Glyphosate aka 'Round-Up' is a herbicide used to dampen the spread of unwanted plant species. It does a stunningly good job of killing 'weeds' (aka plants) and has widespread use across the globe. There's little wonder the product Round Up is so successful at doing what it's supposed to do given that it began life as Agent Orange - the defoliant chemical spray on the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia during the Vietnam war. The Viet Cong were so masterful at using the jungle to move, hid and entrap the US that the US engaged in a defoliate campaign which stripped the jungles, but also had an unintended yet devastating consequence of producing birth defects in peoples exposed to the chemical.
Remastered after the war, glyphosate is now used by schools, councils, sporting clubs and civilians to retard the growth of unwanted plants and weeds.
But what is the consequence of this???
In the US, glyphosate is used ubiquitously by farmers in a bid to maximise crop yields, however, the water-soluble herbicide has entered the water system and the human system with catastrophic consequences. In my 2109 book The Sustainable Diet I discussed the ecological impact of agricultural land in US using glyphosate and how the Mississippi delta has become the catchment area for millions of square hectares of contaminated land.
The river runs through large farming states such as Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arkansas and Missouri. Glyphosate is washed off properties and concentrated in the Mississippi resulting in a highly toxic dead zone at the mouth of river. This contamination of the water system has produced hypoxic conditions in the gulf of Mexico with inhospitable conditions for aquatic life.
But it's not only marine life which is adversely affected by exposure to this herbicide. If you were to view the incidence of cancer in the US and the use of glyphosate you would see an overwhelming correlation ...see below:
And here is a map of the Mississippi Delta and tributaries:
The incidence of cancer overlays fairly neatly the use of glyphosate and of course there are other variables such as socio-economic factors but there's no denying the correlation.
Not only cancer, but it's believed to be affecting our fertility with 1:3 males and 1:4 females being sterile in the US. This has the potential to influence birth rates and population growth shaking the foundation of the economy and welfare.
In my own council region it's sprayed on the perimeters of grassed medium strips..."what the hell for!" I say to myself every time I drive past.
Never has the world been so technologically advanced, medically sophisticated, educated and with most of the global population living above the poverty line, yet we are an ailing society in the industrialised world.
We are sick!
What we are putting in our bodies either directly or indirectly is having a pernicious and dire affect.
We are beginning to understand the harmful affects of glyphosate on human health and the wider ecology but we must be advocate for our own health and seek out, where possible (taking into account budget and accessibility), food which has not been tainted by chemicals.
Thanks - Scott