Roundup the weedicide

October 27, 2018
Mahesh Bhat
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Healthy cabbages growing amidst other plants. In Narayana Reddy's farm. "There is no such thing as weeds. "As long as they do not grow taller than the crop all other plants are fine" says Reddy.

Healthy cabbages growing amidst other plants. In Narayana Reddy’s farm. “There is no such thing as weeds. “As long as they do not grow taller than the crop all other plants are fine” says Reddy.

Round up is the most popular weedicide in the world. Produced by Monsanto, The main active ingredient Roundup is a chemical called glyphosate.  Monsanto has always claimed that it is harmless to humans, it had even made a video on the benefits this weedicide.  Since it reduce dependence on labour – it became really popular. The downside was that it had to be sprayed on the entire field and it killed the other plants as well. So they came up with Roundup ready (modified) plants, which didn’t react to the poison..well…well..

It has been popular in India as well. However recently The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) in an order dated 12 October 2018 which is related to testing of the herbicide Glyphosate in pulses has stated that there is a possibility of higher levels of residues of the herbicide “Glyphosate” in pulses which could adversely affect the health of consumers. Therefore the FSSAI has directed the Authorised Officers to instruct laboratories to test for the presence of herbicide ‘Glyphosate” along with other parameters when the samples for pulses are forwarded for testing. You can read the order here.

Also, earlier this year, a California court ordered Bayer (who purchased Monsanto) to pay $289 million in damages to Mr. Dewayne Johnson, a former school caretaker who is terminally ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He had sued the company claiming that the repeated exposure to Roundup was the cause of his cancer.

The great farmer philosopher Narayana Reddy says that weeds aren’t bad at all. As long as they don’t outgrow the main crop. Here is a photograph that I had made in his farm where cabbages are comfortably growing with weeds all around. In his own words – “I don’t use pesticides or weedicides. There are 150 pests but the pesticides don’t target them alone. We have lost 15 species of valuable greens that grew among the weeds; they were full of medicinal value.”.. read more here.

Seed companies, fertilizers and pesticide manufacturers have held the lives of farmers for ransom and have slow poisoned the world, while of course making millions of dollars in profit. We still don’t see this, we still don’t learn.