Facts about Glyphosate
(This is an extract from Wikipedia to refresh the knowledge- The Next issue of the printed magazine will have some more facts on Glyphosate and specially CKDU in Sri Lanka)
Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses known to compete with commercial crops grown around the globe. It was discovered to be an herbicide byMonsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1970. Monsanto brought it to market in the 1970s under the trade name Roundup and Monsanto’s last commercially relevant United States patent expired in 2000.
Glyphosate was quickly adopted by farmers, even more so when Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant crops, enabling farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops. In 2007, glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States agricultural sector, with 180 to 185 million pounds (82,000 to 84,000 tonnes) applied, and the second-most used in home and garden market where users applied 5 to 8 million pounds (2,300 to 3,600 tonnes); in addition, industry, commerce, and government applied 13 to 15 million pounds (5,900 to 6,800 tonnes).
With its heavy use in agriculture, weed resistance to glyphosate is a growing problem. While glyphosate and formulations such as Roundup have been approved by regulatory bodies worldwide and are widely used, concerns about their effects on humans and the environment persist.
Glyphosate’s mode of action as an herbicide is to inhibit a plant enzyme involved in the synthesis of the aromatic amino acids: tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine. It is absorbed through foliage, and minimally through roots, and translocated to growing points. Because of this mode of action, it is only effective on actively growing plants; it is not effective as a pre-emergence herbicide. Some crops have been genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate (i.e., Roundup Ready, also created by Monsanto Company). Such crops allow farmers to use glyphosate as a postemergence herbicide against both broadleaf and cereal weeds, but the development of similar resistance in some weed species is emerging as a costly problem. Roundup Ready soybean was the first Roundup Ready crop.
Many regulatory and scholarly reviews have evaluated the relative toxicity of glyphosate as an herbicide. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment published a toxicology review in 2013, which found that “the available data is contradictory and far from being convincing” with regard to correlations between exposure to glyphosate formulations and risk of various cancers, includingnon-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). A meta-analysis published in 2014 identified an increased risk of NHL in workers exposed to glyphosate formulations. In March 2015 the World Health Organization‘s International Agency for Research on Cancer published a summary of its forthcoming monograph on glyphosate, and classified it as “probably carcinogenic in humans” (category 2A) based on epidemiological studies, animal studies, and in vitro studies.
Legal status of Glyphosate in the world
Glyphosate was first approved for use in the 1970s, and as of 2010 was labelled for use in 130 countries.
In September 2013 the legislative assembly of El Salvador approved legislation to ban 53 agrochemicals, including glyphosate; the ban on glyphosate was set to begin in 2015.
In April 2014 the legislature of the Netherlands passed legislation prohibiting sale of glyphosate to individuals for use at home; commercial sales were not affected.
In May 2015 the president of Sri Lanka banned the use and import of glyphosate, effective immediately.
In May 2015, Bermuda blocked importation on all new orders of glyphosate-based herbicides for a temporary suspension awaiting outcomes of research.
In May 2015, Colombia announced that it would stop using glyphosate by October 2015 in the destruction of illegal plantations of coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine. Farmers have complained that the aerial fumigation has destroyed entire fields of coffee and other legal produce.
In June 2015, the French Ecology Minister asked nurseries and garden centers to sell glyphosate only from locked cabinets. This was only a request and all sales of glyphosate remained legal in France.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate accessed on 5th September 2015