green Witch,
The problem with the messages that ag chemicals send is that for good farming practices, we would like to do as little plowing and grubbing in our seed beds. Glyphosate ,bladex, gramaxon,diuron, metasulfuron and several others, are fairly broad spectrum weed killers that allow a farmer to burn down the weed patches and then to merely "Drill" the seeds into the ground. This keeps soil loss to a minimum and allows seeds to get a good startso that soils retain moisture and nutrients.
Ever since these ag chems have been available, weve changed our farming procedures in order to prevent soil erosion that Im not sure wed want to go back to the annual mud loads into creeks that accompanies seasonal plowing. (at least in the humid east).

The other problem is that many weeds have evolved a super immunity against several of these weed killers(withRoundup at thetop).In the areas where weve used "Roundup Ready" soybeans and cotton (GM modified soybeans and cotton seeds that are immune to Glyphosate), weeds were killed at about 99.999% (which left 0.001% of weeds with a natural immunity and this allowed evolution carving out a broader immunity via Hardy Weinberg type distributions of variability). Now, weve got supre Giant weeds that are a real pain in the ass to deal with in 1000acre fields. Theres a giant Amaranth that has developed not only immunity, but has evolved a huge ropy plant stem that can grow higher than the soybeans or even corn. The farmers of the midwest are now busy "flaming" many of these weeds to kill em.

NOW, to make matters even more complicated,Roundup has gone off patent. What before was a weed killer that had a pricey label, is now able to be produced in every third world country with an ability to do back engineering via "bucket" chemistry, and the prices of the third world glyphosate is about 1/10 the cost of Monsantos and SDUponts "ally". I can go into Tractor Supply and , what uswd to cost almost 200$ for 2 gallon jugs or 51% glyphosate, now costs 17.59$. SO, were buyin it cheaper and using it like water. It still kills most weeds and , with a secxond load of gramaxon or Ally, you can still do no till plowing. The problem is that this stuff is like DDT. The **** you target , soon develops an immunity, and then actually thrives on the stuff.

I only use Glyphosate in small amounts for pasture fence weed control and I follow up the weed stunning with a tractor mounted "flame thrower" (Its a homemade propane burner that I mount on the PTO and can aim by hand).
UI also use it on Rose bushes and volunteer bamboo ( abig problem around here lately) . Ill cut the stems and "paint a concentrated solution on the stem cross section before it can cuticle up).

Using it in a garden is not something Id recommed, especially if youre gonna eat the veggies. I used to be a fan of Glyphosate but have changed my mind with food plants and gardens. Especially becase of the persistence of the molecule breakdown products.

If ya didnt want me to go on like a used car saleseman you shouldna asked a question about somethin Im interesetd in.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:30 pm
Interesting: Sotts (Oz producer of Roundup) & information provided on a Q & A site on their products. "Environmentally responsible gardening".:

Quote:
1. What is Roundup?

Roundup is a herbicide, a product specifically designed to kill weeds. It contains glyphosate, water and a wetting agent. It is water soluble, has no residual soil activity and is non volatile.


2. Will Roundup harm my family or me?

Based on the results of short term and long term testing, it can be concluded that Roundup poses no danger to human health when used according to label directions. In long term exposure studies of animals, Roundup did not cause cancer, birth defects or adverse reproductive changes at dose levels far in excess of likely exposure.

3. Will Roundup harm pets, birds or other wildlife?

Laboratory and field testing indicates that pets and wildlife will not be harmed by feeding on or coming into contact with plants which have been treated with Roundup used according to label directions.

4. Should children and pets stay away from the sprayed area?

Children and pets should be kept away from the sprayed area until the weeds are completely dry. This is simply to avoid transferring Roundup from the treated weeds into desirable plants.

5. How does Roundup work?

Roundup is taken up through the leaves and moves in the sap flow throughout the plant. It stops the production of proteins so that the plant starves. This process is found only in plants; Roundup has extremely low toxicity to humans and wildlife.

6. Does Roundup harm plants not sprayed?

Roundup will only eliminate plants that are directly sprayed. It must be in direct contact with the plant to work. Roundup will not harm unsprayed plants and will not harm plants by root uptake. ...


http://www.scottsaustralia.com.au/FAQs/Roundup
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:30 pm
@msolga,
remember, Roundup also is used as an INSECTICIDE. I once sparyed a 10% soln on some wasps and they died within a few hours (Its not fast but it works)
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:54 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Using it in a garden is not something Id recommed, especially if youre gonna eat the veggies. I used to be a fan of Glyphosate but have changed my mind with food plants and gardens. Especially becase of the persistence of the molecule breakdown products.

If ya didnt want me to go on like a used car saleseman you shouldna asked a question about somethin Im interesetd in.


Thanks, farmer. Happy to have given you the opportunity. Smile
And now I'm going to have to read your response a second time. A lot to take in there.

(I don't use any poisons & all .)
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:59 pm
I use straight white vinegar to kill weeds on sidewalks and on my cement deck/patio.

They use Roundup at the nursery I work at. I don't like it. It blows with the wind.

0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 08:09 pm
Still pressed for time here, but the vinegar and flame thrower (not at the same time) are both acceptable organic methods. Roundup is very harmful to aquatic and amphibian life (Google for more detail). There is also evidence of cancer in humans who often get it on their skin (Mexican farm workers were the focus of a large study). I have no use for products from Monsanto, Scott's, Ortho et al.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 08:11 pm
Glyphospahte has always been a problem around waterways . It is toxic to frogs, fish and other aquatic animals. There are (supposedly) frog friendly types available.
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 08:16 pm
@dadpad,
Yes, it's sold here under the name "Rodeo" - and it doesn't have glyphospahte, but I'm not sure what the active ingredient is and I've never used it.
 

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