Enviro impacts of war on weeds
Environmental Impacts of Killing Weeds now resistant to Roundup
Herbicide tolerance and GM crops
Why the world should be ready to round up glyphosate
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in many herbicides sold throughout the world, including the well-known formulation, Roundup. Glyphosate based herbicides are used widely for weed control because they are non-selective; glyphosate kills all vegetation.
Glyphosate has been promoted as ‘safe’. However, mounting scientific evidence questions the safety of glyphosate and its most well known formulation, Roundup. The evidence detailed in this report demonstrates that glyphosate-based products can have adverse impacts on human and animal health, and that a review of their safety for human and animal health is urgently needed.
The report's conclusion
The rapid evolution of weeds that are resistant to glyphosate is a result of farmers becoming over-reliant on one herbicide for weed control. This is particularly associated with GM RR (genetically modified Roundup Ready) crops. Now that resistance to glyphosate is widespread in weeds within GM RR soy, maize and cotton crops, farmers have to resort to using mixtures of herbicides.
Thus, the promise of reduced herbicide use and cheaper and easier weed controls has not been delivered. However, it is clear that GM RR crops have brought about an escalation in the pesticides ‘arms race’, with an increasing toxic burden on the environment involving significant uncertainty about the overall safety of glyphosate for people and biodiversity.