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Spraying Roundup – 19 Billion Pounds and Counting

Touch the Soil News #301

A recent research paper by Dr. Benbrook for the Environmental Sciences of Europe reveals that global application of glyphosate has reached approximately 19 billion pounds since its introduction in 1974.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Round Up. It is primarily designed to be sprayed on crops that have been genetically engineered to survive the poison that kills living plants. Since the mid- 1990s, there has been a significant change in when and how glyphosate has been applied and a dramatic increase in total volume applied.

The most prevalent GMO crops (glyphosate resistant) that use Round Up are corn, soybeans, canola, alfalfa and cotton. (Photo - Benjamin Gisin)

Seventy two percent of this 19 billion pounds has been applied in just the last 10 years. In 2014, an equivalent of almost ½ lb. per acre was sprayed on all cropland worldwide – a concerning trend considering the growing debate on the connection between glyphosate and cancer. Last March, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, infamously declared that glyphosate was a “possible carcinogen.”

The purpose of Dr. Benbrook’s report is to begin laying the foundation for quantifying the extent of glyphosate use in the world as interest will grow in quantifying the ecological and human health impacts.

Following is a video clip on the risks of glyphosate:

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