I came across this article and posted it on the INDY Lawn Mowing forum. The overall opinion was, "Yes we know its toxic, but we don't have an alternative so we'll keep using it until there is one".
What is the overall opinion of the use of glyphosate in the permaculture environment ?
ROUNDUP AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Roundup has been found to be highly deadly to tadpoles when used in recommended concentrations, suggesting a possible cause for the decline in frog species world wide. Glyphosate containing products are acutely toxic to fish and have been shown to kill beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps, ladybirds, lacewings and predatory beetles, and to affect earthworms, beneficial fungi and soil bacteria. Various insects such as butterflies, whose larvae feed on weeds, can be affected by the loss of food sources due to herbicide use. Glyphosate has indirect impacts on birds, which depend on plants for shelter and food, and the insects which feed on them.
Some weeds, such as annual rye grass in Australia, are reported to be developing natural resistance to glyphosate, making the herbicide ineffective.
THE INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL SITUATION
In the USA and Canada growing numbers of local government authorities have stopped using herbicides in street maintenance and have even placed local bans and other restrictions on the private use of pesticides and herbicides. Some governments have developed education campaigns on the health problems associated with herbicides. In the USA at least a dozen states have introduced pesticide legislation requiring prior public notification of commercial pesticide and herbicide applications. The Danish government is considering restrictions on Roundup after it was found to be contaminating groundwater used for drinking. The City of Auckland, New Zealand, only uses herbicide when no alternative is available. In Western Australia the Cities of Fremantle and Nedlands have stopped using herbicide routinely in street maintenance due to residents’ health concerns but most local governments in Australia simply ignore the problem.
Residents Organising Against Roundup has recently formed in SA and is already active in NSW.
Glyphosate Fact Sheet Part 1 & 2.
Ontario College of Family Physicians Pesticide Review
Our Stolen Future: Exposure early in life to herbicides and pesticides.
GENERAL SYMPTOMS OF GLYPHOSATE EXPOSURE
Although glyphosate is considered to be less toxic than most other herbicides, it is still a serious poison.
Acute health problems following unintentional exposure to glyphosate include:
? Eye Irritation
? Painful Eyes
? Burning Eyes
? Blurred Vision
? Swollen Eyes, Face And Joints
? Skin Rash
? Rapid Heartbeat
? Heart Palpitations
? High Blood Pressure
? Chest Pains
? Facial Numbness
? Burning Sensation On Skin
? Itchy Skin
? Tingling Skin
? Recurrent Eczema
? Breathing Problems
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE GLYPHOSATE WHEN IT IS SPRAYED AROUND OUR STREETS AND HOMES?
Monsanto claims that Roundup “has no residual soil activity” is “completely biodegradable” and “sticks very tightly to the soil”. They also advise that “children and pets should be kept away from the sprayed area until the weeds are completely dry” but that “this is simply to avoid transferring Roundup from the treated weeds onto desirable plants”. But how accurate are these claims?
Glyphosate is considered by independent researchers to be a persistent environmental pollutant. Glyphosate residues have been found in lettuce, carrots and barley planted one year after glyphosate applications. Glyphosate can also evaporate from certain soils, with up to 80% of applied glyphosate evaporating within a two-hour period. The fact that glyphosate is both highly persistent and relatively mobile in soil increases its toxic potential. In addition, glyphosate is always used as a spray and the problem of spray-drift cannot be avoided no matter how carefully it is applied. Glyphosate can be detected in the urine of farm children who were present when it was mixed or sprayed. Due to their small size and immaturity children are at increased risk of damage from herbicides.
People with chemical sensitivity report severe reactions to minor spray-drift and glyphosate residues. Even walking in an area that has been sprayed several days earlier can make some people sick for weeks or months with allergy-type symptoms.
MONSATO’S HISTORY OF DECEPTION
Laboratories used to assess the safety of glyphosate have been associated with fraudulent practices. In 1991 allegations of falsified data by the US Environment Protection Agency resulted in criminal charges and multi-million dollar fines. In 1996 and 1998 Monsanto was successfully sued by the New York State Attorney General for “false and misleading” advertising regarding the human and environmental safety of Roundup.