Are Monsanto Pesticides Creating Monster Weeds?

What happens when the chemical herbicides developed to reduce weeds actually create stronger, invasive, herbicide-resistant weeds? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to figure that out by investigating whether glyphosate-based herbicides are creating monster weeds—bigger, stronger, more resilient weeds that have been named “super weeds.”

The EPA’s Office of the Inspector General has been investigating the spread of super weeds and how farm workers are affected by the toxic chemicals used to combat them. In particular, the EPA is looking into glyphosate, the main ingredient in the Monsanto (now Bayer AG) herbicide Roundup. The product has been billed for years as a “weed killer” but it seems the weeds may be back from the dead and stronger than ever. Notice the parallels to antibiotic-resistant superbugs plaguing humans due to rampant over-prescribing of drugs? These similarities are unnerving but not unexpected.

Roundup has been used on many crops, including genetically-engineered corn and soybeans. Over the years, farmers have had to use increasing quantities of the product to combat weeds that Roundup was supposed to eradicate. According to a study released in February 2016, and published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe, 18.9 billion pounds (8.6 billion kilograms) of glyphosate have been used globally to date. Additionally, the use of the herbicide has risen almost 15-fold since “Roundup Ready” genetically-engineered crops were introduced in 1996.

The study also indicated that in 2014, enough glyphosate was sprayed to leave more than three-quarters of a pound of the active ingredient on every harvested acre of cropland in the United States. Equally disturbing, that same glyphosate use left almost a half-pound per acre on cropland worldwide (0.53 kilogram/hectare), including places were Roundup and glyphosate are banned or not used.

The chemical companies’ response to super weeds is simply to add more toxic chemicals. In some cases, the EPA is actually taking the side of human health over corporate influence, but no one has forgotten their ban on the herbicide 30 years ago, a decision which the organization later mysteriously reversed.

The Agency retracted its approval for the use of Dow AgroSciences Enlist Duo herbicide in late 2015 after the manufacturer withheld data showing it is potentially more toxic than disclosed.  Is this decision, as well as the current investigation, a hopeful sign that the government is remembering its role to serve the people, including those who don’t hold shares in Monsanto, Dow or other chemical companies masquerading as agriculture and food businesses?  I guess we’ll have to wait to see, particularly with the president-elect’s choices for his leadership team.

While some plants are adapting and evolving into frankenweeds in the face of saturation with Roundup and other chemicals, humans are simply suffering. The EPA’s investigation is assessing the human health impacts of chemicals used to fight super weeds. This follows the World Health Organization’s 2015 finding that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.”

In late 2016, International People’s Court in The Hague, Netherlands held a tribunal and tried Monsanto for “ecocide” and “crimes against humanity and nature.” The tribunal heard the testimony of experts, scientists, farmers and indigenous peoples from around the world. Many reported the far-reaching impacts of glyphosate, including the damage to adjacent unsprayed land and crops, wilderness areas, livestock and humans.

Regardless of the outcome, both the farmers and the food supply suffer. The former because they are trapped in a costly – to both their health and their finances – cycle of chemical application that has not delivered on its promises. The latter, because our food supply becomes increasingly contaminated with health-damaging chemicals. And at this rate, it won’t even be safe to eat the weeds.

Related:
Don’t Believe in Herbal Medicine? 10 Things to Change Your Mind
The 5 Best Herbs to Soothe Your Nerves
Should You Actually Starve a Fever?

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.

136 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Janis K
Janis K10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Mariana L
Mariana L10 months ago

yes GMO creating monster weeds

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Mariana L
Mariana L10 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Christine Stewart
Christine S10 months ago

for people who think GMO crops are great because fewer sprays are used on them- guess again! GMO corn and soy are called "Round-up ready"- meaning you can spray even MORE of Monsanto's Round-up on these crops, to fight the monster weeds that are growing resistant to Round-up!

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Salah Z
Salah Z10 months ago

tyfs

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Salah Z
Salah Z10 months ago

tyfs

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Salah Z
Salah Z10 months ago

tyfs

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Salah Z
Salah Z10 months ago

tyfs

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