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Roundup and Monsanto

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Dear Editor,

I remember a conversation years ago where it was mentioned that “RoundUp stops working when it hits the soil (therefore, it was presumed to be ‘safe’)”.

Indeed, that was the major selling point and headline when Monsanto launched RoundUp, what they didn’t advertise was the retraction in the scientific journal three weeks later, on the third page, in font size 8.

No-one reads the retractions on page three, everyone reads the headlines and accepts them as ‘truth’, especially if it’s published and peer reviewed. Give me a break.

So, they knew it didn’t ‘inactivate’ when it entered the soil, it changed composition. The second argument for its safety when it came to human health was that it only destroyed what is known as the Shikimate pathway, which is a pathway not used in animals. Case closed right? Safe as houses. Well, no, because as has been repeated ad nauseum throughout history which we continue to ignore; we don’t operate in isolation, humans are not mechanical, we operate in tandem with our wider environment. The Shikimate pathway is used by bacteria and fungi, the beneficial guys which helps us, and our food, to metabolise numerous components and communicate via cellular expression. RoundUp also changes the way bacterial genes turn ‘on and off’, with the implications being that glyphosate may be contributing to antibiotic resistance, it being an antibiotic in itself. The proponents for RoundUp will continue to support its use, but when you have a recent court case, the first in history which allowed scientific evidence, (yeah I know, how ridiculous), where Monsanto is ordered to pay $289M in compensation, then you can guarantee others will follow. It looks very similar to the cigarette companies fighting for decades in defence of their product. Well, when the WHO comes out (2015) and classes glyphosate as a ‘probable carcinogen’, that’s a welcome death knell for a horrific product which is insidiously destroying our environment and soil health.

What you use in your garden, matters. What you spray around your fruit trees, matters. Pick up a copy of ‘The Secret Life of Plants’ to blow your mind. You can’t continuously poison plants and then expect that we all of a sudden can step away from the cycle of life and remove ourselves from the equation and its after effects. But then, I’m an Herbalist, so I’m biased. Unlike Monsanto.

Sincerely against human hubris, Gab Beaumont BHSc MNHAA.

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