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Poisons To Rethink

Round-Up® (Glyphosate)

The myth that glyphosate disappears harmlessly soon after application is misleading. Glyphosate kills plants by chelating the same minerals vital to all life, which is why it has been associated with laboratory and medical evidence of cancers, hormone disruption, fetal harm, and even ADHD. Mycorrhizal fungi, beneficial bacteria, and nitrogen fixers are all starved of these essential minerals, depleting soils and making plants susceptible to disease.

Tiny exposures affect frogs, fish, insects, and birds. Resistance develops in plants, including invasive weeds. Persistence for up to a half a year is common, and may last a decade, depending on conditions such as soil acidity (pH), temperature, moisture, sun or air exposure. Its breakdown products, especially AMPA and formaldehyde, are also toxic and persistent. Drift is nearly unavoidable when used over larger areas, and water contamination is widespread.

Resistance to Glyphosate has produced “superweeds” like pigweed, hairy fleabane, ryegrass and Johnson grass. Some formulations now add other poisons, such as Imazapyr, a nonselective, super-potent herbicide used to kill a broad range of vegetation including annual and perennial grass and broadleaved weeds, brush, vines and many deciduous trees. Imazapyr is persistent and pollutes surface and groundwater. One primary breakdown product of Imazapyr is quinolinic acid, which is irritating to the eyes, respiratory system, and skin. It is also a neurotoxin and can cause symptoms similar to those in Huntington’s chorea, such as loss of coordination and trembling. Resistance of weeds to Imazapyr is also common.

Weed n Feed® (Weed-B-Gon® is similar) is actually a combination of nitrogen and three deadly poisons-2,4D, Dicamba, and Mecoprop — so dangerous it has been banned in Canada.

. Aside from its poisonous effects, it results in:

• Massive Nitrogen input=algae blooms when leaches into water

• Birds eating the grit and dying or suffering reproductive calamities

• Indoor exposures from walking on sprayed surfaces affecting pets, kids, and pregnant women.

2,4 D: Persistent, bio-accumulative toxic chemical linked to cancers, reproductive, immunological and neurological problems. Related to Agent Orange.

Dicamba: selective broadleaf like 2,4D; neurotoxic, also reproductive & cancer; persists in dry or cold over a year; variably kills invertebrates, fish (including coho salmon) especially in saltwater (our Mad River estuary); very water soluble; harms Nfixing bacteria and algae.

Mecoprop: selective broadleaf, related to 2,4D and 2,4,5 T (Agent Orange); mutagen (inhibits DNA synthesis); immune, blood, reproductive, cancer, liver, kidney; very mobile in soil, contaminates water; harms mycorrhizal fungi.

Three Common Insecticides

• Bug-Geta Plus®: Metaldehyde & Carbaryl (Bug-Geta has Metaldehyde only) Metaldehyde slug baits are toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested by dogs or cats tremors, drooling, & restlessness will proceed to seizures and death within hours to days if not treated quickly.

Carbaryl, a common insecticide advertised for use in homes and garden (Sevin), is a potent neurotoxin. Its manufacture is extremely hazardous (The Bhopal catastrophe was due to the release of methyl isocyanate used to make this poison, and newer methods are similarly hazardous). Carbaryl also causes genetic, immune and endocrine damage, and likely causes cancer according to the EPA. Importantly, it harms or kills beneficial insects like bees, as well as birds, fish, tadpoles, salamanders, shrimp, and other animals. Carbaryl commonly contaminates water bodies, air, even rain.

• Home Defense MAX®: Permethrins are confused with Chrysanthemum-extracted Pyrethrins, but permethrins are potent nerve poisons, similar to organophosphates. They are endocrine disruptors, toxic to fish, especially coho salmon, bees, and humans, causing “more insecticide poisoning incidents than any other class of insecticides except the organophosphates.”

• Ortho Tree & Shrub Insect Control®: This systemic insecticide designed to last a year on trees and shrubs contains 2.5% imidacloprid, a neo-nicotinoid neurotoxin highly lethal to birds, bees, fish, earthworms. The “inert ingredients” can also be toxic. It is a reproductive and genetic poison that is very persistent and is a water contaminant.

Misleading Advertising

Don’t just take my word for it. Monsanto has been sued by multiple government entities for its false advertising of Round-Up (Glyphosate).

The Dutch Advertising Code Commission ruled that the ad entitled "Roundup, the facts", was misleading in its claims that Roundup has no effect on soil, does not persist in the soil, and does not reach groundwater.

A report revealed that the industry's own studies, carried out as long ago as the 1980s, showed that glyphosate causes birth defects in lab animals. It also presented evidence from independent studies that glyphosate & Roundup were endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, reproductive toxins, linked with some types of cancer.

Monsanto was convicted in France of false advertising of Roundup for presenting it as biodegradable and for claiming it left the soil clean after use.

Glyphosate is classed as "dangerous for the environment" and "toxic for aquatic organisms" by the EU.” The New York Attorney General sued Monsanto because it misrepresented RoundUp “…as biodegradable…into naturally occurring elements;” as immobile, meaning “…there’s no washing or leaching to harm …desirable vegetation;” “…is less toxic to rats than table salt;” it has “…a toxicity category rating of ‘practically non-toxic’' as it pertains to mammals, birds and fish”; and “Roundup can be used where kids and pets'll play and breaks down into natural material." (“This ad depicts a person with his head in the ground and a pet dog standing in an area which has been treated with Roundup.”)

Here are some reasons to think twice about, and avoid, these poisons:

• They are all poisonous and persistent with toxic “inert ingredients,” and harmful, persistent breakdown products, all of which contaminate water and harm or kill beneficial critters. (See: NCAP Pesticide Factsheets, & Pesticide Action Network

• The Mad River: poisons percolate, leach, and drift in air into waters, harming fish and other aquatic critters and plants.

• Kids and pets track poisons into homes, exposing pregnant women to poisons that harm unborn babies and unsuspecting neighbors.

• Safe alternatives are easy and cheap. See: CATS,, CNPS, & CETOS:

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