It’s sad that there are still commentators such as Tom Fletcher who resort to labeling and name-calling to make a point (Polluted Logic Plagues Pesticide Bylaws, Online, Jan. 28).
So as not to leave readers hanging about the use of herbicides for cosmetic purposes, here’s some further information on glyphosate:
Glyphosate was originally touted as being a safe pesticide. It has become widely used, not only to spray GMO crops such as corn and soy, but even on wheat, oats and some legumes just before harvesting in order to dry out the plants more quickly.
What has been noticed over time, and confirmed in studies, is that glyphosate destroys the beneficial bacteria that are alive in the soil, in the livestock that graze on that soil or are fed its crops and in humans, who are exposed to glyphosate residue in many of our usual dietary mainstays.
In a September 2017 Cornell University article researchers found that weed-killing glyphosate killed a beneficial bacteria that produces plant growth hormones and natural anti-fungals in the soil. Glyphosate also prevents uptake of minerals by plants.
Glyphosate has been found in other studies to negatively affect the friendly gut bacteria in cattle linked to preventing botulism and those linked to preventing salmonella in poultry. In humans, the beneficial bacteria in our gut, called microbiome outnumber our human cells by 10:1. They protect us from incoming pathogens, among many other functions, and a diminished microbiome is associated with irritable bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, lowered immunity, cancer, depression, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Those are just some of the health-destroying effects of one pesticide.