What is Glyphosate?Glyphosate is a universally predominant broad-spectrum herbicide. It was first introduced to the market in the early 1970’s by the American biotechnology titan Monsanto, creator of Agent Orange and DDT. Today, Glyphosate is sold under a variety of brand names in Australia such as Round Up, No Grow, Weedmaster Duoand Weedmaster Zero. Despite being classified as "dangerous for the environment" and "toxic for aquatic organisms" by the European Union, Glyphosate continues to be used extensively to kill weeds in the agriculture sector and in backyard gardens, alike. Please beware!
Soil, Water and DietUnfortunately, Glysphosate is harder to avoid than you’d think. Even eating a strictly organic diet isn’t enough to ensure that you are not ingesting it (and chemicals like it). This is because Glyphosate has penetrated the water supply. Natural groundwater sources (rain, lakes, streams, ponds etc.) have become contaminated with toxic substances from soaking into previously sprayed soil and bedrock. Despite manufacturer's claims to the contrary, Glyphosate is not biodegradable. Studies have found that even two years after spraying a field with Round Up, a substantial amount of Glyphosate is still present in both the soil and in water samples one metre below the surface in concentrations above 0.1 mg/L. Regulations stated in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines deem up to 0.01 mg/L of Glyphosate to be “safe” in drinking water for human health and the environment. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that there is a big problem here!
Health Dangers to Be Aware OfGlyphosate is an environmental toxin that is acutely toxic to birds, fish, amphibians, insects and other soil organisms and plants. Furthermore, it has been linked to more than 20 serious adverse health effects in mammals including the following:
- miscarriage and premature birth
- birth defects
- hormone disruption and infertility
- gastrointestinal disorders
- heart disease
- Alzheimer's disease
- impaired serum transport of sulfate and phosphate
- destruction of red blood cells
- lung dysfunction
- low blood pressure
- kidney damage
- impaired bone growth
Decrease Your Exposure to GlyphosateTo avoid Glyphosate there are a few basic things you can do.
- Don’t use chemical herbicides on your lawn and garden. If you can convince your neighbours to discontinue using Round Upas well, all the better.
- Choose organic food whenever possible. If you have to buy conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, soak them in a little white wine vinegar to remove surface residue from agricultural chemical sprays and then rinse them well.
- Do not drink tap water if you can avoid it. A typical glass on tap water can contain contaminants such as heavy metals, bacteria, parasites, pesticides, industrial solvents and pharmaceuticals, in addition to glyphosate. Hydrating your body with clean water, on the other hand, will help to rid it of toxins. Drink mineral or good quality filtered water for optimal health.