Round up

Erik Van Lennep via pbs
Fri, 26 Mar 2021 04:08:05 PDT
Thanks Nils, for so concisely covering many of the main points regarding
RoundUp and a rapidly growing sentiment against its use in the EU. The same
discussion is happening here in the Netherlands, and to a greater or lesser
extent in many other European countries.

I used to rely on it in my own gardens, 'back in the day'. With one hand
over my eyes, so to speak, because I already suspected big problems but my
laziness suggested I simply believe the words of Monsanto/Bayer that it was
'quickly broken down once in contact with the soil'.

Sadly, now we know more of the reality, in terms of health impacts
including cancer in those who use it, its migration and persistence in the
water table, movement over great distances via soil dust blown by the wind,
impacts on soil life including insect larvae but also the entire microbial
community that makes soil a living substance. We know it migrates away from
the application area. We know that organisms can build genetic resistance
to it, not just GMOs but wild plants as well. We know that genes flow
laterally as well as from generation to generation, with new organisms,
particularly microbes, freely exchanging information between species in the
form of DNA. It seems to affect human (so quite likely other creatures')
immune systems and we know these effects can be passed down to subsequent

Sadly, in many areas, health and safety, both individual and community,
have become politicized. I'm baffled by this, but it's increasing. We know
how policy and regulations are shaped by the polluters. in many instances
both in the USA and the EU, lobbyists for the polluters actually write the
legislation! Yet somehow we pretend the fact that toxins have entered
identity politics isn't a factor in the willingness to consider mountains
of well studied evidence which shows how damaging these chemicals are. And
not 'just' to other species or our own future generations. The damage is
immediate (after all that's why we like to use it).

The fact that studies are not funded, or not funded long enough, or worse,
funded by the companies selling the products, who often donate heavily to
both policy makers and to academic research institutes (both of who know
very well 'which side their bread is buttered on'), cannot credibly be
claimed as so inconclusive that we should just keep on using it. Remember,
"absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". Were the studies better
funded, conducted transparently and without bias, published more
accessibly, we would have more than enough evidence. As it is, we must do
our own connect-the-dots exercises, and look at the network of impacts for

That really should not be a tough call for horticulturists or observant
farmers. We have keen eyes for details. It's part of the fascination, and
skills that come with the cultivation of plants. How we can summarily park
an entire sector of study which so directly impacts the world we otherwise
revel in, and has implications for ourselves, our loved ones, our
communities and world is stranger than strange to me.

Rant over :)

Erik van Lennep, in central Europe where Spring is teasing us but I'm
planting anyway.


On Fri, 26 Mar 2021 at 11:11, Nils Hasenbein via pbs <> wrote:

> Glyphosate has a bad reputation in Germany now, following the
> many hints that it may, in the long term and as a mass application, have
> severe impact on insect populations, likely larvae development and
> insect behaviour.
> conclusion is that the main environmental problem with Glyphosate is a
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