View Full Version : safe/unsafe glyphosate use

Luke B
12-12-2004, 10:13 AM
hi everyone, the other day at work a fellow worker was spraying glyphosate diluted 300ml to 300l in a back pack sprayer, they were not using a breathing mask and the gloves they were wearing were the thin plastic disposable kind.

i am after any reliable information and/or official studies that could give me enough info to make the boss re-think the way the company carries out chemical use. i'm young and i'm new to the job so i would like to have as many facts as possible.

i've looked at the msds for the product and it seems to recommend ppe and breathing apparatis but i can't find a definate standard for safety.

i know this isn't exactly permaculture related, i was just hoping to reduce the companies chemical use and provide info for the other employees.

any help would be appreciated.

12-12-2004, 06:15 PM
g'day luke,

dunno mate but maybe someone invloved in occupational health & safety (oh&s) could help or contact your local epa (environmental protection agency) at your local gov' office?

i saw a doco' concerning the wa wheat belt and they showed farmers using glyho' dressed in space suites?

but from me i reckon the company you work for is leaving themselves wide open to litigation, from what i know or seem to know there are domestic strength and commercial strength formulas available.

amyway mate hope some of this helps for me i'd be going home and then the doc the long term residuals of these things in the body just don't seem to be know.

i thought nowadays people who use chemicals have to be licensed????

len :shock:

Luke B
12-12-2004, 08:27 PM
the first thing is the work i'm doing is bush regeneration and it doesn't have a union, so i think that gives oppoutunity for trouble. you do need to be licensed to spray glyphosate but anyone can chose to ignore what you've learnt.
thanks for the direction len, i'll see what the epa can tell me.

Chook Nut
12-12-2004, 09:38 PM
Hi Luke,

Glyphosate is one of the safest to use and has the least recommended safety gear needed. Repeated use like that of the WA farmers makes it smart to use a lot of safety gear.

I have previously done a lot of spraying in the past and the main thing i now recognise that my employer was slack in the safety gear provided was actually the breathing mask filters. There are great filters that can be added to a spray mask but is very important to know how long they last b4 needing to be discarded. Good ones only last a few hours once exposed to normal air! I feel this is the key to feeling 'safe' when spraying. A disposable suit is helpful but remember also that you should have a shower after and a new change of clothes.

It's the prolonged exposure that is the main risk... as well as things like being pregnant and even a females immune system is more susceptible than a males.

Cheers... Dave

Luke B
16-12-2004, 09:16 PM
i've talked to the my area manager for work and it turns out that the particular people who were spraying without safety gear choose not to use it and should have had the proper equipment on offer to others but didn't. they keep a really good record on how many hours the mask and filter have done and replace them accordingly.
i would like to know more about glyphosate because i'm sure its not safe to breath in spray mist regulary, it would be good to let the others at work know all chemicals aren't safe.
thankyou len and dave for the information it helped alot :)

17-12-2004, 09:16 PM
Luke, I've just sent you an item from the net called 10 reasons not to use Roundup, which is glyphosate. I haven't posted it on the forum because it is 7 pages long. Hope it gives you some useful info.


04-05-2005, 12:11 AM
Glyphosate is the only herbicide i use

I find it to be a benign chemical in terms of residual effects on soil life
It is acutely toxic to plants and is invaluable in killing off running plants like kikuyu as this grass is highly susceptile to it (less than recommended concentrations)
If you are facing a sea of kikuyu then weak glyphosate (not monsantos 'roundup" TM as this has surfactants toxic to aqautic life)
folowed by sheet mulching once its dead can save you years of grief

likewise with oxalis (soursobs) hit just as they flower so u starve the nutlets

or for poisoning suckering weeds inlc weed trees
without tree spikes and poisons i dont think the job will get done
and if we follow up with immediate planting of native tubstock and after care we can have a fast transition to bush again and i think thats worth the acute toxicity. This is especially true of rainforested areas with camphor. The results ive seen are extraordinary

as once off tools they are great
if u have to keep on using them then check your design for flaws

roundup actually encourages weeds! by eliminating dominat susceptible grasses. So sparyed land will need more sparying and at higher folow up rates unless it is then managed by mulching or estabishmnet of a tree canopy

Roundup has a halflife of 6 - 120 days
a huge range
Basically in moist garden soils with organic matter acterai degarde it quickly
In broadscale cropping aeras with low rainfall and low OM it degredes slowly as soils are less microbially active

Its an altered form of glycine and amino acid and inteferes with biochemical pathways specific to plants. It obviously affects peripheral systes in humans leading to minor toxicity but iits pretty safe for animals.

04-05-2005, 12:00 PM
it's hardly benign it can last up to 2 years in the soil from what i have read around the traps, and it is at least harmful to our amphibians.

len :shock:

05-05-2005, 04:03 AM
I agree with Len, oh&s is a great avenue to go down. I've had several problems working on farms where no health and safety was recognised where chemicals are concerned and many many more problems with farmers who burn ag plastic instead (the rate this happens around bowen and ayr is frightening) of paying to have it removed/removing it themselves as per the law. oh&s is an excellent source for the information you're seeking.

As for roundup, can't begin to tell you just how nasty that stuff even in the long term.

Your boss could be the nicest man in the world and runs his business this way as that's just the 'norm' - I've encountered this on pretty much every farm I've ever toiled on. Be careful how you address the problem and how you offer the solutions as from my experience it can sometimes get uncomfortable or worse with those who are just going along as they always have. My stepping forward and enquiring as to why ag plastic was being burned was met with some serious derision, as was not having the proper gloves and face masks (sometiems none at all) while working with sprays and word got around about my 'snooping' to the surrounding farmers. In your situation it's different but I just had to say that as you're doing the right thing, but doing the right thing can be tough. Don't let that stop you though, I'm just overly cautious about alot of things so don't mind me. :)

06-05-2005, 02:29 AM
it's hardly benign it can last up to 2 years in the soil from what i have read around the traps, and it is at least harmful to our amphibians.

len :shock:

Claim 1: 2 years in soil

# Residual Soil Activity: Glyphosate is not generally active in the soil. It is not usually absorbed from the soil by plants.
# Adsorption: Glyphosate and the surfactant used in Roundup are both strongly adsorbed by the soil.
# Persistence and Agents of Degradation: Glyphosate remains unchanged in the soil for varying lengths of time, depending on soil texture and organic matter content. The half-life of glyphosate can range from 3 to 130 days. Soil microorganisms break down glyphosate. In tests, the surfactant in Roundup has a soil half-life of less than 1 week. Soil microorganisms break down the surfactant.
# Metabolites/Degradation Products and Potential Environmental Effects:The main break-down product of glyphosate in the soil is aminomethylphosphonic acid, which is broken down further by soil microorganisms. The main break-down product of the surfactant used in Roundup is carbon dioxide.

so the 2 year claim is actually a maxima and not to be taken seriously as being the norm.
dry cropping soils with little organic matter are likely for this - like the WA wheatbelt. But in an active garden soil the lower half life would apply

Claim 2 :amphibian toxicity

The studies done were with 'Roundup' a formulation containing glyphosate and POEA surfactants which only 'roundup' uses. All toxicity to the frogs was attributed to the surfactant.
The other brands which have other surfactants are not toxic in the same way

"Glyphosate (commercial names: Roundup, Rodeo) is a broad-spectrum herbicide that kills plants by inhibiting the synthesis of essential amino acids. The most popular formulation, Roundup, actually is a combination of the active ingredient (glyphosate) and a surfactant that helps the herbicide to penetrate plant leaves (polyehtoxylated tallowamine; POEA). It is the second most commonly applied herbicide in the United States, with 38–43 X 106 kg of active ingredient applied to homes, gardens, forests, wetlands, and 8.2 X 106 ha of cropland in the United States (Donaldson et al. 2002, National Pesticide Use Database). The half-life of roundup is 7–70 days (Giesy et al. 2000)."
http://www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/2005 ... 1apr05.htm (http://www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/2005/Roundup-Aquatic-Communities1apr05.htm)

Previous work in the Australian species showed that although the Australian species were less sensitive to Roundup, the death that occurred was completely due to the surfactant (POEA) and not due to the active ingredient (glyphosate). Relyea (2005a) used the commercial form of Roundup (25% glyphosate) containing the POEA surfactant. Thus, Relyea's results only apply to formulations that contain this common surfactant and not to other forms of glyphosate (e.g., Rodeo). Importantly, agricultural formulations are typically 41% glyphosate, but the glyphosate:surfactant ratio in the version of Roundup used in Relyea (2005) and that used in agricultural applications are identical.

the contents of three glyphosate formulations are listed below.

Rodeo®: glyphosate (53.5%) and water (46.5%)

Accord®: glyphosate (41.5%) and water (58.5%)

Roundup®: glyphosate (41%), polyethoxylated tallowamine surfactant (15%) and water (44%)

Now by now i must sound pro-glyphosate but im not really
i do think needing to use it is a one off thing not a managemnet tool

i think of it like using fossil fuels to do earthmoving
the benefits far outweigh the acute loss

Luke B
07-05-2005, 06:29 PM
we use 1-2% bi-active roundup most of the time but its still difficult to convince some workers to use a mask anyway, slowly but surely...
thankyou for the info i'll be spreading the word.
you're right funky fungus i've seen when we've sprayed a big area of grass and next season another weed pops up in big numbers, it definately encourages weeds, whether that's a chemical reason or just giving opportunity to other plants i don't know.
i don't plan on keeping a job where using poisons is apart of the work but for where i am now i can at least inform others as well as i can and they can go on from there.

08-05-2005, 02:27 PM
I read a finding that sprayed verges in the UK showed higher biodiversity than unsprayed verges

I think the process is the same

Runner grasses and even annual grasses are dominating plants in their ecosystems - which is why we have 'grasslands' as a distinct ecotype on the planet - millions of hectares dominated by guilds of a few dominant species

Grazing encourages this as runner grasses and those that tiller close to soil surface reists grazing and are actively selected over many annual herbs and woody plants
But grasses aslo exude inhibitory susbtances from the roots and possibly in the fallen leaves that are phytotoxic to other plants or their germination
(note: quite a few cereal crops exhibit phytotoxicity in the stubble especially sorghum so its best to either rotate crops so that those going in after these crops are resistant to the effects of the proceeding crop or else wait 5 weeks after digging in for microbes to degrade the toxins)

as a practical demonstration i give kikuyu and fruit trees as an example
A tree with kikuyu sward beneath and a tree with a herbaceous layer beneath will show visble differences in growth and vigour
whenever i move house i nearly always find poor fruit trees choked by kike
i remove it and the results are graphic and sudden - the trees burst back into life and start bearing heavily again!

anyway once you remove the grasses many of whom are VERY susceptible to glyphosate you relsease a lot of other species in the seedbank
Mowing or grazing puts the selective pressure back onto the grasses and they make a quick comeback
or if you let the broadleaf weeds go and have nearby woodlands you can enter into an early stage of forest succession - herbs, woody herbs, brush, forest etc.
If pioneering forest in a sea of kikuyu then a nbit of spray might help to get the nuclei established but your best friend in the longer term is shade
the other achilles heel of grasses

Antonino Giglio
09-05-2005, 03:36 PM
hi everyone, the other day at work a fellow worker was spraying glyphosate diluted 300ml to 300l in a back pack sprayer, they were not using a breathing mask and the gloves they were wearing were the thin plastic disposable kind.

i am after any reliable information and/or official studies that could give me enough info to make the boss re-think the way the company carries out chemical use. i'm young and i'm new to the job so i would like to have as many facts as possible.

i've looked at the msds for the product and it seems to recommend ppe and breathing apparatis but i can't find a definate standard for safety.

ciao! you should read carefully the msds of roundup!
there u can find all the info u need that the company have to provide for the law.
here is the link of all msds of monsanto products:
http://www.monsanto.com/monsanto/us_ag/ ... s_msds.asp (http://www.monsanto.com/monsanto/us_ag/layout/crop_pro/all_labels_msds.asp)
sorry, msds is the material safety data sheet that it is not the label on the product.
to get the msds u need to ask the companies!

Antonino Giglio
26-05-2005, 12:22 AM
this is the link to the msds of roundup:

http://lscgw1.monsanto.com/esh/msdslib. ... er.797.pdf (http://lscgw1.monsanto.com/esh/msdslib.nsf/A9E93D7A66F2D7F6062565390070ECB8/$file/Ranger.797.pdf)

29-05-2005, 04:31 PM
I wouldn't panic too much. Glyphosate's fairly safe. Aspirin is far more toxic, as is the salt you put on your chips. The existence of glyphosate has allowed for development of practices like zero-tillage culture in broadacre cropping. Spraying weeds rather than cultivating leads to a much higher retention of organic carbon, maintenance of soil structure, and a reduction in soil erosion. It has a very low level of toxicity.

30-05-2005, 08:37 AM
I was planning to eventually market organic vegies. Would that be affected by using Round-up? Ie would I lose the "organic" status?

30-05-2005, 10:35 AM
I think you find it's a naughty-naughty as far as organic status is concerned. I'd make up your own mind, if I were you. It breaks down very quickly in the soil, and has no MRL's as far as use in vege crops go (the last time I looked). Most organic growers are purists and won't do this, but in truth there are far worse things you could do than that!

31-05-2005, 07:25 AM
If I used Roundup to control nutgrass in a neighboring block but not in the "organic" growing area is it still a problem? At this stage I haven't used it nor am I in a position to grow vegies. I'm just dreaming/planning about it. It would take at least 12 months to build up the soil and I'm going to be out of the country for possibly up to two more years. But I noticed a (still) fairly small patch of nutgrass on my last visit. What sort of time frame do the organic purists look for?

31-05-2005, 07:43 AM
Glyphosate's the best stuff you can use for nutgrass control. You need to hit it again and again. Persistency is the key.

You'd have to check with the organic certifiers as to what their requirements are, but I THINK you'll find they want you to be glyphosate-free for several years. You'd want to ask yourself though whether they're likely to pick this up, given that it breaks down within a very short timeframe.

31-05-2005, 03:18 PM
I really don't know too much about this stuff, other than it's diluted Agent Orange. But I'm always suspicious when my government and it's allies (chemical companies) constantly assure us that poisonous stuff is safe. They SAY it breaks down when it hits the soil, but I faintly remember reading something about parts of it showing up in water sources, in a still-dangerous form. Now, I don't know how much of the bad stuff it takes to cause trouble, but the problem is, the manufacturers probably don't either, really. They said DDT was safe (it wasn't), they said above-ground nuclear testing was safe (it wasn't), etc.

It reminds me of a cartoon I saw many years ago that went something like this:

"We make defective automobiles, defective airplane parts, defective tires, defective hair dryers, defective computers, defective tvs, defective washing machines, defective baby toys, defective bridges, defective coffee pots, defective ball point pens, defective shopping carts and defective air compressors, but we build perfectly safe nuclear reactors."

Oops! Is my cynicism showing again??? :twisted:


Luke B
31-05-2005, 08:01 PM
all chemicals are toxic its a case of how toxic each one is. i'm thinking on the same line as SueinWA, they've released a chemical on the market like is often done (with little testing) and been able to tell us its safe but what about long term use or not yet found side effects etc?
widgeenut if your patch of nut grass is small enough you could try to put a thick mulch on it, might be better than spraying it if you're not going to be there when it comes back after spraying.

01-06-2005, 08:14 AM
Is Round-up really diluted Agent Orange? I'm a bit suss about using chemicals. As far as I know the patch was small last time I saw it. I'll try mulch or chickens first anyway.

I just saw something on telly about amalgum(mercury) fillings - I have five, but that's another story.

01-06-2005, 01:35 PM

I wish I could remember where I read this so I could reference it, but I have read the following....

In 1940 Non-hodgkins Limphoma (please forgive any bad spelling) was the rarest form of cancer.

It is now the most common. There has recently been a report which has linked Glyphosate to this rise.

01-06-2005, 05:44 PM
The husband of my sister's friend has non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. What a coincidence! He was in Vietnam when they were dumping Agent Orange all over the place to defoliate the jungles so the enemy couldn't use it to hide. Unfortunately, they dumped it over our guys, too. It's taken YEARS for our government to admit that Agent Orange and a sudden leap in cancer figures for Vietnam vets were connected.

The first I heard of the connection between RoundUp and Agent Orange was from a Master Gardener at the local Cooperative Extension Service in the 80s.

Here is some information: http://www.lrf.org.uk/en/1/infonurjouleulin.html

Or just search on AGENT+ORANGE+ROUNDUP (http://www.google.com.au/search?q=agent+orange+roundup) and you'll find more than you ever wanted to know.


05-12-2005, 05:26 AM
Um, found this in here while looking for a thread about chook feed, and despite my better instincts I read it. Rather than debate the merits and corporate assurances that Round Up is safe, and thats because it isn't.... I'll just mention that Agent Orange is different than Round Up.

Agent Orange is one part 2,4,D and one part 2,4,5,T. It was widely used in Vietnam, and the huge increase of cancers in returned vets has coct the US government a lot of money. Costs to the Vietnamese people have not been assessed properly, though everyone admits the cost has been high.

2,4,D is highly controlled in the US, but here anyone can buy it, right over the counter, no license needed, and it gets used with NO masks, filters, goggles, suits, etc....

2,4,D is an herbicide, and 2,4,5,T is an arboricide, and coupled together it was an extremely effective way to eliminate forest that the NVA and Viet Cong used to hid in.

Spraying herbicides over a large acreage (19 million gallons from 1967-1971) constitutes a crime against the planet, but some companies made alot of money....

Under US and EU organic certification standards, a period of at least three years of abstinence from chemical use and monitored "in conversion period" muct be observed. Using Round Up would costitute a major no-no, and attempts to use them that escape detection by the certifier but leave detectable residue that might be detected by consumer groups would do a lot to damage the market for organic foods if they were detected.

You'd have to check with the organic certifiers as to what their requirements are, but I THINK you'll find they want you to be glyphosate-free for several years. You'd want to ask yourself though whether they're likely to pick this up, given that it breaks down within a very short timeframe.

Thinking like that is part of the problem.

05-12-2005, 06:24 AM
I suspect I'm wasting my time here, but I'm an eternal optimist. It seems I still had a "notify me when a reply is posted" thing happening with this topic, and I must say I'm stunned at the sort of nonsense that's happened since I left this forum. We now have somebody who seems to honestly believe that Monsanto is so distraught at losing the huge permaculture-market, that their executives would telephone a Central QLD ag consultant and offer him $100 to post on their behalf on a permaculture site forum! Not only an absurd proposition, but pretty damned insulting to the integrity of somebody you don't know! Isn't there a "care for people" rule in permaculture? Where do personal insults fit into that? Where does justice fit into that? Or does the Witch-Hunt Rule OK? It reminds me of ancient American McCarthyism. If someone treads a more middle road, they must be a communist.....or in this case, a paid Monsanto plant! A yank soldier captured by the Nth Koreans, who decides that his country was wrong to drop Anthrax and other assorted diseases onto the Korean countryside MUST have been brainwashed....because how could any sane person have un-American thoughts? In this case, how could any sane or uncorrupt person think that glyphosate is a comparatively mild risk? He disagrees with Chairman Bill! He must be an enemy of the people!

And I read where Christopher, who seems to have a remarkable amount of spare time for someone who's out there toiling in the rainforests with the poor folk, resorts to childish name-calling. What was his favourite? Big Ag Farmer? Reminds me of the schoolyard. And he called me "chicken shit" because I decided I had better things to do than waste my time arguing with someone with a closed mind, limited knowledge, and schoolyard bully tactics. I don't have his amount of spare time. I can't and won't write essays back and forth with a small-minded angry person who doesn't have even basic civility. I don't need to be insulted. I learned to walk away from name-callers and those who made chicken-noises when I was still in school. I don't see why I should return now.

Just a few suggestions: Most of you here believe wholeheartedly in permaculture as the solution to the worlds ecological and food-supply issues? Try to accept that you'll have far more converts if you allow those who only share a percentage of your views to express themselves without ostracizing them.....or insulting them.....or ganging up on them....or declaring them to be corrupt, brainwashed or stupid for not sharing your views. Who knows? You may even LEARN a few things from "the outside". There's a wealth of knowledge "out there" that you could benefit from. A few members here have gained a bit of useful information from ME from time to time, if they'll recall. If we keep our minds open and our paranoia at bay, we could all learn from each other. So bloody what if Jeff in CQ wants to use roundup? YOU don't have to.

(Ahh. I just realised that the post I was notified to was schoolyard bully Chris. I guess he wants to keep his zealous fire burning. Maybe I should resort to his tactics and call him "Chrissy Poo", or "Pisstopher"? Maybe then I could debate him on his own level? Nahhhh........better things to do!)

05-12-2005, 07:38 AM

I would like to apologise for the calling you Big Ag Farmer. It was, as you say, childish. And I don't think you are a plant, but I know such things exist. I would also like to apologize for suggesting that you may be a "toxic plant", sent here to spread disinformation. I have removed the vague suggestion from my post. I know Monsanto pays for bad science, and paid misinformation. I am not accusing you of that, but it seems that a high percentage of your posts advocate the use of Round Up, saying things like that it is safer than aspirin and it is safer than salt.

I only started calling you big ag after you left without answering simple questions regarding unintended consquences of Round Up use. I would much have preferred to hear your answers. I also called you chicken shit because you ducked several questions. I apologize, again, for that.

I think Jeffs neifgbors might be concerned if jeff used Round Up. I know I would be (and am) concerned when neighbors use chemicals that may travel through water.

Actually, Bill Mollison suggests that Round Up may be appropriate at times, for instance in pioneering a piece of land. However, the true cost of the use of such herbicides is larger than the saving the loss of eroded soils, and I do not want to send a penny of my money to Monsanto, so, respectfully, I disagree with that notion.

I did find the quote

You'd have to check with the organic certifiers as to what their requirements are, but I THINK you'll find they want you to be glyphosate-free for several years. You'd want to ask yourself though whether they're likely to pick this up, given that it breaks down within a very short timeframe. to be alarming, because it would appear to suggest you are advocating cheating on certified organic production systems.

I would also say that I have found your website to be very informative, and know that you have a lot of knowledge about soils.

Regarding my remarkable amount of time: I invite you to come see our farm. I toil in very specific doses :lol: , most of our work is on maintenance of the system. One of the advantages of stacked polycultures is the ratio of calories in to amount of calories out is very favorable to that farmer, (that and we have 4 volunteers now, 3-11 employees, depending on the day of the month, and much of what I do is help direct their energy). Its the tail end of rainy season, so i am indoors often, that and I write alot at night.

Anyway, I would like to apologize for calling into question your motivation in promoting Round Up. While I do believe there are paid misinformants out there, I do not think you are one of them.

I do think Round Up is NOT benign, and I do think monsanto is evil, and I do think that underestimating the toxicity of Round Up by accepting the statments of others at face value that Round Up is safe is crazy. However, you have the right to say that, and people have the right to believe that, if they want. It is, after all, a free world.



Edited to add: This link shows some of the heavy handed, manipulative and desceptive practices of Monsanto that affect small farmers in the US and other countries in the world: http://www.organicconsumers.org/monlink.html That is another reason why I would NEVER use any of their products.

05-12-2005, 08:24 AM
Article on reproductive health issues of Round Up
Taken from http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsant ... 060305.cfm (http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/pregnancy060305.cfm)

June 3, 2005

Dear Readers,

I think this study just released from a French university finally allows us to understand the Roundup toxicity problem. As you read this you will find that the Roundup formulation is actually much more toxic than glyphosate. When you read that the main ingredient of Roundup, glyphosate, has been studied you are getting a small part of the picture. I quote from below "Surprisingly, Roundup is always more toxic than its active ingredient." I hope this study and the attached references can help us to be assured that there is more to the Roundup issue than we are hearing about.

To view the entire study (and I suggest you do) go to http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2005/7728/7728.html You can read this as a web document or print it out as a pdf. I have pasted in the conclusions and references below Thank you, Thomas Wittman
__________________________________________________ ________________

Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 113, Number 6, June 2005

Differential Effects of Glyphosate and Roundup on Human Placental Cells
and Aromatase

By: Sophie Richard, Safa Moslemi, Herbert Sipahutar, Nora Benachour, and Gilles-Eric Seralini

Laboratoire de Biochimie et Biologie Moleculaire, USC-INCRA, Université de Caen, Caen, France


Roundup is a glyphosate-based herbicide used worldwide, including on most genetically modified plants that have been designed to tolerate it.

Its residues may thus enter the food chain, and glyphosate is found as a contaminant in rivers. Some agricultural workers using glyphosate have pregnancy problems, but its mechanism of action in mammals is questioned. Here we show that glyphosate is toxic to human placental JEG3 cells within 18 hr with concentrations lower than those found with agricultural use, and this effect increases with concentration and time or in the presence of Roundup adjuvants. Surprisingly, Roundup is always more toxic than its active ingredient. We tested the effects of glyphosate and Roundup at lower nontoxic concentrations on aromatase, the enzyme responsible for estrogen synthesis. The glyphosate-based herbicide disrupts aromatase activity and mRNA levels and interacts with the active site of the purified enzyme, but the effects of glyphosate are facilitated by the Roundup formulation in microsomes or in cell culture. We conclude that endocrine and toxic effects of Roundup, not just glyphosate, can be observed in mammals. We suggest that the presence of Roundup adjuvants enhances glyphosate bioavailability and/or bioaccumulation. Key words: adjuvants, aromatase, endocrine disruption, glyphosate, herbicide, human JEG3 cells, placenta, reductase, Roundup, xenobiotic. Environ Health Perspect 113:716-720 (2005). doi:10.1289/ehp.7728 available via http://dx.doi.org/ [Online 25 February 2005]


Our studies show that glyphosate acts as a disruptor of mammalian cytochrome P450 aromatase activity from concentrations 100 times lower than the recommended use in agriculture; this is noticeable on human placental cells after only 18 hr, and it can also affect aromatase gene expression. It also partially disrupts the ubiquitous reductase activity but at higher concentrations. Its effects are allowed and amplified by at least 0.02% of the adjuvants present in Roundup, known to facilitate cell penetration, and this should be carefully taken into account in pesticide evaluation. The dilution of glyphosate in Roundup formulation may multiply its endocrine effect. Roundup may be thus considered as a potential endocrine disruptor. Moreover, at higher doses still below the classical agricultural dilutions, its toxicity on placental cells could induce some reproduction problems. References

Acquavella JF, Bruce H, Alexander BH, Mandel JS, Gustin C, Baker B, et al. 2004. Glyphosate biomonitoring for farmers and their families: results from the farm family exposure study. Environ Health Perspect 112: 321-326.

Auvray P, Moslemi S, Sourdaine P, Galopin S, Séralini GE, Enguehard C, et al. 1998. Evidence for new non-steroidal human aromatase inhibitors and comparison with equine aromatase inhibition for an understanding of the mammalian active site. Eur J Med Chem 33:451-462.

Bradford MM. 1976. A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72: 248-254.

Brewster DW, Warren J, Hopkins WE II. 1991. Metabolism of glyphosate in Sprague-Dawley rats: tissue distribution, identification, and quantitation of glyphosate-derived materials following a single oral dose. Fundam Appl Toxicol 17:43-51.

Bulun SE, Sebastian S, Takayama K, Suzuki T, Sasano H, Shozu M. 2003. The human CYP19 (aromatase P450) gene: update on physiologic roles and genomic organization of promoters. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 86:219-224.

Carreau S. 2001. Germ cells: a new source of estrogens in the male gonad. Mol Cell Endocrinol 178: 65-72.

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This GMO news service is underwritten by a generous grant from the Newman's Own Foundation, edited by Thomas Wittman and is a production of the Ecological Farming Association http://www.eco-farm.org

05-12-2005, 08:28 AM


Murray made us an excellent new feature called an ignore button, just click on that and Christopher is gone from the forum it acts like a cyber-Roundup™ for repeatedly abusive posters.

It has long been known that the best fertiliser comes off a farmer's boots, it is also the best weedicide.

I will not allow RoundUp on my property and do not advocate its use but then again I am not a broadacre farmer who has to toss up between using glyphosate and minimum till on a weed crop or ploughing it and thus spreading seed material and a lot of topsoil in the process.

A 'friend' once gave me 2 round bales of 'weed-free' hay. This bought sida & khaki burr onto my property [amongst others], I was not in residence at the time and it got away. Glyphosate was suggested, instead I sprayed petrol and burned it and the seed bank. Chipped any weeds that were left and put them in black plastic bags and disposed of them at a landfill site. Eight years later these weeds still turn up but I am on top of them.

Neither of these methods is particularly nice, both weeds have the capacity to 'destroy' my property. I chose the petrol and burn method to get rid of most of the seeds. I couldnt think of an environmentally friendly solution at the time. Sometimes life is a compromise.

Glyphosate usage is certainly a vexing issue and one that should be discussed.



05-12-2005, 08:52 AM
the table salt lie

Called the wonder herbicide, RoundUp is one of the top-selling herbicides. Made by Monsanto, it is now used on plants that have been genetically engineered to tolerate RoundUp without dying.

This means:

Higher residues of RoundUp in our food chain

Over 90 percent of soy and canola in our food chain are 'RoundUp Ready' genetically engineered to withstand large quantities of RoundUp

Increased RoundUp usage by farmers

More danger to the public

RoundUp Herbicide has been touted by its maker, Monsanto, as safe and environmentally friendly. As such, it has become the most popular herbicide in use today. Advertising by Monsanto has led the public to believe that RoundUp is "safe as table salt," a phrase used quite often by its proponents to describe it.

Studies used for RoundUp's initial registration were fraudulent. There is no indication that these studies have been replaced with other, more valid, studies. The public perception of RoundUp as safe, environmentally friendly, and no more harmful than table salt has impeded the normal scientific study to which a pesticide would normally be subjected. Research grants have been concentrated in the areas of pesticides perceived to be more detrimental to humans.

New York State's Attorney General has sued Monsanto for claiming that RoundUp is "safe" and "environmentally friendly." This suit ended in a settlement with Monsanto in which Monsanto agreed to cease and desist from using these terms in advertising RoundUp in the state of New York. Monsanto, while not admitting any wrongdoing, paid the state of New York $250,000 in settlement of this suit. When Monsanto violated the first settlement agreement by advertising within New York that RoundUp is "safe," a second agreement was negotiated.

Most of the studies identifying RoundUp's true toxicity are recent, and certain areas of RoundUp's toxicity have yet to be thoroughly studied. Case law involving RoundUp victims is almost non-existent due to this lack of scientific information with which to prove causation.

It is for these reasons that it is important to also look to anecdotal information about RoundUp's toxicity to humans in order to develop a full picture of the symptomology it causes


read the rest of the articles from the link

I suffered cholinsesterase inhibition due to neighbours spraying Roundup and lost about 50% of the use of my hands ......


05-12-2005, 08:52 AM

Well.....you STILL can't get my identity right. Big ag farmer....bioagfarmerdude.....and you've just addressed me as Bioagfarm. Why not try cutting and pasting if you have difficulty? You know fully well that you only do this as a way to talk down to me. Yes......childish. And thank you for finally admitting this.

You'll actually find.....IF you can stop talking down to people, and can get out and talk to some people outside your circle......that there are many people who have made the decision that spraying 3L/ha of roundup in a diluted form in a closed-cab tractor over a few hundred hectares of paddock is a risk they're prepared to take. They're not stupid. They don't have red necks. They DO care for the environment. They've weighed up the cost....both economically and environmentally....of this method versus several cultivations....and have decided in favour of using roundup (or one of the umpteen other brands of glyphosate which are made by companies other than Monsanto).

Farm labourers in this country cost nearly $15/hr. Diesel fuel costs over a dollar a litre. Prices average around $150/tonne for wheat, with yields maybe 2-3 tonnes per hectare. The margin between profit and loss is very tight, and bills need to be paid.....and kids need to be fed. This is not a "stupid argument". It's a simple reality. Erosion of cultivated land is a reality. So are mortgages. So are grocery bills. So are rising fuel costs and falling commodity prices due to the supposed "level playing fields" of the world markets that farmers have been forced into by politicians. Farmers can find themselves facing a decision: Take the risk of using glyphosate, or face the reality of having to walk off the farm.

It's a different scenario from the one you describe, of uneducated kids spraying chemicals without protection. That's an awful situation. If I were to sneer at them for not purchasing themselves closed-cab tractors with filtered air, I would be wrong. It's just as wrong to sneer at farmers who've made a decision to use glyphosate as part of their farming practice because they can't afford to employ hundreds of workers with chipping-hoes. I don't see too many volunteers willing to do this either. I'm absolutely convinced that if you could try walking in THEIR shoes for a bit, and present them with a workable alternative that was safer, they'd do it in a second. I don't know a single farmer who would not be prepared to listen. Insulting them, or me, achieves very little.

I do my best in my daily business to promote more sustainable practices in the farming sector. I know I get results. If I insist on instant-perfection, I'll achieve considerably less. In this less-than-perfect world, we often have to accept the lesser of evils.

05-12-2005, 08:56 AM
Anecdotal Evidence of RoundUp's Toxicity

From July 1987 edition of The Progressive, and article entitled 'Weed Killer':

Eduardo Neaves, a 12-year-old, went swimming in a canal in Coral Gables, Florida that was contaminated with four times the recommended amount of RoundUp herbicide. The child became completely paralyzed, and five years after the incident suffers residual nervous system damage.

The EPA, according to this article, in 1985 reported on the case of a 59-year-old woman in Tennessee who has suffered central nervous system damage after exposure to RoundUp.

Monsanto's original neurotoxicity studies on RoundUp were ruled invalid by the EPA due to "extensive gaps in the raw data supporting study findings and conclusions. There has been no requirement for a new study on the neurotoxicity of RoundUp.

Other persons have experienced swelling in legs, arms, and joints after exposure to RoundUp.

Still others have experienced the following after exposures to RoundUp: central nervous system damage, body swelling in legs, face and abdomen. Other RoundUp overexposure symptoms reported include visual, hearing, taste, and smell disturbances; balance disorder; body-wide muscle twitches and tics; seizure disorder; muscle paralysis; peripheral neuropathy; loss of gross motor skills and loss of fine motor skills.

From a paper entitled 'Glyphosate' prepared by Pesticide Action Network - Asia and Pacific

"Glyphosate is the most frequent cause of complaints and poisoning incidents recorded by the Health and Safety Executive in the UK." (Pesticides Trust 1996)

Dr. Ricky Goring of New Zealand estimates that 1 in 20 people in New Zealand are sensitive to glyphosate, with the most common symptoms including: fatigue, headaches, spaciness, rashes, and unexplained drops in blood pressure. Dr. Gorringe states these symptoms are the result of inhalation exposures.

In 1980 the EPA reported that among 94 people reporting exposures to glyphosate in the US, "the following symptoms were noted: bronchial constriction, pleuritic chest pain and nasal congestion; blurred vision, corneal erosion, and conjunctivitis; contact dermatitis; headache; nausea, diarrhoea and abdominal pain; irritability; excessive sweating; vertigo; malaise; swelling of the extremities; and nervous system disorders."

The paralytic seizures that began for one patient in August 1996, right after the patient's last exposure to RoundUp herbicide, involve impaired erythrocytes. In a blood test done in December 1996, five months after the patient's exposures to RoundUp herbicide, over 90 per cent of this patient's erythrocytes were damaged, showing up as either flat or misshapen. This patient also experienced reduced cognitive capacities, and a vast assortment of neurological symptoms since sustaining RoundUp overexposure. The first year and a half after the patient's exposures to RoundUp, this individual got between 0 - 2 hours of sleep per night.

05-12-2005, 08:59 AM
Research on RoundUp's Toxicity

Ingestion of RoundUp has been shown to cause "irritation of the oral mucous membrane and gastrointestinal tract…pulmonary dysfunction, oliguria, metabolic acidosis, hypotension, leukocytosis and fever."

Monsanto's own toxicologist, Rebecca Tominack, participated in this study.

(Tominack RL, Yang GY, Tsai WJ, Chung HM, Deng JF, 1991. Taiwan National Poison Center survey of glyphosate-surfactant herbicide ingestions. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1991; 29 (1): 91-109)

Many people report experiencing severe digestive problems related to irritation of their gastrointestinal tract after overexposure to RoundUp, limiting the foods their bodies will tolerate to a very few bland foods.

This is believed to be related to the fact that in a 1983 study by Heitanen, Linnainmaa and Vainio, RoundUp's main ingredient, glyphosate, was shown to decrease the hepatic level level of cytochrom P-450, monooxygenase activities, and the intestinal activity of aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase.

The inhibition of erythrocyte glutathione conjugate transport by polyethoxylated surfactants has also been reported in a 1993 letter to FEBS from studies done by P. G. Board, part of the Molecular Genetics Group, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra.

Glutathione is a tripeptide which the body produces from the amino acids cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant produced in the liver, where it detoxifies harmful compounds so that they can be excreted through the bile. The glutathione released from the liver directly into the bloodstream helps to maintain the integrity of red blood cells and protect white blood cells. Glutathione is also found in the lungs. In the intestinal tract, it is needed for carbohydrate metabolism, and also appears to exert anti-aging effects, aiding in the breakdown of oxidized fats that may contribute to atherosclerosis. Glutathione's role in carbohydrate metabolism is compromised by the effect of RoundUp's surfactant, POEA, on erythrocyte glutathion conjugate transport.

RoundUp causes damage to the liver that inhibits the liver's ability to process toxic substances.

Research subject animals injected with glyphosate evidenced a depressed function of the liver. "Glyphosate decreased the hepatic function of cytochrome P-450 and monoxygnease activities and the intestinal activity of aryl hydrocarbon hydrolase." (Heitanen et al, 1983). The P-450 enzyme system is one of the main body systems for detoxifying harmful chemicals. When it becomes impaired by those same chemicals it is supposed to be detoxifying, the effects of a given chemical on the body increase dramatically.

(Heitanen, et al., 1983. Effects of phenoxyherbicides and glyphosate on the hepatic and intestinal biotransformation activities in the rat. Acta Pharmacol Toxicol (Copenh) 1983 Aug; 53(2):103-12.)

Testing of patients suffering RoundUp overexposure has indicated damage to their P-450 enzyme system.

Roundup produces significant increases in sister-chromatid exchanges (SCE), albeit in higher concentrations over those used for other pesticides. This suggests that it should be evaluated in other genetic tests measuring mutations and chromosome aberrations, although few studies of this nature have yet been done.

A 1980 study by Vigfusson and Vyse noted sister-chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes in vitro. This lymphocyte disturbance correlates with the swelling experienced by persons poisoned by RoundUp.

(Vigfusson, N.V. and Vyse, E.R. (1980), "The effect of the pesticides, Dexon, Captan, and Roundup, on sister-chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes in vitro". MUTATION RESEARCH, v.79 p.53-57.)

William Meggs, M.D., Ph.D., School of Medicine, East Carolina University:

In patients who have been chemically injured, Meggs has noted significant lymphatic hyperplasia, lymphatic tissue that is swollen and engorged. He has also found significant cobblestoning in upper airway passages. This represents chronic inflammation caused by lymphocytes migrating out of the blood stream and seeping into the tissues. Meggs has also noted thickening of the structure called the basement membrane, the structure on which the lining of cells that lines the interior of the nose sits. Meggs' study also found a defect in the tight junctions (the joining of cells together) and a proliferation of nerve fibers.

"Chemicals bind to receptors on nerve fibers and produce something called neurogenic inflammation. These chemicals bind to these receptors and cause the release of potent substances that produce inflammation in tissue.

When chemicals bind to nerve fibers, they can produce inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, produces other changes in the tissue, and it brings in these lymphocytes. We believe that inflammation causes these barrier cells to open up and sometimes even come off the basement membrane. Below the basement membrane is the nerve fibers, so we have a process whereby a chemical exposure will damage the lining of the nose.

What happens is people have a large chemical exposure, they breathe in noxious chemicals, and this damages the epithelium. This huge exposure is able to penetrate this barrier we have between the chemicals we breathe in and these nerve cells beneath the lining layer that react to chemicals by producing inflammation. The inflammation, in turn, produces substances that cause further damage to the lining cell, and actually produce the substances which cause the tight junctions between these cells to open up. In some cases the cells actually come off and just leave these bare nerves exposed. Once you have the bare nerves exposed, low levels of chemicals that we all experience every day are enough to produce inflammation which in turn keeps the epithelium damaged."

RoundUp was found to cause significant DNA damage to erythrocytes (red blood cells) in a study done in 1997 by Clements, Ralph and Petras. RoundUp's surfactant, POEA, is known to cause haemolysis.

(Clements C, Ralph S, Pertas M, 1997. Genotoxicity of select herbicides in Rana catesbeiana tadpoles using the alkaline single-cell gel DNA electrophoresis (comet) assay. Environ Mol Mutagen 1997; 29(3):277-288.)

(Sawada Y, Nagai Y, Ueyama M, Yamamoto I, 1988. Probable toxicity of surface-active agent in commercial herbicide containing glyphosate. Lancet. 1988 Feb 6;1(8580):299.)

In haemolysis, hemoglobin leaks from the red blood cells, leaving them unable to transport sufficient supplies of oxygen to the body's tissues.

The chest pains, difficulty breathing, and impaired cognitive skills reported by persons who have sustained RoundUp poisoning also point to impairment of the blood's oxygen transport system, hemoglobin, as being responsible for these symptoms. This impairment of the erythrocytes' ability to deliver adequate oxygen to both brain and body results in impaired tissue perfusion and hypoxia.

"The brain is particularly vulnerable to hypoxia, and exposure to toxins that interfere with the intake, transport and utilization of oxygen provoke rapid and major neuronal damage. Compounds crossing the blood-brain barrier may induce both general and extremely localized neurotoxic effects."

(Kyvik KR, Morn BE, 1995. Environmental poisons and the nervous system. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1995. June 10; 115(15):1834-8.)

According to both the EPA and the World Health Organization in 1993 and 1994, glyphosate appears to mimic adrenaline. This would explain the sleeping problems encountered by many persons exposed to RoundUp, as for them, cortisol appears to no longer be properly regulated by their bodies' adrenal glands.

(US EPA, 1993. EPA Reregistration Eligibility Document, Glyphosate, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, Washington, D.C., September 1993.)

(IPCS, 1994. Environmental health criteria 159: Glyphosate. International Programme of Chemical Safety, World Health Organization, Geneva.)

05-12-2005, 09:00 AM

My point wasn't to attack anyone, ever, merely to exchange ideas. I do find that many people do not want to hear about the true cost of their behaviours or consumption, and those who use Roundup are especially unlikely to feel comfortable when the issues of endocrine disruptors, toxics that migrate through water, wether or not people have used Roudup to commit suicided (%20 succes rate when used, well documented), increased rates of cancer, and other implications tied to the use of agrochemicals are brought up.

I was not trying to argue with anyone when I posted this, but there is a growing school of thought in medicine that NO exposure to Roundup is safe, and I find the glib assurances that such chemicals are safe to be disconcerting here, in a "permaculture" forum.

I am sorry you feel that I have been abusive. I weighed each word in this post to make sure that was not the case. Perhaps if you reread my post you would see that I was trying to be conciliatory with Biofarmag.

My thoughts on Round Up, and on the corporate ethics of Monsanto, however, remain unchanged. Monsanto is a very evil company, their behaviours are despicable, and their actions against small farmers (very well documented, if you are curious) throughout the world are part of the "true cost" of supporting Monsanto by using their chemicals.

I wish Monsanto would go out of business, that the shareholders of Monsanto would lose all their money, and that we would work on retrieving the knowledge of petroleum free, decentralized agriculture our great grandparents generation had.

Go blow your own horn.

Best to you,


05-12-2005, 09:03 AM
RoundUp's Toxicity--Additional Factors

Additional factors affecting the toxicity of RoundUp

From http://www.safe2use.com/ca-ipm/00-03-02.htm. Pesticides and Deadly Tagamet Synergism by Steve Tvedten (former pesticide applicator).

Tagamet and other H-2 Blockers such as Axid and Pepcid, all now readily available over the counter, increase the vulnerability of persons taking these drugs to pesticide poisoning. Taken by millions, these drugs vie for the same detoxification pathways in the body as pesticides do, making people taking the drugs more susceptible to the devastating effects of pesticide poisoning.

Estrogen can also an important factor in the severity of the impact RoundUp has on people.

Iris Bell, M.D., Ph. D., University of Arizona Health Sciences Center:

"In the sensitization process, we know that female animals are more likely to sensitize than are male animals, and, in research that has been done, picking apart the hormonal factors that may contribute, they found that a higher ratio of estrogen to progesterone seems to make the female animal more vulnerable for sensitization. Testosterone appears to protect the male animal."

05-12-2005, 09:05 AM
RoundUp and Cholinesterase Inhibition

Monsanto states that glyphosate is not a cholinesterase inhibitor. The MSDS on RoundUp also says that glyphosate is not a cholinesterase inhibitor. Yet, glyphosate is a an organophosphorus, and the "toxic effects of organophosphorus (OP) compounds are predicated on their irreversible inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AchE) and other serine hydrolases."

(Viragh C, Kovach IM, Pannell L, 1999. Small Molecular Products of Dealkylation in Soman-Inhibited Electric Eel Acetylcholinesterase. American Chemical Society, June 11, 1999.)

Merely saying glyohosate is not a cholinesterase inhibitor, however, does not define whether RoundUp itself in full formulation is a cholinesterase inhibitor, and there are no published studies that purport to answer this question.

In 1988, Yusuke Sawada, et al. did a study in which they concluded that the surfactant in RoundUp (POEA) is more toxic than RoundUp's main ingredient, glyphosate. A study by Servizi et al in 1987 found that POEA is two to three times more toxic than glyphosate, and that the synergy of the two ingredients may even be more acutely toxic than the two ingredients combined.

The answer to whether RoundUp in full formulation is a cholinesterase inhibitor can only be determined by looking at anecdotal evidence. Many doctors, however, based on Monsanto's advertising that glyphosate is not a cholinesterase inhibitor, refuse to test RoundUp poisoning victims for cholinesterase inhibition, so even anecdotal evidence is not readily available.

(Sawada Y, Nagai Y, Ueyama M, Yamamoto I, 1988. Probable toxicity of surface-active agent in commercial herbicide containing glyphosate. Lancet. 1988 Feb 6;1(8580):299.)

(Servizi JA, Gordon RW, Martens DW, 1987. Acute toxicity of Garlon 4 and Roundup herbicides to salmon, Daphnia, and trout.
Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 1987 Jul;39(1):15-22. )

An October 27, 1999 article by PANUPS (Pesticide Action Network Updates Service) offers the information that according to a European Community report on glyphosate (not released at that time), glyphosate poses a significant risk to certain beneficial insects.

(PANUPS, 1999. Glyphosate May Harm Beneficial Organisms, October 27, 1999)

In a 1993 article on organophosphate poisoning, British researcher, T. C. Marrs, indicated that "certain OPs are exploited for their anticholinesterase effects, including defoliants such as 'DEF', herbicides such as glyphosate." The article goes on to say that the cholinergic syndrome is "caused by acetylcholinesterase inhibition."

(Marrs, TC, 1993. Organophosphate poisoning. Pharmacol Ther 1993; 58(1): 51-66.)

An area that has yet to be explored is the impact of the degradation process for glyphosate on the serine cycle. The serine cycle plays a strong part in cholinesterase inhibition in humans. From available research, it is easy to conclude that, while glyphosate itself might not technically be anticholinergic, the degradants of glyphosate might very well be cholinesterase inhibitors.

Glyphosate's degradation pathway shows that, depending one which soil organisms are present, glyphosate degrades into sarcosine, formaldehyde, AMPA, and Methylamine.

Formaldehyde is not only carcinogenic, but impairs the serine cycle, an important part of the human metabolic process. According to a document on the ESTHER database, "cholinesterases are readily phosphorylated at the active site serine by a variety of organophosphorus agents (OP) and carbamates."

(http://www.ensam.inra.fr/cholinesterase ... tion2.html (http://www.ensam.inra.fr/cholinesterase/chem/chemInhibition2.html). The ESTHER "Chemical Mechanism of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition" introduction.)

(Goldberg I, Mateles RI , 1975. Growth of Pseudomonas C on C1 compounds: enzyme activities in extracts of Pseudomonas C cells grown on methanol, formaldehyde, and formate as sole carbon sources. J Bacteriol 1975 Apr;122(1):47-53)

There is reported evidence of a patient who, after exposures to RoundUp, showed a depressed pseudocholinesterase. SmithKline Beecham's Normal Values reference range is 3200 - 6600. On 6/4/96, after three major exposures to RoundUp, this patient's pseudocholinesterase was 2887. On 7/8/96, after an additional major exposure to RoundUp, this patient's pseudocholinesterase was 2700. The last reading during the period of this patient's exposures to RoundUp was 2733 on 8/7/96. Only with the assistance of successful drug therapy (large doses of dextromethorophan) was this reading reversed to 3586 on 10/22/96.

05-12-2005, 09:06 AM
Waaait a minute here.

Can we agree that glyphosate is toxic, like so many other things, and should be used with caution, like so many other things.

Agree to disagree, respect each others view points. Leave off with the name calling ect.


05-12-2005, 09:06 AM
Thanks to Floot for understanding my point there. He's NOT a broadacre farmer, and therefore knows he can only speak from his own perspective. Economics is one of those harsh realities. On small areas and on high-value crops, we can afford to chip weeds by hand. On small areas, we can also push eroded soil back up slopes. Organic farmers will happily chip out weeds by hand. They also get higher returns for their product, and can therefore afford to do so. If the markets weren't dominated by corporate monsters like Woolworths, farmers would have greater options. If you feel that glyphosate is too great a risk to use on your home properties? Good for you! Don't use it! That's your right. If there are no economic restrictions to you doing this? Consider yourselves lucky. But please try to understand those who are not in this position. Don't sneer at them and call them "stupid".

And Chris? Take it on the chin, mate. You WERE acting as a condescending, insulting loudmouth. You've been good enough to admit this and apologise. Good for you! But you still did what you did.

05-12-2005, 09:07 AM
pub med study on cholinesterase inhibition

1: J Environ Sci Health B. 2001 Jan;36(1):29-42. Related Articles, Links

Influence of paraquat, glyphosate, and cadmium on the activity of some serum enzymes and protein electrophoretic behavior (in vitro).

El-Demerdash FM, Yousef MI, Elagamy EI.

Department of Environmental Studies, Institute of Graduate Studies and Research, Alexandria University, Egypt.

In vitro study for the determination of the toxicity of some pesticides (glyphospate and paraquat) and cadmium chloride (CdCl2) on the activities of serum acetylcholinesterase (AChE), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (AlP), and acid phosphatase (AcP) is described. Changes in electrophoretic patterns of serum proteins were also tested. Results revealed that glyphosate was effective on all enzymes except AcP. Its IC50 values (the concentration of compound that inhibits 50% of the enzyme activity in 1 h at 37 degrees C) were 714.3, 750, 54.2, 270.8, and 71.4 mM for AChE, LDH, AST, ALT, and AlP, respectively. The inhibitory effect of paraquat varied markedly among all enzymes. The IC50 values of paraquat were 321.4 and 750 mM for AST and ALT, respectively. It had mild effect on AChE and LDH; and no effect on the activities of AlP and AcP. The effect of CdCl2 was pronounced with AChE, ALT, AlP, and AcP, and no effect on LDH and AST was found. The corresponding IC50 values were 77.7, 22.2, 33.3, and 83.3 mM for AChE, ALT, AlP, and AcP, respectively. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic patterns of serum proteins showed marked differences with glyphosate and CdCl2 but not with paraquat. The results suggest that the in vitro enzyme-activity test seems to have a potential for the assessment of pesticide and heavy metal toxicity.

PMID: 11281253 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

05-12-2005, 09:08 AM
RoundUp--Lymphoma Connection

From: Sadhbh O' Neill of "Genetic Concern."

PRESS RELEASE - 22 JUNE - New Study Links Monsanto's Roundup to Cancer

A recent study by eminent oncologists Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Mikael Eriksson of Sweden [1], has revealed clear links between one of the world's biggest selling herbicide, glyphosate, to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer [2].

In the study published in the 15 March 1999 Journal of American Cancer Society, the researchers also maintain that exposure to glyphosate 'yielded increased risks for NHL.' They stress that with the rapidly increasing use of glyphosate since the time the study was carried out, 'glyphosate deserves further epidemiologic studies.'

Glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, is the world's most widely used herbicide. It is estimated that for 1998, over a 112,000 tonnes of glyphosate was used world-wide. It
indiscriminately kills off a wide variety of weeds after application and is primarily used to control annual and perennial plants.

71% of genetically engineered crops planted in 1998 are designed to be resistant to herbicides such as glyphosate, marketed by Monsanto as Roundup. Companies developing herbicide resistant crops are also increasing their production capacity for the herbicides such as glyphosate, and also requesting permits for higher residues of these chemicals in genetically engineered food. For example, Monsanto have already received permits for a threefold increase in herbicide residues on genetically engineered soybeans in Europe and the U.S., up from 6 parts per million (PPM) to 20 PPM.

According to Sadhbh O' Neill of Genetic Concern, 'this study reinforces concerns by environmentalists and health professionals that far from reducing herbicide use, glyphosate resistant crops may result in increased residues to which we as consumers will be exposed in our food.'

'Increased residues of glyphosate and its metabolites are already on sale via genetically engineered soya, common in processed foods. However no studies of the effects of GE soya sprayed with Roundup on health have been carried out either on animals or humans to date,' she continued.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics from 1997 show that expanded plantings of Roundup Ready soybeans (i.e. soybeans genetically engineered to be tolerant to the herbicide) resulted in a 72% increase in the use of glyphosate. According to the Pesticides Action Network, scientists estimate that plants genetically engineered to be herbicide resistant will actually triple the amount of herbicides used. Farmers, knowing that their crop can tolerate or resist being killed off by the herbicides, will tend to use them more liberally.

O' Neill concluded: 'The EPA when authorising Monsanto's field trials for Roundup-ready sugar beet did not consider the issue of glyphosate. They considered this to be the remit of the Pesticides Control Service of the Department of Agriculture. Thus nobody has included the effects of increasing the use of glyphosate in the risk/benefit analysis carried out. It is yet another example of how regulatory authorities supposedly protecting public health have failed to implement the 'precautionary principle' with respect to GMOs.'


Further information: Sadhbh O' Neill at 01-4760360 or 087-2258599 or
(home) 01-6774052


[1] Lennart Hardell, M.D., PhD. Department of Oncology, Orebro Medical Centre, Orebro, Sweden and Miikael Eriksson, M.D., PhD, Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden, 'A Case-Control Study of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Exposure to Pesticides', Cancer, March 15, 1999/ Volume 85/ Number 6.

The findings are based on a population-based case-control study conducted in Sweden between 1987 - 1990. The necessary data was ascertained by a series of comprehensive questionnaires and follow-up telephone interviews. Dr. Hardell and Dr. Eriksson found that 'exposure to herbicides and fungicides resulted in significantly increased risks for NHL'.

[2] Lymphoma is a form of cancer that afflicts the lymphatic system. It can occur at virtually any part of the body but the initial symptoms are usually seen as swellings around the lymph nodes at the base of the neck. There are basically two main kinds of lymphoma, i.e. Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The incidence of NHL has increased rapidly in most Western countries over the last few decades. According to the American Cancer Society, there has been an alarming 80% increase in incidences of NHL since the early 1970's.

05-12-2005, 09:12 AM
RoundUp--An Endocrine Disruptor?

In a new study by by Walsh, McCormick, Martin, and Stocco1 of the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University RoundUp has just been conclusively identified as an Endocrine Disruptor.

Roundup Inhibits Steroidogenesis by Disrupting Steroidogenic Acute
Regulatory (StAR) Protein Expression

Lance P. Walsh,1 Chad McCormick,1 Clyde Martin,2 and Douglas M. Stocco1

1Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University Health
Sciences Center,
Lubbock, Texas, USA

2Department of Mathematics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA

Recent reports demonstrate that many currently used pesticides have the capacity to disrupt reproductive function in animals. Although this reproductive dysfunction is typically characterized by alterations in serum steroid hormone levels, disruptions in spermatogenesis, and loss of fertility, the mechanisms involved in pesticide-induced infertility remain unclear.

Because testicular Leydig cells play a crucial role in male reproductive function by producing testosterone, we used the mouse MA-10 Leydig tumor cell line to study the molecular events involved in pesticide-induced alterations in steroid hormone biosynthesis. We previously showed that the organochlorine insecticide lindane and the organophosphate insecticide Dimethoate directly inhibit steroidogenesis in Leydig cells by disrupting expression of the steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein.

StAR protein mediates the rate-limiting and acutely regulated step in steroidogenesis, the transfer of cholesterol from the outer to the inner mitochondrial membrane where the cytochrome P450 side chain cleavage (P450scc) enzyme initiates the synthesis of all steroid hormones. In the present study, we screened eight currently used pesticide formulations for their ability to inhibit steroidogenesis, concentrating on their effects on StAR expression in MA-10 cells. In addition, we determined the effects of these compounds on the levels and activities of the P450scc enzyme (which converts cholesterol to pregnenolone) and the 3ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3ß-HSD) enzyme (which converts pregnenolone to progesterone). Of the pesticides screened, only the pesticide Roundup inhibited dibutyryl [(Bu)2]cAMP-stimulated progesterone production in MA-10 cells without causing cellular toxicity. Roundup inhibited steroidogenesis by disrupting StAR protein expression, further demonstrating the susceptibility of StAR to environmental pollutants.

Key words chemical mixtures, cytochrome P450 side chain cleavage, environmental endocrine disruptor, 3ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, Leydig cells, Roundup, steroid hormones, steroidogenesis, steroidogenic acute
regulatory protein. Environ Health Perspect 108769-776 (2000). [Online 12
July 2000]


Address correspondence to D.M. Stocco, Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX
79409 USA.
Telephone (806) 743-2505.
Fax (806) 743-2990.
E-mail doug.stocco@ttmc.ttuhsc.edu

From http//www.healthlink.us-inc.com/publiclibrary/htm-data/htm-def/def189.htm

STEROID HORMONE Fats similar to, and usually synthesized from, cholesterol, starting with Acetyl-CoA, moving through squalene, past lanosterol, into cholesterol, and, in the gonads and adrenal cortex, back to a number of steroid hormones.

Nearly all of the classic hormones are proteins or smaller peptides; they don't get inside a cell (the membrane keeps them out); instead, they bind to, and initiate, cell changes from the outside.

The exceptions are the thyroxines (from the thyroid) and the steroid hormones. They move into the cell, bind with receptors, and initiate changes in the way a cell regenerates itself or synthesizes new compounds.

Because the steroid hormones stimulate cell growth, either by changing the internal structure or increasing the rate of proliferation, they are often called anabolic steroids.

Estrogen, an ovarian steroid, when secreted into the bloodstream, will be bound within a short time by internal receptors inside those cells that need estrogen for their growth; the unused portion is partially broken down, mostly in the liver, and partially stored in a less active form by adipose tissue.

Since luteinizing hormone from the pituitary is surged in pulses an hour apart, the estrogen is also surged from the reacting ovaries, and by the time more estrogen is available, the binding cells need more; their program of synthesis has run out and needs to be started again.

05-12-2005, 09:20 AM

I am very sorry I mispelled your name again. I promise you that it was not intentional. I was so used to calling you "big ag" (and I know, very immature and silly of me, my deepest aplogies for making our differences of opinion personal), that I changed it "back" to, um, well, obviously the wrong name. I apologize for that.

I do not wish to cause you or anyone else any grief, and I am sorry for my antagonistic behaviour in the past.

I do have issues with the use of chemicals by people with no training, no saftey equipment, and no understanding (virtually EVERYONE here!), and I do accept that under the circumstances you describe, perhaps that is the path of least resistence, but I feel that true cost under the very broad accounting I try to weigh each and every one of my decisionswould preculde any possibility of my using it, though as you pointed out, I wouldn't have to as I am a small farmer.

Sadly, as I have pointed out, here Round Up is used for cleaning yards, and bottles get reused for baby formula (and DON'T let me get started on baby formula, I am much worse about that than I am with Round Up). People use it indiscriminately, without reading the labels (often bottled for retail in unlabeled bottles, to people who cannot read even if there is a label). I do think there are some serious health issues and risks involved, though, that have not been addressed adequately.

I also hate Monsanto, for all of the reasons you can see here: http://www.organicconsumers.org

I would like to move forward from this, and not in a conflict with you, or anyone else. it really serves no purpose.

Please accept my apology for my disrespectful behaviour when you didn't answer my questions (and I know that sounds like a qualified apology, but I assure you it is not), and lets move forward.

I am glad to see you back, and I am sorry that my banging your foot with a hammer is what brought you back.



(also known as: Christopher Nesbitt, :lol: )

05-12-2005, 09:34 AM
I use glyphosate around the yard. I'm not a farmer. I use a rate of 15ml/L of 350g/L glyphosate product. I use a knapsack sprayer with a wand, and will wander around my 1 hectare (non-farming) property and spray about 5L of this mixed-up product. I'm therefore spreading about 26 grams of glyphosate over 1 hectare, and I may do this once or twice a year. I personally consider this low-risk. Maybe I'm underestimating the risk? I also purchase food in the supermarket which has preservatives, colours and flavours in it. I try to eat as little processed food as I can, but I can't/don't avoid it altogether. I also must breath in a certain amount of exhaust emisions when I go out in traffic, and I'll take in some nicotine and tar if I'm downwind of a smoker. I take panadol when I have a headache, etc. etc. Maybe there are greater risks in the use of those 26g of glyphosate than I realise? I don't know. Considerably less than I'd get from drinking grammoxone, I could be certain. And I'd guess less than if I smoked 20-40 cigarettes a day. Any smokers here??

Having said that, I am becoming increasingly aware of the possibilities of organic farming becoming something more viable than I previously thought. I learn things by keeping my mind open to ideas and beliefs that are different from my own, hence my previous plea to try to learn from anyone.....NOT just those within your circle. Over the years I'd seen organic growers struggling with disease, insect-damage and poor yields. I'd seen organic fertiliser programs which would have literally contributed to the malnutrition of those who would rely on them as a food source. Recently though I've seen the emergence of a smarter group of organic growers....those NOT scared of information and ideas that would challenge their mindset....who are starting to really get it right. These are growers who are prepared to take in advice from scientifically-educated people like myself, along with plenty of other information gained from their own and from others observation. That tomato crop I mentioned earlier in the year? They sent away 8kg of fruit per plant! Now THAT is viable! THAT is a grower who doesn't need to rely on outside income, or the dole ("Welfare", for Americans), and who can afford to chip weeds by hand. This reality gives people like myself, who DO believe in sustainable practices and who WOULD prefer to see no chemicals used, some real ammunition to convince conventional growers. Can't be done with emotion alone. Does this make sense? Does this make me sound less like a stupid "chicken shit" or a plant from Monsanto?

05-12-2005, 09:46 AM
jeff ( Biofarmag )

the point that people fail to grasp is that Roundup is killing people :cry:

it is used so much that for some of us there is no where safe to live

yes I know there are worse herbicides

but why should one group of peole be allowed to legally kill another for the sake of making more money ?

what is worse a farmer having to walk off his land or someone like me dying ( I sincerely hope people here dont have to think too hard about that :roll: )

and when you say that an organic farmer should use Roundup and hope he doesnt get found out do you realsie that WILL lead to death or disablement of peope who rely on the safety of organic food

read the articles I posted and get the real picture

try and have a little compassion for those of us who are sick ....... think what thast roundup you use could be doing to your neighbours or their unborn children


05-12-2005, 09:57 AM

Thank you also for posting all of that, espeially the table salt quote. Any discussion of the benefits or consequences of the use of Round Up should include this information.

I think many people are disinclined to accept that the cost of their food is not borne by the purchase price, that the use of these chemicals have serious unintended consequences, which are not usually addressed in tradtional accounting.

As you know, I am against the use of Round Up, but I agree with Biofarmags assertion that the problem lies with the way we as a people undervalue and sell our food, and how the cost of food is kept low, which keeps the farmers at a disadvantage to embrace better practices, and also the increasing concentration of farms in the developed world, as more and more farmers are put out of business, and their fams are consolidated by large companies making more responsive agriculture impossible and subsequently requiring more inputs to remain (by a largely selective economics) "profitable".

Famers have to respond to such a narrow economic scope, where true cost is not borne by the consumer, and to remain competetive, they use chemicals that have hidden costs, like loss oif genetic diversity in the cropping system, contamination of riparian environments, loss of traditional knowledge of agriculture and subsequent dmage to food security, nasty spillsand accidents like Bopal in India, and Harbin in China (and I have no idea if Round Up was involved in either of these, but they certainly could have been).

I think a real look at some of the "externalities" that you have identified, the endocrine disruptors, the neurological damage, the accumulation of Roundup in the food chain, as well as others like the use of GMOs and release of GMO pollen are all factors that eventually we will have to weigh in our decision making process. Until someone has to cover those hiddn costs, ie, Monsanto pays for then, or the farmer who accidentally poisons their neighbors well, then there will never be any change.

Anyway, thank you for that, Frosty!

And Jeff (I can hardly mispell "Jeff"!, while I would respectfully suggest you not use roundup in your yard (especially if you have chooks), and you have raised some interesting points, and you do not sound like a plant or "chickenshit", Frostys points, though, are seldom addressed by people who do use them (especially people with less info than you obviously have).


05-12-2005, 10:06 AM
Hi christopher

no doubt some people will think it spam that I posted all those articles but I do think they need to be here for anyone to get both sides of the argument

if Permaculture people arent interested in both sides what hope do we have :cry:

plus I also wanted to record them as sites like that have a bad habit of disappearing :evil


05-12-2005, 10:08 AM
Frosty, I've read your posts. No, I haven't followed your links. I'm not comfortable in whether I can reply to your post with appropriate sensitivity, but I'll try my best. I'm sincerely sorry for your situation. I'm also as aware as you must be that not everybody who uses glyphosate is affected by it as you have been. I'm certain that it's not even proportionally "a lot". If you chose to survey every broadacre farmer in the world who used the product in a controlled manner, I'd challenge you to find enough roundup-causes illnesses to count on one hand. (I think we've already reached the conclusion that it's not right to compare this situation with third-world situations). I'm sure the hospitals are filled with more victims of cigarettes and alcohol than by victims of roundup. I've never met (personally) a victim of agricultural chemicals, despite the fact that I'm an ag consultant. And yes, I HAVE asked.....a lot! In asking, I discovered quite a number of victims of HOUSEHOLD chemicals.

Do I believe that somebody using roundup pre-planting is going to lead to anybody's death or illness? No.....I'm sorry.....respectfully, I don't. If I thought it would, the no.....I would never suggest it. I do have a conscience. I have far more health concerns about cigarette smoking and about kids sitting on their bums playing video games and eating packets of chips.

I'm not going to answer directly your question about the value of one farming family losing their home and livelihood versus you dying. It's not a fair question. There's no direct correlation, and it's highly emotive. If soil erosion and loss of soil fertility is not addressed, in time a LOT of people could die. And in terms of a farmer losing his livelihood, it would be much more than just one.

05-12-2005, 10:25 AM
As I said before, there wouldn't be a farmer alive who would not use viable alternatives to chemicals whenever they could. No one likes using them. Farmers themselves are exposed to far more risk when having to handle poorly-made and poorly-designed chemical drums of UNDILUTED product than any consumer will ever be! Think about it! Metal drums with no "breathers" to avoid the glug-glug effect, with metal lids and rims that retain spilled concentrated product, must be opened and tipped into spray tanks. And this happens with a range of chemicals with a range of toxicities far more often than once or twice a year. Who but a complete idiot wouldn't consider alternatives? But what alternatives do they get?

Whilst Mr and Mrs Public (no doubt inclusive of permaculture forum members) continue to shop for fruit and veg at Woolworths who will continue screwing down the price that farmers get, and whilst Mr and Mrs Anybody sneer at farmers using chemicals but are not prepared to (a) offer to pay them more to cover the additional costs of chemical-free production, or (b) FIND the alternatives and offer them to them....nothing will change. It's all very fine to say "they" shouldn't do this, or "they" shouldn't do that. What can "they" do instead? And will it work? Are you absolutely sure? And if they simply stop doing the this's and that's, and walk off their farms due to a lack of alternatives, where is the food supposed to come from?

The fact is, there's a long road ahead. Organic markets are not huge. Not at this stage. If all farmers "went organic" tomorrow (assuming they all knew how to.....which they don't), would we all pay 50% more for it? And if not, what do you think would happen with the market?

05-12-2005, 10:35 AM

Before I go further, I would like to thank you for your insite into the use of chemicals that I lack, and for your willingness to concede that there are costs and your intrepid sharing. I am glad that you are here!

I think that your points about people using chemicals and consumers being the driving force behind their use are worthy of talking about. While there is an increasing market driven demand for food that is organic, their is also a well financed backlash by Monsanto and other that works to discredit any efforts in favor of organic agriculture.

And part of thw whole issue that needs to be addressed includes problems like Frosty's.

I do think that you have somewhat of a vested interest in not knowing about some of these costs. I think if you went and did some research you would find more info about accidental poisoning and toxicicity.

There is some work on permacultural no till grain crops being done in Kansas by Wes Jackson. I know very little bout it, but people whose opnions I value on other things think he is brilliant.

The work they are doing is amazing. They are working on rewriting annual cropping agriculture by recreating permamen agriculture through perrenial grain crops, which would recreate the rich prairie of Kansas (a huge percentage of the topsoil has been lost in Hansas), and you might be interested in what they are doing.

http://www.landinstitute.org/vnews/disp ... About%20Us (http://www.landinstitute.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/About%20Us)



05-12-2005, 10:40 AM
Hi jeff

firstly I am in no way implying that cigarette smoking, alcohol or hosuehold chemcials are not also causing deaths and yes smoking probably a lot more that Roundup

BUT just for a moment try and consder this - how much is to do with public perception or the pwoer of the companies who make these "other' toxins

I dont know how old you are but I can remember when the cigarette companies managed to counter all arguments that smoking killed and most people thought such theories were only believe by fringe nuts cases :lol:

why wouldnt the chemical companies do the same :?

you havent met many people who say they have problems from using Roundup but how many people would recognise the symptoms ? ........

I would dispute the only a handful theory ! if I surveyed them asking the right questions I would bet MOST would have some symptoms ........initially those symtpoms may be just minor but as time goes by with more exposure they get more serious....... we have to consider the future and as I said the future generations ........ what about children exposed in the womb to OPs then eating the residues in their food and breathing it in the air for decades - then breeding their own children who start off with even more contamination and genetic damage ? it has never happened before but that is where we are heading

and all for the sake of money .......... as someone said in a documentary not long ago what are they going to do with the money line their coffin or worse still the coffins of their children

BTW here in Perth in the suburb of Gosnells a few years ago there was a case where the shire sprayed the road verge with Roundup and the next morning a boy walked to school barefoot then dropped dead ...... the court case is still going on and mean while the shire no longer sprays and has bought a boiling water machine

I do agree that eventually soil erosion and loss of fertility will also kill people but isnt the answer more permaculture and organic practices and decentralisation away from large broadacre farms :?

respectfully I ask if you dont believe in permaculture why are you posting on this forum ?


05-12-2005, 10:59 AM
BUT just for a moment try and consder this - how much is to do with public perception or the pwoer of the companies who make these "other' toxins

This is possible. But it's also possible that the jury is still out. They used to say that TEA was unhealthy, and have no found that it IS. Again, people have to make up their minds for themselves. Just because they may not agree with you, this doesn't make them wrong.

I dont know how old you are but I can remember when the cigarette companies managed to counter all arguments that smoking killed and most people thought such theories were only believe by fringe nuts cases

I'm 40

why wouldnt the chemical companies do the same

I'm sure many would. But the fact that they might, this doesn't necessarily mean that they HAVE....or that every alternative view MUST be correct, because these people are *gasp* THE CHEMICAL COMPANY!

you havent met many people who say they have problems from using Roundup but how many people would recognise the symptoms ? ........

.....or could differentiate them from umpteen other possibilities? I know I can't. It's hard enough to get a straight answer out of a doctor on common stuff, let alone on glyphosate-toxicity.

I would dispute the only a handful theory ! if I surveyed them asking the right questions I would bet MOST would have some symptoms

Sorry if this sounds patronising, but basically it's up to you to come up with the facts if you wish to make a case. It may well be more than a handful, but I haven't seen it myself.....and I see a lot of farmers. Tell me some symptons, and I'll happily ask?

and all for the sake of money .......... as someone said in a documentary not long ago what are they going to do with the money line their coffin or worse still the coffins of their children

Sorry, but money is a reality in our world. If you don't have it, you don't eat. I don't know anyone who has gone from "rich" to "super-rich" by using roundup. I know plenty who would simply have to walk off their farms if they suddenly didn't have it. I'm not talking about greed. I'm talking about earning a living.

BTW here in Perth in the suburb of Gosnells a few years ago there was a case where the shire sprayed the road verge with Roundup and the next morning a boy walked to school barefoot then dropped dead ...... the court case is still going on and mean while the shire no longer sprays and has bought a boiling water machine

Never heard of it....but would be interested in hearing details.

I do agree that eventually soil erosion and loss of fertility will also kill people but isnt the answer more permaculture and organic practices and decentralisation away from large broadacre farms

Is it as simple as that? Do you think that I could convert 100 farmers a year from chemicals to permaculture, and they'd all have a smooth transition?

respectfully I ask if you dont believe in permaculture why are you posting on this forum ?

Do I believe that any one system has 100% of the answers? No, I don't. Do I believe that Australia (or any other country) can send all its farmers to attend permaculture design courses, and then swap them all over? Not for one second. May I ask you this? Being, as I am, NOT someone who "believes in permaculture" as the total and perfect alternative-to-conventional-agriculture system.....do you consider me unwelcome here? Shall I go......again? Or could I have something to contribute, despite the fact that I don't agree wholeheartedly with what you think?

05-12-2005, 11:26 AM
Jeff and Frosty,

I think that some day soon we will have to adress the issue of decentralizing food production. Peak oil is real, and we are going to run short. Chemical agriculture, (fertilizers, agrochemicalas, large acreages, etc) is dripping in petroleum.

Apart from the risks the use of these chemical have, ( accidental poisoning etc, etc, etc, ), the real problems will come later, when petroleum is too costly for farmers, and the price of food goes up (which it should, anyway).

And the Jury isn't still out. Read the links Frosty provided. that is all real and verifiable. The question isn't if they are toxic, but how toxic are they and is their use "cost effective" or not.

The link I put in earlier lists a whole host of egregious behaviours and actions by Monsanto, and covering up these actions, including toxicity of their products (they still claim Agent Orange is safe, for example),w which paits a pretty bleak picture of Monsantos corporate ethics....

Read Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, and look at the symptoms of neurological damage she describes. I kjnow someone who has had that damage, and they only sold the stuff.

And I agree, we are not going to undo 60 years of agriculture overnite, even if we could, and we can't. There is too much momentum to undo it easily,, buit with peak oil, we will have to find other alternatives.

I do think you have plenty to contribute, even if it only solidifies other peoples opinions about chemicals, or hones their arguments. I, of course, hope that you will be worn down, slowly, and won over (and I am joking here, with respect) to the Light Side of the Force! and that you will embrace organic agriculture with the full breadth of your obviously substantial base of knowledge. You'd be unstoppable!

I know someone who owns a vineyard in California. A few years ago my brother got married there, and organic agriculture came up. He had one objection after the other, which I parried with information. Finally I said, Henry, you should go organic because it is the right thing to do, and that ended the conversation.

Two years later he decided to go organic and now the vineyard sells very expensive certified organic wine.

People should seek out organic markets and go into converion to organic cropping because it is the right thing to do.

I am glad that you are here, and I hope to enjoy your presence more in the future,


05-12-2005, 11:40 AM
And the Jury isn't still out. Read the links Frosty provided. that is all real and verifiable. The question isn't if they are toxic, but how toxic are they and is their use "cost effective" or not.

No, the jury IS still out. One side has presented it's case, and the other side has presented it's case. There's a complete lack of consensus. Right now you have MOST people believing the product is safe, with a minority stating that it isn't. One side says the others are hiding the facts, and the other says that the other HAS no facts. You can only say "the jury isn't still out" when there's been a general consensus. No one argues that electricity exists, or that the earth revolves around the sun....NOW. But it's still just that little bit early to declare one side to have "won". I'm sure you could have the same argument between a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian, with both sides believing the the jury ain't still out.

And I agree, we are not going to undo 60 years of agriculture overnite, even if we could, and we can't. There is too much momentum to undo it easily,, buit with peak oil, we will have to find other alternatives.

Yes, and they need to be workable. If they are? You won't have a single argument.

I do think you have plenty to contribute, even if it only solidifies other peoples opinions about chemicals, or hones their arguments. I, of course, hope that you will be worn down, slowly, and won over (and I am joking here, with respect) to the Light Side of the Force! and that you will embrace organic agriculture with the full breadth of your obviously substantial base of knowledge. You'd be unstoppable!

I don't deny that I'm "getting there". But I'll neither accept nor totally dismiss anything without all the facts. Too many people have done that already, and many have gone broke trying to be organic farmers after tossing out the baby with the bathwater.

I know someone who owns a vineyard in California. A few years ago my brother got married there, and organic agriculture came up. He had one objection after the other, which I parried with information. Finally I said, Henry, you should go organic because it is the right thing to do, and that ended the conversation.

Two years later he decided to go organic and now the vineyard sells very expensive certified organic wine.

Good for him! Glad to hear he's being paid appropriately for his efforts too. I bet it took science, and not just warm 'n' fuzzy feelings, to make it happen?

People should seek out organic markets and go into converion to organic cropping because it is the right thing to do.

Yep....but refer to the last paragraph. And you need to be aware that organic markets at this stage can be easily flooded if you're not real careful.

05-12-2005, 12:02 PM

I am suspicious that for every person who questions the safety of Round Up and its ilk, there are several who say its safe, just like the nuke industry and the tobacco lobby etc. I am extremely suspicious, and think the jury is only out for those who have a vested, personal or even financial interest in the chemicals and their use. There is plenty of info about toxicity from neutral sources. Most of the info saying that Round Up (and its ilk) are safe is paid for by the corporations. Again, read some of the links provided by Frosty.

I am one of those vegetarians who sees vegetarianism as being a personal consumption issue, not a moral one. While I do not want to cause the death of animals, why I am vegetarian is about the wasteful practice of grain fed beef, and the desertification and damage caused by cattle rangeing, etc. feeding grain to animals while people need food is why I don't eat meat (also scared of chemical build up, antibiotics and hormones).

There are increased efficiencies of raising animals on an integrated farm, and we have raised chickens off of produce from our farme for years. They forage, eat bugs, manure the land, and lay eggs. I have eaten a few of them on occasion. We raised a nice fat pig here, named Gregor, off of mostly tree crops.

Also, good point on the market flooding. Henry did a lot of market research, as well as hiring experienced and succesful organic farmers and technicians to walk him through his in conversion period. He was lucky to have the money to lay out at the time, but it has paid him back, handsomely.

There was a study in China that showed that farmers there made more money with organic farming with only a small percentage of their crop enjoying a prefferential market with price premiums.

Anyway, you should consider looking into more organic promotion. That is the way of the future, and the markets are increasing in the EU and the US by well over %20 a year for thge last few years! (Come into the Light! Brother (meant nicely! :lol; ) Your considerable knowledge could go far towards moving organics ahead.

And I think Frostys point is that permaculture is about decentralizing food production, which is a good way of looking at it.

Thanks for having this conversation!


05-12-2005, 12:25 PM
Ahhh the discussion carries on..... :D reading through this has peaked my curiosity.. It seems that once again it all boils down to the fact that consumers are being told by the large chain supermarkets that they can have cheaper food.. The supermarkets are screwing the farmers and suppliers to drop their prices, and the farmers and suppliers are cutting whatever corners they can, just so that they can make a dollar to get by.

Once again, as was covered briefly in a post before, it's the consumers that are at the end of the line, that are the whole cause of these and many other problems. Unfortunately large companies spend billions on market research, and know how to target the whims of the consumer, and one of the biggest and easiest ways are artificially low prices.....

Obviously some farmers are pushing their land beyond it's limits, and some are farming marginal land that won't support an income without large costs, whether they be $, fertilizers, sprays, higher percentage of crop losses due to poor rainfall, or land degredation.

If a producing farmer has to degrade the land by his actions, whether that be erosion, spraying, fertilizer run off etc, just so that he can make a dollar then he shouldn't be farming that land, that is not sustainable.!

We have to be aiming towards sustainability in all areas, and if this is going to cause some primary producers to fail and have to find another method of supporting themselves and their families then so be it. In the same manner that old growth logging must be stopped and the most common argument against it is "but what about the workers, the people who's livelyhoods depend on it?". Well tough, Noone has the 'right' to destroy natural resources.

There are certified organic farms growing practically every food product, even broadacre crops, and producing cattle and sheep on very large pastoral properties, so it can be done using organic methods, while increasing the depth of topsoil rather than having it eroded. We have to live and produce within the biological limits of a region, and live within the limits of the available finite resources, both within a local region, and globally.

Total cost accounting is seriously missing here, we currently produce more food that the worlds population needs, and it's being sold at an artificially low price, and being very poorly managed and distributed...


05-12-2005, 12:42 PM
Well Well Jeff Biofarmag Good to see you back in here again.Im glad you came back,as i was involved in our last disscusions......
Glad to hear that were not arguing so much and so many posts without gunfire :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ill stick my neck out here ok but will keep it short..hopefully....

This is a permaculture board and,for most of us,an alternative to chemicals is what we are after...why are we still arguing about chemicals,if we wanted to hear about chemicals wed be on the monsanto web pages.......

When a disscussion between two groups occurs i look at both sides.....
All 3 posters seem to have the same considerations to our good life and healthy well being..When i hear one veiw that has no financial considerations up against one of the richest industrial companies on our planet,Im sorry but roundup etc etc is a no show.

As for the assertions made that the "average farmer" would go bankrupt without using herbicide/insectisides......Well so be it...

The sooner we dispose of an industry that exploits maimes and slowly kills
JUST FOR PROFIT... The better...

We hear nice looking,sounding,caring people tell us everynite how bad it is because a few of a certain countries sons/daughters,(armed forces) are killed by murderous,suicide bombers....

Funny how if we lived in those countries and were lucky to have survived.those same "caring people" would be classified as Murdering sadistic,killers....Since when has become a crime to defend ones own Country......
These same freindly faces are tekling us Agriculture is the bees knees and that,their veiw of life is the correct one........."Bullshi*"

Farming, as we know it is killing our country,our planet.our children,
The sooner we do away with big agri buissness and grew our own food the better..How the hell can some one grow a eg Apple cheaper thousands of miles awy from its final destination..Why do we import Garlic from 000's of miles away.Then turn a blind eye to their outragouse Human Rights record

WHY WHY WHY ...because we do it for money,why dont we eat west Oz fruit In west Oz.Why dont we eat.Tasmanion potatoes in Tasmania.

This Post has asked the Question...why do we get fanatical about some other countries Chemicals being splashed everywhere with a disregard for the envioroment.or workers rights.......
WEll I do because I care .I care about my kids ,and kids kids.I care about our envioroment.I care about the high unemployment.I care about all the sickness and such thats increased in my time.
I care abou My country/planet and if sticking up for my principles is a result of being a left/right wing ,goodie goodie hippy....So Effing what.
Id rather be a goodie goodie two shoes then a murderously intent money grabbing,arms manufactoring tyrant who dont give 2 effs about anybody else..

Did Anyone Remind Jeff about the facts and Figures we found out about
the Aussie Organics NON supporting of Roundup......

In closing Jeff I must ask you one last question.What Do the relavent ORGANIC authorities think of your veiws and Postulation regarding round up...????//

As for your bit on dont worry about accreditation because they cant test for it supposedly after a few weeks..........That can not be True????/???..

Are you sure Your not one of Little Johnnys Spin Doctors

No Dis Respect Jeff.But If thats how the Aussie ORGANIC industry does things,well I wont be using the ORGANIC LABEL AT ALL...

The sad Fact of life is No matter what we in here say or do it wont change the outcome....When the shit hits the fan.Well all be eating outa our garden because without em, well be Bone meal and worm food for the ground :lol: :lol:

Do you realise that a dead farmer buried in the ground would probly do more good with his body then all the chemicals he/she ever used 8)

One last Thing its ok jeff this isnt about you Personally OK

Why the heck is Organic So Bloody Expensive.......Cant beleive that Someone should/would pay $8 for a dozen eggs...Thats hard to explain.
My egg producing costs me next to nothing.I charge $3 and think that thats expensive.........Gee I must Be underselling by a mile or is everyone else ripping everyone off.....


Glad u back biofarag

05-12-2005, 12:51 PM
Ahhh the discussion carries on..... reading through this has peaked my curiosity.. It seems that once again it all boils down to the fact that consumers are being told by the large chain supermarkets that they can have cheaper food.. The supermarkets are screwing the farmers and suppliers to drop their prices, and the farmers and suppliers are cutting whatever corners they can, just so that they can make a dollar to get by.

Not so much a case of "cutting corners". More a case that certain alternatives are too expensive to adopt, eg. hand-weeding. It's also very hard to get farm labour, especially for that sort of work which many view as fairly unpleasant. Farmers are frequently competing with the dole, ie. who wants to chip weeds, when they can collect the dole?

Obviously some farmers are pushing their land beyond it's limits, and some are farming marginal land that won't support an income without large costs, whether they be $, fertilizers, sprays, higher percentage of crop losses due to poor rainfall, or land degredation.

I know very few farmers farming marginal land. Trying to farm without inputs isn't a matter of land-selection. It's due to a lack of affordable, sustainable inputs due to (a) lack of research, and (b) poor returns.

If a producing farmer has to degrade the land by his actions, whether that be erosion, spraying, fertilizer run off etc, just so that he can make a dollar then he shouldn't be farming that land, that is not sustainable.!

Again, see above. Find me a piece of land where your average farmer can simply whack in a crop without fertilisers and sprays, and where you can do this continuously whilst pulling off crop after crop......and I'll eat my hat! It takes knowledge and skills (which very few have), and it takes money.

We have to be aiming towards sustainability in all areas, and if this is going to cause some primary producers to fail and have to find another method of supporting themselves and their families then so be it.

Some should never have got into farming. This is true. Not in the majority of cases, though. But it ain't so simple as to suggest that they can simply stop using all chemicals....or to do a permaculture course....and suddenly all the problems will disappear. Trust me please when I tell you that MOST organic farmers do it very badly. There's a huge vacuum of skills and knowledge out there amongst the organic sector. It takes more than good intentions alone.

There are certified organic farms growing practically every food product, even broadacre crops, and producing cattle and sheep on very large pastoral properties, so it can be done using organic methods, while increasing the depth of topsoil rather than having it eroded. We have to live and produce within the biological limits of a region, and live within the limits of the available finite resources, both within a local region, and globally.

Most live in sheds and haven't got two pennies to rub together. Not talking about part-timers here. I'm talking about those who genuinely make a sustainable (economically) living off organics.

Total cost accounting is seriously missing here, we currently produce more food that the worlds population needs, and it's being sold at an artificially low price, and being very poorly managed and distributed...

Granted. And that's not the fault of the farmers. There's also the issue of consumers who won't BUY silverbeet with caterpillar bite-marks, yet also complain about chemicals. And those who won't buy misshapen zucchinis, or snapped-in-half sweet potatoes.

05-12-2005, 01:06 PM
If the average farmers all went broke, the country would soon starve, matey. And how does sitting back watching people lose their livelihoods fit in with the permaculture rule of "caring for people"? Or is it selective? Clansmen only.....the rest can rot for all we care? Farmers are people too.

As for what the organic certifying bodies think: Have you ever had a good ol' discussion with them? Ever had a good chat with one of their auditors? You'll find they're mostly stumbling along in the dark. They're happy to tell you what they don't want. Ask them what works?? Good luck!

As for "just for profit". Do you work, Tezza? Do you have a job? Guess what? You're doing it "just for profit". If you weren't paid, and your larder was empty, would you keep doing it? Farmers profit is no different to your paypacket. This sort of good guys versus bad guys is PRECISELY the sort of crap which made me leave before. Nasty commends about dead farmers doing more good by rotting away in the soil......totally unnecessary. The very point I was trying to make by my first post today was that this us 'n' them closed-minded fanatical bullshit assures that knowledge will never be advanced. It will only ever be more and more rhetoric passed round and round the same little group until it starts to become inbred.

Enough for today! We seemed to be making a bit of genuine headway.....but now the minds are slamming shut again. I have better things to do........

05-12-2005, 01:21 PM

You should look into the Soil Association standards on organic agriculture. They have a lot about right practices, and IU have been interpreter for 7 different inspections here in Belize. They inspected for sustainability, practices wthat maintain or increase fertility. They were very knowledgable about appropriate practices.

I am not sure about what certification in Australia is like, but if it follows the Codex Alimentarius on organic production (EU and US standards are based on that to allow multiple marketing with minorly diofferent standards, etc) then I would be very surprised if the Standards themselves didn't address lng term soil health, and if the inspectors weren't trained for that, especially if certified organic products from Australia access EU and US markets.

See you up here when you come back, and thank you for returning.



05-12-2005, 01:48 PM
Hey Biofarmag......Gee you do miss the points Dont You I was being Hypotheticle with my post not being sarcastic,,

We actually agrred a bit there as well.and u never noticed.I thought it was going well untill your next post.....

I didnt hypothasize farmers going broke and us starving I said/meant when the shit hits the fan.....I cant disclose the shit because theirs a whole variety of shit that can happen in this country.......Drought,civil unrest,economic decline.Oil shortage....Lets see the farmers drive headers with chip oil,or canola oil, during a drought.......
I feel sorry for farmers,well most of em....There stuck in a lose lose situation in most countries eg they stay, their bankrupt they leave, their bankrupt
Using Some chemicals Doesnt help the plants to grow using heaps of fertilising dont make crops grow either.....................

What does make em gro IS RAIN...Good olde rain.Without it were all stuffed.......You can Quadroople your fetilizers Quadroople your rounup Quotas you can do what you like but ......Hey Jeff. No rain No crop
No fuel for headers no crop.No workers NO CROP.....

IM an average farmer Jeff You wanted to hear from one who does it all without fertilizer or any chemicals at all.I suggest you ask a few other long term permies or long term alternative gardeners....I hope you dont wear a 10 gallon hat like some farmers, or a hard hat like NED KELLY

Im sure im not the only NON CHEMICAL,NON FERTILIZING farmer on this planet......... then again if i am, WOW a worlds first and i never even new it...

As for sitting around.watching peoples livlyhoods go down the drain....

Well matey read my LIPS it happens everyday of the year matey.
Im unemployable because,your favorite way of doing things( the Status Quo) support and encourage compnys to get rid of workers who may of selfishly become injured whilst slaving in their sweatshops,for sweatshop wages under sweatshop conditions.......If you want more info to support my assretions Id be pleased to swap stories anytime....We have thousands unemployed many for no reason other then "unfit for work".

I too have visited your website and found it very interesting and others here remark that its a nice site...
I noticed there no sign of roundup usage in your companys speil
Is there a reason?/??

This isnt meant to inflame our inflamed disscussions any further..

Dont get upset again. Its a pity i dont live near id love to pop in for a chat with you one day.....

Gotta go my dear wife needs the phone line


05-12-2005, 02:55 PM
Not so much a case of "cutting corners". More a case that certain alternatives are too expensive to adopt, eg. hand-weeding. It's also very hard to get farm labour, especially for that sort of work which many view as fairly unpleasant. Farmers are frequently competing with the dole, ie. who wants to chip weeds, when they can collect the dole?

This is a serious social issue that we face here, and it's not just a problem for agriculture, it's spread over many industries. We are bringing in thousands of people every month from other countries to do the work that Australians don't want to do because they would rather be on the dole. Once again part of the perpetual cycle brought about by the strangle hold of large supermarket chains and global corporations screwing the little man who's trying to make a living.

I know very few farmers farming marginal land. Trying to farm without inputs isn't a matter of land-selection. It's due to a lack of affordable, sustainable inputs due to (a) lack of research, and (b) poor returns.

Marginal land means something different to me, so I had to just check in the dictionary to make sure - Having to do with enterprises that produce goods or are capable of producing goods at a rate that barely covers production costs. - So I reakon we're talking about the same sort of thing here. Land, or farming methods, or crops, that hardly make a return. When the calorific inputs far excede the outputs then it can hardly ever be viable, let alone sustainable.

Again, see above. Find me a piece of land where your average farmer can simply whack in a crop without fertilisers and sprays, and where you can do this continuously whilst pulling off crop after crop......and I'll eat my hat! It takes knowledge and skills (which very few have), and it takes money.

This is my point precisely, you can't just whack in crops and keep pulling off crop after crop in ANY place, it requires planning, and methods, fallow seasons, green manures, trace element replacement, etc... As I'm sure you know...

Trust me please when I tell you that MOST organic farmers do it very badly. There's a huge vacuum of skills and knowledge out there amongst the organic sector. It takes more than good intentions alone.

I hear you..... Once again, it isn't viable if it takes twice as much in the way of energy inputs to produce a crop as what you get out of it, and 'organic' is just a label with a set of rules attached, there are many things not taken into account that should be. Unfortunately most usefull organic growing methods have been lost in time since we've been practicing 'modern' farming, and these skills all need to be learnt again, and taught again.

Unfortunately there is little to no money for any business in promoting agricultural methods that promote natural/organic farming. On the one hand you have a huge multinational company saying, do this, plant this seed, spray this, apply this, spray this other thing, follow this guidline and you will have X amount of product at the end of the day for X amount of dollars, simple step by step stuff anyone can understand. Because we have mechanised it, quantified it, and gained control over it, people feel comfortable with it, and the company selling all the goods is happy, they're making money. But, there are the hidden costs, all of the costs we are only just starting to realise now, of degradation, polution, loss of biodiversity, etc.

Then there is another school of thought, more organic/natural. On this side of the fence there is no single controlling entity telling you what to do in a step by step manner, why?? Because there is no money in telling someone to leave land fallow, when the other side of the fence says bugger that, keep growing, just apply more of our products and you can keep using all of your land. There is no money in telling people about methods using animals for insect control, fertilizing, weeding and cultivation etc. But theres money in selling sprays, fertilizers and farm machinery..

And so it goes, on and on.... If theres no money in it directly for someone, who is going to promote it??????

It's not just the money side of course, organic natural methods are not totally under our control, and as such do not have such a defining set of rules.. Humans generally like to feel in control of their environment, being a domineering species, and many would find it difficult to rely on nature to a greater extent as that is releasing that control...

It's very easy for companies to adopt an anti stance. 'Why be unsure of your crops, your future, we give you precise information on how to grow, what to spray and apply etc, to guarantee your livelyhood". WHile the organic/natural side of the fence says, " Well, theres a few schools of thought, some like organic, some biodynamic, some plant by the moon, some plant polycultures, most will take a lot more effort, but you should get a little bit more at the end of the day for your product, and it will be much healthier.. Now if a farm is purely a money making venture that your going to sink your time and effort and $ into, which are you going to choose, the safe standard step by step methods with guaranteed returns so long as it rains. Or the other way, that depending on how you go about it there are all different sorts of ways with different returns and results..

It's going to require government bodies to get their act together, but this will take time Dept of Ag people who have worked their way up into managerial positions aren't going to suddenly change their ideas on their lifes work even if they do realise it's been wrong. And it will only be once Universities and AG departments etc can do the trials and experimenting, and set out some step by step organic guidlines for farmers that we are going to get some competition against the chemical methods...

mmm, ok, I've dribbled enough....


05-12-2005, 07:14 PM
I missed lots :cry: firstly just to clarify I didnt run away because I didnt like the way this discussion was going ....... I just ran out of time ...... I have dialup and 4 hour max ........ and I on;y log on twice daily ..... in the early morning and late arvo - but now I only have a short time so wont be able to say all I want to ........

jeff I was not meaning you should not post here ....... you do have a lot to contribute and I am personally very grateful for the help you gave me before in tracking down safe minerals to use on our land ...... ( and BTW it does seem to be slwoly improving we even had some pasture :lol: )

even this discussion is I believe very productive ....... it gives people reading a chance to see both sides of the controversy ( we wont call it argument )

I will say more tomorrow enjoy your evening everyone


05-12-2005, 08:23 PM
Tezza, can you please just look back at your post and try to read it from the perspective of another person? Pretend you DON'T know you, and ask yourself if you sound like a reasonable and open-minded person when you say things about "farming poisoning the country", and about farmers bodies rotting down, and particularly when you show a callous disregard for the livelihoods of those who produce our food and fibre? Ask yourself if you sound aggressive and hostile?

And yes, I DO mention herbicide use when I refer to fulvic acid, and when I refer to reducing tillage on page 1 and page 5 of the document "biofarmsystem.pdf". You can download it from the downloads page.

In future I'll just simply ignore any posts which show closedmindedness, sarcasm, condescending attitudes and hostility.

05-12-2005, 08:28 PM
Frosty, thank you for your post. I'm pleased to hear that your soil is improving. And your point is well-taken. We should all be able to express differing views whilst still showing respect for the feelings and the intelligence of those we don't agree with. Ranting, soap-boxing, insults and "why are you here?" stuff should have no place amongst intelligent people.

05-12-2005, 08:51 PM
Earthbound Joel, I appreciated the intelligence in your response. "Marginal land" to me means soil that is incapable of sustaining regular cropping being used for cropping. You get the occasional twit doing this, but not that often. You're more likely to see 5 acres of poorly structured duplex soils on seriously undulating country, where some hobby-farmer with a stack of Grass Roots magazines has put a bloody HORSE on it and wondered why it turns into bare soil and weeds. Farmers though generally match crops and soil-capability fairly closely. It's more often the economics that become marginal rather than the soil. Prices regularly drop to a level that makes those good practices unaffordable. It's tough to ask a farmer to spend money on growing a green manure crop, or to ask him to spell his paddock for a season if he just made a loss of $100,000 and has a meeting with the bank manager next week. Many's the time when I make suggestions to a grower, only to have him say "I'd love to....and I would.....but I can't afford it." So far....and I hope it continues.....people DO seem willing to pay extra for organic crops. Organic growers who are using the very best practices CAN afford to use products and services like the ones I provide, and they CAN watch their soils and crops improve. If they were paid the same as the conventional growers, they'd be umming and ahhing about good practices and products too.

Oh, yeah, and there most certainly ARE people making money from the sustainable ag bandwagon. There's sooooo much snake-oil out there! There are companies I could name (but I won't) who would have you spending thousands of dollars per hectare using a huge range of their substandard magic potions. There are products which contain a handful of humate, plus litres and litres of cheaply-purchased molasses and a handful of trace elements. There are dead-as-doornail microbial inoculants, and there are drummed-up compost teas that might have done some good had they not spent months in drums with no air. Don't get me started......

05-12-2005, 08:57 PM
Chris, I'm glad you came across some educated and useful auditors. If you have a website link to that codex that you mentioned, I'd appreciate it. 'Fraid that the organic growers here often run into brick walls when trying to get some useful and practical information out of the organisations here. They're very quick to tell you what you CAN'T do, but can be very vague when asked what should be done instead.

And yeah, I'll follow up that Kansas link. Thank you.

05-12-2005, 09:38 PM
I've been following this thread for a while and to tell you the truth I have to say it scares the hell out of me. When roundup first came on the market in aus I had big grazing/cropping farm, all my neighbours said this stuff is magic, no smell (must be good) and totally safe! 1st mistake, never believe big multinational companies. I was always careful with it, as I had read that many Swedish railway workers who sprayed the grass along the tracks, died of cancer. That was30+ years ago and now I feel I have some of the symptoms that people describe. Hopefully it's just old age! How does one find out if you are affected? Blood tests?
Couple of points Tezza brought up, one about some farmers will go to the wall through pressure put on them by big companies, yep, it will happen and think of the alternative, fruit and vegs will come from o/s where quite often there are NO controls on chemicals, at least aus has some regulations. I believe some countries still use DDT. And the problem of educating the consumer, a few years ago when I was really desperate I worked for woolworths, the housewife would stride up to me and demand "Where are the australian oranges?" I'd point them out and walk away and watch, nearly every time they'd go back to the USA oranges as they are shiny (waxed) and bigger (heaps of subsidised fertiliser) The aussie ones looked good but the average buyer wants them to be perfect, impossible without artificial means.

Depressing isn't it? Hey, maybe thats a sign of roundup exposure too!!!!

05-12-2005, 09:51 PM
or...Alternative Title: A day in the life of a reluctant perma-lantana-culturist.

Hi Bio - Good to see you back!

Life is full of funny co-incidents or ironies...Have been out today discussing lantana control.

I have it. Last year it was minimal and the goats tended to pick it off...so wasn't worried. Also burned after the last wet, so it wasn't too much of a problem. As we now enter this wet, I realise it is rife on one hill, which the donks look after, and spreading down into the orchard.

Goats eat it, donks don't. Can't put goats in orchard for obvious reasons. Ponies look after orchard and pick at it - but horse people warn me they shouldn't.

Began with the rural supplier, and said I was considering gylphosate. He said "Nah, that won't kill lantana. It is only good for soft stemmed weeds. You will need 2T34 - that's the only thing that gets rid of lantana" Ok... so what's that? *looking around for it* "Nah, I don't actually stock that..." he says, "Am not sure if you can get it. It was identified as a component of agent orange, so might be banned *eyes bug out of my head* - but it used to work! Have a talk to the council - they are always spraying lantana."

So, over to the council I go. They give me a book, which suggests 10 different herbicides (including glyphosate 1L/100L). I figure I might check in with the horticulturist, so I ride round until I see her working in a park. She says "Whatever you use, you won't find a selective one...you will lose your paddock for at least 3 to 6 months, and will need to re-seed, can you afford that?" No, not while hay is going for $8+ a bale.... "You have goats don't you? Get them over there!" Yeah, righto.

I call in at the nursery. Tell her my troubles. She says that efforts began in 2000 Australia wide to address the lantana problem, and large scale efforts involve spraying, bulldozing and burning. I tell her I haven't got a bulldozer and mention how folks on the internet have turned the spraying aspect into a major hoo-ha. I say I haven't got a bulldozer, but if you ever hear of one being highjacked and running amuck in Western Australia - it is probably me. She says "Haven't you moved those goat pens yet?" I say nah...

I head home, chewing all this over. Moving the goats into the orchard is not an option. Wonder if I am prepared to surrender my holidays to grazing out goats all day in the paddock...Occaisional grazing out is not sufficient. Can't leave them unattended or unprotected for long periods...well, I won't. Fences are not good up there.

Decide to call into the certified organic grower across the road. He grows small crops...asparagus, citrus, and has a market garden for vegies. He also regularly shatters the night air and peace with bullets, as he shoots roos, rabbits and dogs...whatever threatens his crops. I figure if I've got lantana, and all the surrounding paddocks have lantana, then he probably does too.

He tells me to use Roundup! "Tis the only thing that sorts it, mate" he says. I thought you were organic, I say. He laughs..."Certification is just a part of marketing...a way of marking up small crops. It makes a small farm competitive with the big guys. 2 years to certify, you send paper back and forth, then you get on with growing. Roundup is not found in soil after 6 months, and there are minimal requirements to organic growing anyway. I'm not breaking any rules."

I looked across at his chooks and thought about Frosty, and nearly told him she had paid $8 for a dozen eggs, but instead just thanked him for his honesty, and came home. I decided I was going to maintain the hope that there must still be some growers who genuinely try to "keep the fight clean" but we can't pretend they don't have the same problems, and seek solutions any different than what are available to the rest of us.

So maybe that answers the original question, in that other thread? Using Roundup obviously won't affect your certification, if you choose your original soil and water samples selectively - as in, give it time to degrade, dissapate or whatever it does...

It has been an interesting day, and I was surprised, and very glad to see you were back Bio. I hope you hang around, as I will no doubt have more questions for you.

As Floot mentioned, the ignore button really is an excellent feature, and I think I can say now, after about a weeks trial, that it has completely transformed this forum for me. All nonsense, arguments, snide commentary etc. is now filtered out, and I can simply get on with considering the thoughtful contributions from those who are actually trying to live by the concepts you mentioned. Tis good.

*off to splice some more goat tethers*

05-12-2005, 11:55 PM

Thank you for saying that. I agree that the chmical companies have a long and sordid history of hyping their products as being "safe" when, later, we have found out that it wasn't.

DDT is still used in Guatemala for mosquito control, where it has become totally ineffective....

I'm with you. I think these chemicals have many serious unintended consequences, that we cannot trust the companies that make them to seriously share what they know about their products if it reflects poorly on them (for example, Monsanto says Agent Orange is safe, still, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary), and the problem is at the end of the food cycle, largely, with the consumer.

I have been trying to say here, with respect for differences of opinion, that there is a growing mountain of evidence reagarding the health risk of Round Up, too.

I think Joel raised some good points about "marginal land" that is incapable of producing food with out costly (more than purchase price) inputs. The use of chemicals and synthetic fertilizers is heavy with unintended consequences.


I suppose I am part of the great big new improved ignored world, so perhaps someone will forward this beyond your blinkers. Meanwhile the rest of us will have a discussion, which, if you were really interested, would have read.

First of all, the component the rural supplier is talking about is probably 2,4,D, an herbicide that is a %50 component of Agent Orange, along with an equal part 2,4,5,T, which is an arboricide. This was discussed in another thread, which you are most likely ignoring, too. Both 2,4,D and 2,4,5,T are highly toxic, carcinogenic and contain endocrine disruptors.

Some sources say that 2,4,D is not mutagenic, but OSHA says it is. A US government link if you would really like to know is http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/ 2_4d-dichlorophenoxyaceticacid/recognition.html

Your organic certified friend is a cheat, and he (or she) weakens the market and the price premium paid for certified organic produce that many farmers need to remain profitable. Unfortunately, this is not a legal crime, otherwise I would hope they went to jail. Actions like that undermine the market for organic produce by making organic certification worthless.

Further, your assertion that Round Up won't affect your certification entirely depends on the certifier. If it is the sort of Mickey Mouse bullshit certifier, cheap and easy, that I suspect your despicable neighbor uses, well, he or she can get away with it.

Most certifiers use what is termed a three year mandatory montiored in conversion period. This is the requirement of most certifiers and is the minimum certification standard to access the EU and US markets. I am not sure what the AU market is, but I suspect it falls in line with other organic standards (to create "equivalent" certification under the Codex Alimantarious).

Unless the certifiers witness a manifest infringement, at which point they would have to take action (should lose their certification for a period of three years) there is little risk in you cretin neighbors deceptive and dishnest behaviour. If they get by withg little more than annual inspections, scheduled in advance so that there is no visual evidence of chemical use, well, they get away, and consumers who have trust and faith in organic get ripped off. When this is discovered, there is a larger backlash against the "organic" movement, and real, true organic farmers suffer.

Your neighbor is an imbecile, a cretin of the highest degree, RF.

Since you seem to be ignoring me, you missed a good multi sided discussion.

Somebody, please copy and paste this for RF so she can get a little more awareness of what organic certification actually is. She seems to be a bit confused.


06-12-2005, 04:29 AM

Forms coming off a section of wall for the kitchen today, so got to run, but here is info on the Codex from IFOAM


Noteworthy is

Utilizing both traditional and scientific knowledge, organic agricultural systems rely on ecosystem management rather than external agricultural inputs. It is a system that excludes the use of synthetic inputs, such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, veterinary drugs, genetically modified seeds and breeds, preservatives, additives and irradiation.

Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity. It emphasizes the use of management practices in preference to the use of off-farm inputs, taking into account that regional conditions require locally adapted systems. This is accomplished by using, where possible, agronomic, biological, and mechanical methods, as opposed to using synthetic materials, to fulfill any specific function within the system.

That accurately portrays the essence of my position on organic agriculture, and this, or a concept similar, is in the standards of the Soil Association, orgeon Tilth, USDA standards, the Beloze Organic Standards (which I helped make), the larger EU and US standards, and in the Codex, and I think it is a good paradigm to start out from in considering sustainable food production free from hidden costs tied to agrochemicals.


06-12-2005, 04:30 AM
Chris, I'd be happy to cut and paste anything you like to RF....but it would have to include a sincere apology to her as you did with me. Where I come from there's still a tradition of chivalry. Where schoolyard bullyboy stuff and rudeness could be slightly acceptable amongst the chaps....its highly inappropriate with a lady. Take it on the chin and tell the lady you're sorry, eh?

06-12-2005, 04:40 AM
Whether it's "cheating" or not, if somebody waits a length of time for a chemical to break down in the soil to a point where it can no longer be detected, then surely anybody would consider it to be safe? If it still exists....it can be measured. If it cannot be measured....then surely it no longer exists? If it no longer exists, how can it possibly be a problem?

06-12-2005, 05:09 AM
Just had a look at the IFOAM website. They don't have a set of standards of their own, nor do they have a copy of the Codex. And yes, I'm sure the Aussie set of standards conform to the international standards. I don't think that's the issue. As I said before, the cert bodies are VERY good at telling people what they CAN'T do.......but a little weak on the ground when it comes to offering genuine workable alternatives. A good practice is much more than just the absence of a bad one. It's not right to ask farmers to "try this....it MIGHT work".

06-12-2005, 05:59 AM

IFOAM is sort of the ubercertifier for many certification agencies, of course, being under EU and US standards. They do not have their own certification, but certify others whose standards they approve.

The problem is that the consumers, in addition to seeking to avoid potential contamination of their food, and the overall consequences of the application of chemicals, want to support and reward farmers who use practices that are sustainable and chemical free. They should be allowed to vote with their money and support that.

The problem with RFs cretin neighbor is that they are deceiveing the certifier and therefore the end user, the consumer who has placed their faith and confidence in the apparently questionable organic certification and who is paying a higher price for the product that they, unfortunately falsely, believe follows the organic standards behind that certification. Wether or not their food has any chemical residues is totally besides the point. Her neighbor is a liar, and a cheater under the certification they enjoy, the certification that gives them a price premium. Whoever her neighbor is is a real piece of garbage.

And I totally disagree with you. It is right to ask farmers to avoid certain practices, and to make suggestions, if those farmers want to enjoy the significant price premium organic certified products enjoy. They sign papers saying they will NOT use these chemicals. It is like an honour code at a school. Cheating is cheating is cheating. If her lieing neighbor is selling to a certified organic market, their certifier is seriously negligent, and they are a problem, a problem that threatens the larger organic market if they are exposed publically.

Most certifiers, like the Soil Association in UK (the best, hands down) have an outreach department aside from their certification dept that offer lots of advice. The Soil Association is fantastic. They have tonnes of information on best practices and as it started out as a farmers association (tho the certification side is pretty peper pusher heavy, in my opnion), it deals with those sorts of issues, at great length.

I'll let someone else copy and paste, if anyone wants to. RF came to me with a series of agressive emails, never listened to my points and has now decided to ignore me. If she chooses to play the golden ticket by virtue of her gender, then she is pretty silly. Won't work with me. My wife is a better carpenter than me, can swing a machete next to the guys all day long, swings an axe as good as any man, and shoots better than most men. We don't play gender roles here. Sorry.

Fine for RF on bowing out of a percentage of the discussion, shes a big girl, but she is missing a lot of information, and its her loss. I still have access to what she writes, and some of it, though increasingly less, is interesting. Reading about power plants that burn plastic does very little for me. I have no intention of apologizing. As you would see if you read the exchanges, quite a few people told her she was off base, and noone told me the same. I only responded to her posts. Let her keep her eyes closed, if that is what she wants.

It is a shame that RF is so completely in the dark about what constitutes organic, and what is involved in certification. That is especially unfortunate for someone who obviously considers herself to be an expert on right practices and posts as an authority here. If she wants to remain deluded, that is her problem, but she should strive to be better informed, at the very least.

Just to recap, and back to this small digression from the issue of Round Up and toxicity, "organic" as defined by every certification program I have seen (and I have waded through dozens of standards) is not merely the absence of chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. Organic certification and as I have seen it with the Soil Association, inspects specifically for right practice and sustainability. That there are some mickey m ouse certifiers aout there does not diminish what others are doing and trying to do.


06-12-2005, 06:31 AM
You're completely entitled to disagree with me, Chris. But for myself, I think if the object of the exercise is to produce chemical-free food, then as long as it's chemical-free it should be perfectly OK. If the bloke uses roundup to clear up his nutgrass 6 months before the crop, and there's no residue within the soil or the crop.....then all should be fine. If he doesn't see fanatical adherance to a philosophy or belief-system for the sake of it to be important, then so bloody what? If you follow the rules to the letter.....and he doesn't.....and both products are residue-free? Sorry, but you'll have to accept that you won't convince me.

As for RF? I read her posts. They didn't strike me as insulting. And quite frankly if you feel they were, then that's the pot calling the kettle black. You've admitted to your tendency to be childish and rude. Isn't it possible that you've done the same to her? And no, it wasn't her who demanded an apology. It was me suggesting that you be a gentleman and do so. Whether or not you believe in gender-neutrality, I still think that gentlemanly behaviour is a sign of character. If you decide you can't bring yourself to apologise, then I suggest you stop letting it bother your ego that she chooses to ignore you. Stop feeling insulted by this, and respect her right to choose who she does or does not listen to rather than trying to force her to hear you.

And I think you missed the point I was making about it being not right to simply offer a set of NO's, without offering workable alternatives. You pointed out that the UK Soil Association offers a good advisory service? This is what's lacking, and this is what my point was. If, say, a pawpaw (papaya) grower contacts Certifying Body and says "My pawpaws are covered in furry stuff, and the leaves are falling off.......can I spray with a chemical?", he would be told "Certainly not!". So far, yes, you could call that reasonable. But when he says "What CAN I do?" and is told "Ohhhh, well.....gosh......mmmm......it's probably a disease......maybe....mmm.....well.....let's see......I think I saw someone on TV saying you could spray it with baking soda....or was that milk powder?" Not good enough. Not the way to build an industry that they claim can and will take over from conventional farming.

06-12-2005, 07:42 AM

Actually, what I admitted was that I became rude and behaved in a childish manner. It stated out as a joke, but you never answered my questions, and you asked me what kind of friends I had, and it made it personal. I responded from that place, and went with it. I have apologized for it.

My only interest in sharing this info with RF is that she is woefully misinformed about organic agriculture and certification. She might learn something. Whatever.

Soil Association is 60 yeard old. They have thousands of members throughout the world. There is many many years of experience in good management without chemicals.

And, if a farmer wants to enjoy the significant price premium that organic crops get, they need to NOT use chemicals. Period. Wether or not the pawpaw's get furry, whatever. I find it incredible that I have to state that again.

If the organic certifier and farmers groups that exist where RF lives are not offering advice on management, that is a problem, and speaks to a weak organic movement there. Regardless of that, if a famer uses chemicals when they have signed papers promising not to, then that is wrong.

I don't care if I convince you, but I do care if idiots lie and use chemicals on certified organic crops because as an organic farmer I am always worried that this kind of behaviour will get the medias attention and this will damage our markets.

I believe that consumers have a right to buy food that has no chemicals used in its production, and when I can buy it, I am willing to pay a higher price for it. I don't use any chemicals, and I think my food is better than the farmers who do use chemicals.

Again, its not what anyone thinks, if anyone thinks chemical residue free food is equivelant to organic, (it isn't), it is the standards that result in certification, which has a specific definition to consumers and which farmers sign papers saying they will observe. Using chemicals under those conditions constitutes a breech of contract, and the premium is obtained through deception. That should be easily understood, and yet you are refusing to aknowledge that the consumer has the right to pay more for food that is the product of agricultrual practices that are free from any chemical use. Where is the problem?

If someone wants to use chemicals, that is largely their business, but if someone uses them while being certified organic, that is fraud. Certification standards are very specific and that is what the market is about. I am astounded to have to repeat that.


06-12-2005, 08:14 AM
You're probably continually astonished whenever anyone disagrees with you, Chris.

06-12-2005, 08:55 AM
good morning guys :D you have been busy while I slept

yesterday talking abour organic farmers jeff said
Most live in sheds and haven't got two pennies to rub together. Not talking about part-timers here. I'm talking about those who genuinely make a sustainable (economically) living off organics.

I have no idea how things are in Qld (? where jeff is ) but over here in WA none of the the organic farmers I know live in sheds 8)

I know 3 broadacre farmers in this area all have farms that have been in the family for generations ( farms worth millions of dollars ) and have now changed to Organic .......... one of them grows wheat, sheep, pigs rye .......... another beef ....... another just wheat

I also know another family who used to grow organic veggies on a leased plot of land in the metro area and sell them 2 days a week from the shed ........ now they have purchased a property at Muchea and started a shop in the metro area .......... because they are in business I feel it is ok to mention their names Rick and Annie Dunn and their shop is called Absolutely Organics

I also know another family down south who make a living growing orgqnic veggies on 5 acres ........ and although they have an old house even they dont live in a shed :lol:

so it can be done and bear in mind that WA probably has worse soil than many other parts of australia

and BTW I know that NONE of the people mentioned above cheat and dont worry RF the $8 eggs were from a safe sourse :roll: I purchased the from Absolutely Organics and I know Annie only buys from people she knws are committed to being Absolutely Organic

but we are all aware there are dishonest people .......... and even some organic practices are a bit suss eg I cannot eat organic bananas ...... they must be allowed to spray something that is toxic to my system

on the subject of RF Jeff before you form any opinions on just who was attacking who I suggest you look at this topic

http://forums.permaculture.org.au/viewt ... gling+life (http://forums.permaculture.org.au/viewtopic.php?t=1214&highlight=juggling+life)

and maybe before you come down on christopher too hard for not getting your name right you should have a glance at the topic Rf started about you called bioagfarmer :lol: :lol: :lol: because hardly anyone got your name right

I suppose I should be thankful that at least frosty is not too hard to remember :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: it must help to be able to remember my name to make an unprovoked personal attack as above


06-12-2005, 09:09 AM
Chris already admitted he was changing my name on purpose in a childish manner. And there's no way that the "chicken shit" comments can be considered polite or respectful.

I didn't say that it was impossible to make a living farming organically. What I DID say was that I had met a large number who had closed minds to anyone outside their little clique groups....especially consultants and assorted educated people...and believed they could farm on warm 'n' fuzzy feelings alone. As a result, you ended up with amateurs creating more amateurs and no one advancing very much at all. I think you could say that those whom you know who are doing well would not be of that mentality?

06-12-2005, 10:14 AM
jeff not that it matters except that I typed all that for nothing but that was a direct quote from what you posted :?

one thing that always mystifyes me is that all these petro based pesticides herbicides and artificial fertilisers have only been around in the last 50 years ......... so if we believe those who now say they cant farm without them how did mankind manage to survive without them for thousands of year :?

and as christopher has said a couple of times what about when oil runs out :? shouldnt we be looking to alternatives

and have you read Pat Coleby' s Natural Land Care ? I have noticed many farmers over here are changing to her methods :lol: it could be the start of the quiet revolution without using that dreaded O word that frightens them so much :roll:

have a good day I have to go now


06-12-2005, 10:34 AM
ff not that it matters except that I typed all that for nothing but that was a direct quote from what you posted.

I don't deny what I said. I stand by it. There are heaps and heaps of organic farmers who are twits and who do very badly. They ARE fulltime farmers, and they're really really lousy at what they do. They make a living......a very poor one. There are also those who are open-minded and intelligent and are learning to do things better.

one thing that always mystifyes me is that all these petro based pesticides herbicides and artificial fertilisers have only been around in the last 50 years ......... so if we believe those who now say they cant farm without them how did mankind manage to survive without them for thousands of year

It's a different world now. I had an old lettuce grower tell me what he used to get for a box of lettuce 40 years ago.....and what a new car cost. He compared that with what they get today, and what a new car costs right now. Most growers used to supply to a local market. Nowadays you buy Bowen (Nth QLD) tomatoes in Victoria. Everything has gone up in price at a faster rate than has the produce. And people (the MAJORITY of people) won't buy product unless it looks perfect. Worms in apples were common, as were caterpillar marks on leafy veges. Nowadays even the bent and undersized stuff gets left in the paddock because the consumer wants a "better" product for a whole lot less. Yes, mankind survived without these things. But they also had greater losses and lower yields.....AND they could afford them!

and as christopher has said a couple of times what about when oil runs out shouldnt we be looking to alternatives

Did I ever say we shouldn't?

and have you read Pat Coleby' s Natural Land Care ? I have noticed many farmers over here are changing to her methods it could be the start of the quiet revolution without using that dreaded O word that frightens them so much

No, I haven't. Who's "frightened"?

have a good day I have to go now

Have a good one.

06-12-2005, 11:29 AM
frosty, the quiet revolution has already started, despite what other people might think.

Farming naturally, using what was available on the land - blood and bone, potash etc, has been used as a viable method of producing small crops for many years. I think you have to differentiate between small cropping and huge agribusiness of the type woolworths and coles deal with. Those supermarkets are not set up to process small quantities so producers generally plant one crop and push it along with whatever will work. This is slowly changing though with woolworth saying recently they have 10% of their products that are now organic.

BTW, did you know that the brown russet potato is now over 50% of the world's potato crop. The brown russet just happens to be the potato that McDonald's insists their french fries are made with.

Organic producers, both in fruit and vegetables, and pork, beef, lamb and chicken, tend to allow their product to develop at the "normal" rate. This usually allows the best flavour to develop and has the added benefit of giving the animal a decent life. That's why organic produce is more expensive, it takes longer to produce.

Farmers can manage without adding man-made fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, it's just harder to do it so they do it the easy way. They also have to battle against drought, hail, floods and non-supportive governments, so I guess they do what they can and forget the rest.

06-12-2005, 11:32 AM
Gees this topic just goes round and round in circles........

Firstly, why is it the responsibility of a certifying organic body to advise methods of controlling problems in particular crops. This is not their job nor responsibility. A certifying body sets out the rules to be followed, and tells you what products can and can't be used, and tries to make sure that that these are adhered to. They are not an advisory service.!

All certifying bodies work this way, when any design project is to be certified to a classification society, they tell you where your design doesn't meet their criteria, then it's up to you to fix it, you can't go running to them and say "but what do I do, how do I do it?" When applying for quality assurance certification it is the same, none of them tell you how to do it, thats up to you. In a way they ARE 'NO' people, thats their job.

Certification is supposed to be for the benefit of the consumer at the end of the day. If your company is quality or organically assured, then your company must follow all certification rules to retain the certification, and a consumer knows that there are set processes in place to ensure the quality of the product or service they receive. If someone has organic certification, it is not up to them to decide whether or not they want to use roundup, they can not use it.......! If they do they are breaking their certification and should be struck off, (and publically humiliated in my opinion)......

But for myself, I think if the object of the exercise is to produce chemical-free food, then as long as it's chemical-free it should be perfectly OK. If the bloke uses roundup to clear up his nutgrass 6 months before the crop, and there's no residue within the soil or the crop.....then all should be fine. If he doesn't see fanatical adherance to a philosophy or belief-system for the sake of it to be important, then so bloody what? If you follow the rules to the letter.....and he doesn't.....and both products are residue-free? Sorry, but you'll have to accept that you won't convince me.

Biofarmag, I find this statement to be rather disturbing, organic certification is not a philosophy or belief-system. And advice like this sets back the organic certification societies by decades, I only hope that you don't advice any organically certified growers.

Whether there is a residue or not, is not the point. This sort of action undermines the whole certification process, making a mockery of it.... In buying organically certified produce you should expect that it has been grown to the certification standards...

06-12-2005, 11:47 AM
Im with you joel...Will you be my P R man ..


06-12-2005, 12:00 PM
Guess what? I do! *gasp* *shock* *horror*

06-12-2005, 12:03 PM
Now who's being childish.?

06-12-2005, 12:09 PM
Now that is scary. The blind leading the blind.

06-12-2005, 12:59 PM
I guess I am astonished that on an ostensibly permaculture forum someone would suggest that RTound Up is a good thing, and that defrauding organic consumers is okay if the chemicals leave no residue. That's all.

Why are you here?

06-12-2005, 01:15 PM
Because I'm very bad, Chris. I'd have to be, seeing as I think other than you, Chris.

06-12-2005, 01:23 PM
I am trying not to make this personal. Why the jibes?

And I did call you childish names, after you ducked answering any questions, and I did call you chickenshit, and I apologized for that, with as much humility as I could muster. It was childish, and I was being silly. I am sorry. There, now I have said it again. I apologize for attacking you when you left and I could not attack your position.

I have tried to be respectful of your decision to use chemicsals, even tho I disagree with it. However, advocating using chemicals on certified organic registered holdings is a different ball of wax.

Respectfully, telling people to cheat on organics because you think that somehow you know better than the consumer really sucks. Its not thinking different than me, its subverting the whole organic movement. No offence, and I am not attcking you, nor am I trying to make this personal, in fact, I hope you can understand that it is what you are saying that I find objectionable, not you, personally.

But to say that, wow, that really is surprising, especially here. Why would you suggest these things in a forum devoted to integrated cropping systems and small scale, decentralized production models?

I am not saying there isn't a place for Round Up, there is, not on my farm, of course :lol: , nor am I saying you shoudn't have a forum to promote the use of Round Up and all of its spurious benefits. But why did you choose here?

I really thought we had opened a dialogue and then, bang, all of this.....

I try not to deal in moral absolutes when I can. There are multiple shades of greay, but advising farmers how to cheat organic standards is promoting fraud, and, in black and white, it is simply wrong.

I don't know, maybe you are a plant from Monsanto, and I mean that in a non attacking way. I ruled that out yesterday, but this is seriously loopy logic.

Again, why are you here, promoting centralized broad scale monocropping techniques in a forum about the polar opposite type of production model?

And, lastly, Organic certification bodies do not advize. Their parent organizations, if well developed, may have such departments, but the certifiers do not. They cannot inspect against the advice they give. That is standard, worldwide.

06-12-2005, 01:26 PM
Maybe what is being forgotten here is that commercial growers (including organic growers) run businesses. They are not like permaculturists who can just say Bugger! when the crows eat our corn, or we find our lettuces aren't hearting. We are growing for self sufficiency. They aren't.

They have decided to derive their income from that form of growing and they can't just shrug when things go wrong - like we can, because we always have alternatives. If my corn fails, we eat eggs for breakfast, simple as that.

It is not realistic to pretend that Mary and Joe on 5 acres, surrounded by commercial crops, industrialisation, and the variety of noxious plants that now exist, can produce truly organic food for market without responding to real time problems in some way.

Nor can we pretend that farms that have been in the family for generations and were worked traditionally are now organic simply because they cleared the 2 year certification period. Those long standing farms are more likely to be the most questionable, due to the fact early farms used to produce their own wood, meats, cheeses & butter. Whereever those traditional set ups are found...the increase of an EPA listing is high, due to the possibility of long standing arsenic and other residues.

To grow crops on small plots the soil gets a major workover. There are no rest paddocks across the road. Asparagus is the roadside crop, and it goes in, comes out, goes in comes out.

Here, across the road we have a permanent culture of ongoing produce. If I want to grow a heap of small crops (which I also do) then I have to work that into my system. I do so by scattering them among established plants and using their waste for mulch. That is not cropping.

Lantana is currently diminishing my paddock crop (bluegrass) considerably. If I ignore it, I lose feed for my donks. The land is sufficient to feed the donks, but as the problem grows, my donks now have half a paddock of feed. That won't get them through a year. If the guy across the road DIDN'T respond to the same problem - he simply couldn't grow.

I don't think the guy across the road seems evil or intentionally deceptive. Rather, I considered him the opposite, very honest and real. We were talking about a real problem - he understood immediately what the problem was, because he had had to deal with it. He worked from within the guidelines of certification and broke no rules.

Maybe that is a bit of any eye opener about certification? Maybe it is not as rigid as what the righteous may like to think it actually is? Consumers may also want to reconsider the marketing propaganda they enter into. Any product has a marketing campaign.

I think maybe people could do with actually talking with some real producers about real problems. It is ridiculous to just take things on face value and hypothesise what should be done, and can't be done, call folks names etc. when you are not actually doing it or attempting to derive a living from farming.

06-12-2005, 01:42 PM
Not "promoting" anything, Chris. I'm only giving an opinion. I'm not expecting, or desiring, a flood of forum members loading up drums of chemical. I just simply don't see the problem. That's all. I find the shock 'n' horror a bit baffling. And in my consultancy work, the topic of herbicide use would come up so rarely it ain't funny. And I don't think I have such powerful hypnotic powers that I could swing somebody's view one way or the other. It's actually not something I feel that strongly about either way. I'm far more interested in soil mineral and biological management. No one calls me about weeds. No one asks me to advise them about weeds. What about pesticides? What about those considerably more toxic things that people spray directly onto the edible parts of fruit, sometimes within a day of harvest? Isn't that of greater concern than something that's sprayed on the ground when the crop hasn't even been planted? No one sprays their fruit or vege crops with roundup, as they tend to die when you do! Geeees, give it a rest!

06-12-2005, 01:48 PM
Well said, RF. Well said!

06-12-2005, 02:15 PM
Hey Bag

Forget it im in a happy mood today and ive promised to behave myself on this board.....


06-12-2005, 03:37 PM
Perhaps the commercial growers and Round Up enthusiats can go have thier own site. Last I looked at the top of this page it said "permaculture discussion forum". I'm still not seeing where the chemicals and large scale monocultures qualify as "permaculture". Why discuss this stuff here? Aren't there better places to talk about it? Doesn't Monsanto have its own chat forum?

The below sounds like cheating to me:

He tells me to use Roundup! "Tis the only thing that sorts it, mate" he says. I thought you were organic, I say. He laughs..."Certification is just a part of marketing...a way of marking up small crops. It makes a small farm competitive with the big guys. 2 years to certify, you send paper back and forth, then you get on with growing. Roundup is not found in soil after 6 months, and there are minimal requirements to organic growing anyway. I'm not breaking any rules."

And for EU and US markets its three year monitored in conversion period, not two. If he is spraying at any point between initial inspection and the end of the three year monitored in conversion period when he can obtain organic certification, or at anytime on his registered holding, he is cheating.

And, as Frosty pointed out, there are large and successful organic farmers out there, so the argument that it can't be done is false too.

I concede that there are probably plenty who are not doing it well, but that is their choice. And knowing the Soil Association, I have complete faith in any product they certify. If it has the Soil Association seal on it, its organic. I have been involved with a bunch of inspections, and they are quite thorough.

What exactly is your point, and how does it relate to permauclture? I am trying to understand this, and am not making this hostile, I just am not getting it. Why here?

06-12-2005, 05:07 PM
Who finds my views so offensive and so mentally-corrosive that they want me to leave? Hands up?

06-12-2005, 05:18 PM
I don't find it offensive, just silly and pointless. Why?

06-12-2005, 05:21 PM
Other than Chris? (He's on IGNORE)

06-12-2005, 05:45 PM
I know you are ignoring me. But all I have asked is why are you posting here if you don't believe in permaculture? Round Up is not permaculture. Large scale agriculture is not permaculture. Monocrops are not permaculture. I don't want you to leave, I just want to know why you are here.

Just yesterday I welcomed you back and encouraged you to stay. Within a short amount of time you have become very argumentative. Why are you here? What could motivate you to post here if you don't believe in permaculture or organic agriculture?

And while I am now calling you a big fat clown on the other thread, the one with the big fat clown in a dreadlock wig, that is only in response to your racist portrayal of Afrocaribbean life. You apparently think this is funny. It really isn't. A white clown in a dread lock wig with a big spliff may seem like a hoot to you, a white man, but it would be highly offensive to people of colour and african heritage anywhere, if they didn't just laugh at the ludicrousness of it.

I am suprised it has been tolerated here. By the standards of the Caribbean, it would be considered highly racist, like black face. That is my opinion, tho, but I do live in a country that is over %50 black. I have sent your url off to Jamaica to the Twelve Tribes. maybe thay can explain it to you since you are ignoring me.

Richard on Maui
06-12-2005, 06:35 PM
I don't necessarily think it is the role of certifying authorities to adivse on what farmers and gardeners should do to build healthy soils. There are many approaches. It is fair enough for them to operate by process of elimination.
Jeff, have you done a PDC mate? Or read the Permaculture books? I don't mean this in an elitist way at all. YOu are welcome here without having done either, but I am curious to know where you are coming from too.

06-12-2005, 06:35 PM
I really can't be bothered with all of this small minded bickering.....

Biofarmag, you never really responded to my post, so I assume you have no response, as to comprehending what the role of a certifying body is. I was hoping that if you understood their role you may better understand why they don't give advise.

RF, are you saying that the grower over the road sprayed the roundup, and this is within organic certification guidlines?

06-12-2005, 07:16 PM
Joel and Richard,

How much ya wanna bet they don't answer any of your questions?

Welcome, once again, to the Fellowship of the Ignored.....


06-12-2005, 08:02 PM
Joel, no I haven't responded to your post. My apologies. I wasn't ignoring you. I was probably just a bit flabbergasted when the crap started again.

Certifying bodies not providing information, as it's not their role? On their websites, they seem to indicate that it is. If they promote a system, and encourage growers to join their organisations and to pay levies to them, then I really can't see why they can't also be centres of research and dissipation of knowledge and skills. Quality Assurance organisations (such as Freshcare) do this. Maybe you disagree? Fine. Do so. To me it seems logical, especially as they know (SURELY they know) how much snakeoil and misinformation there is out there.

No, Richard, I haven't done a permaculture course. I'm reasonably familiar with the system and its principles. I have no need or no desire to go down that pathway, as it isn't what I do (or intend to do) either personally or professionally. I have an interest in organic and sustainable agriculture. I'm not a purist practitioner or "believer" in any one system. That's where I'm coming from.

So, does anyone other than Chris want me to leave?

Richard on Maui
06-12-2005, 08:08 PM
I don't think Chris even particularly wants you to leave, Jeff. I do think that he and most of us here would expect that you are prepared to back up your statements here with solid evidence, and that you are in fact at least open to discussing things within a framework of Permaculture design methodology. Of course, what constitutes good design and true sustainability is open to discussion, and for that reason, I welcome anyone and everyone to this very important discussion!

06-12-2005, 08:16 PM
I think Chris can't stand it when somebody disagrees with him. I'm sure you can see this too. Look at how he clearly can't stand being ignored, and begs others to cut and paste his comments?

OK. I must speak Permaculturist here? OK. Bill said that roundup has its place. So, if Bill doesn't condemn its use outright....and Jeff doesn't condemn its use outright.....then either Bill and Jeff are very bad, or Bill and Jeff are actually intelligent and non-fanatical.

06-12-2005, 08:20 PM
Get over yourselves,debating who's right or wrong. Use glyphosate or not it's your choice. Think on this and all the other things you you can't control. Since 1923 when lead was intoduced to petrol to stop 'nock' in petrol engines the lead content in the atmosphere has increase steadily and dangerously. Even since lead was banned in the great US of A in 1986 and in Oz from when? Americans live with"625 times more lead in their blood than people did a century ago" (Bill Bryson, a short history of nearly everything).And I don't hear any of you concerned about this or any other thing beyond our control.
Girls ( I appologise to women on this forum, these 'guys'...... wouldn't make a girls blouse, sorry don't antagonise) get over your own pre-judges and live life, don't be so precious. Permaculture=permanent culture. Not gardening only, but getting on with each other(just my view sorry[ I don't have any formal qualifications ]) .
Merry Christmas( to all you non Muslims,Budhists,Taoists,Hindu's,Zionists etc,etc).
Food for thought, What about antibiotic resistant bugs?

Richard on Maui
06-12-2005, 08:47 PM
Good point grease, about Permaculture being about learning how to get on with one another... I think that even if we have the odd blue, that discusison is a good start to that process (of learning how to get on with one another)...
Jeff, your logic there could get a bit dangerous mate. Just because you and Bill agree on something doesn't mean you are both right. (I've met the man, and the sun definitely wasn't shining out of his arse the whole time)
I think that Bill advocates the use of things like chemicals or fossil fuels as a means of transitioning to a form of agriculture that isn't dependent on them. He uses the term treadmill, as in, don't get stuck on the treadmill of using roundup, or insecticides or even weedwhackers or tillers... Design a system that is diverse enough and self fertile enough that you can ultimately do away with external inputs of energy.
You really could do worse than take a PDC, mate!

06-12-2005, 09:12 PM
I met Bill over a weekend about 8 years ago. He struck me as a realist in that whatever had to be done had to be done, He wasn't strict on dogma just the outcome. I think he would laugh at you purists.

Richard on Maui
06-12-2005, 10:24 PM
Well, yeah, he would. He likes a good laugh. But I bet he wouldn't tell you that you should plan on using roundup forever as a part of your regime for growing food.

07-12-2005, 12:14 AM
I never said Jeff shouldn't be here. I did only ask "why" he is here.

I have nothing against him. The last time he left because he wouldn't answer specific questions regarding endocrine disruptors and Round Up. This time he has chosen to ignore me because I asked him why he's here.

I go back and forth, wondering, is he a paid misinformant? is he a paid agent provacateur? is he just a disagreeable fellow? why is he promoting Round Up and cheating on certified organics here? I just don't get it, and when I ask why, he chooses to ignore me.

Theres a whole big universe, many places to go and preach the wonders of Round Up. Why here?

Very strange.

07-12-2005, 12:21 AM
All ways look on the bright side of life.whistles.

Thank you and goodnite stay tuned for the next episode of Monty Python


07-12-2005, 01:06 AM

To make a 'point', you have resorted to building a strawman, a logical fallacy that bio ever said that.

This use of 'strawman fallacies', [that could even be a permie thing] now makes you feel secure that you have blotted out the use of glyphosate because you have used a fallacy to denounce someone that YOU believe is an advocate of glyphosate use??

Bio, do you sell glyphosate??



07-12-2005, 01:44 AM
THANK YOU, Mr Floot! (Finally!) No.....I do not sell glyphosate! I expressed an opinion! That's all! And I've been subjected to a friggin' witch-hunt ever since! I've already explained that I NEVER get asked (professionally) about weed-control. No one asks! They've already decided whether they wish to use herbicides or not! They never ask me! And I don't believe I could sway them one way or the other, seeing as this is NOT my area of expertise! I used the "Bill said" argument to try and make a POINT (Richard)......NOT to be "dangerous". And no, I will NOT do a PDC course. I'm sure there are many courses that you could benefit from too, Richard....but I wouldn't be presumptuous about what I think you could benefit from. I think I'll stick to my Masters Degree studies, thanks all the same.

As for the rest of this crap? ENOUGH! I won't answer anything else about herbicide! NOT because I won't "prove" or "back up" anything. But because this is getting so bloody boring and stupid! I made a comment. I expressed an opinion......once! And I've never seen such a silly reaction in my entire life! Get over it, people!

(Thank you also, Mr Grease. Fresh air is nice!)

07-12-2005, 03:32 AM
BTW, did you know that the brown russet potato is now over 50% of the world's potato crop. The brown russet just happens to be the potato that McDonald's insists their french fries are made with.

Going a bit back to Forests post about Russet potatoes: in the Andes, where potatoes originated, they have thousands of different varieties. Some for early and some for late harvests. Some for higher, drier and colder elevation, and others for lower, wetter and warmer elevations. GThousands of varieties produced for thousands of reasons...

Out of thousands of varieties, one potato was made the potato of choice for Europe, the so-called "Irish" potato. This single variety became the fodder that fed the work force and land poor Irish peasnants until the 1840s, when the potato blight (a phytopthora fungus) wiped them out. This resultant loss of the staple of the poor resulted in over a million people starving to death with the taste of grass intheir mohts, because there was no food.

Irish potato is especially suscpetible to phytopthora, but noone knew it.

At the time of the famine, Ireland was actively exporting food, and the starvation of over a million poor Irish, right next to the richest country in Europe at the time, is a shameful thing, a shameful thing made possible by this single crop mentality.

Our global food supply is also going through a dumbing down. I forget the exact statistics, (and I posted them a while back), but it we as a species derive something like %90 of our calories from 15 species, and we are producing less and less varieties of those species.

Forest, you touched on one of the most under ecognized and important issues facing us as a species.

One of the things we are working on, in our admittedly very, very, very small (really small) and probably inconsequential way, is to value genetic diversity in agriculture. We have many species, and as many varieties of each speci as we can find.

Genetic information is going extinct, while species get bred down for specific qualities, shipping ability, ability to grow fast and uniformly and, increasingly, genetically modified to accept increased exposure to Round Up (%90 of soy and canola). Dan the Man, Joel and myself all discussed this a few months back.

"The Pillar of Belize is Agriculture" (from a campaign to convince more people to farm). I would change that to the pillar of humanity is agriculture, and its foundation gets whittled down daily, by seductive reductionist approaches to agriculture, heavy on inputs, and over all, in the long term, and subject to the mostr rudimentary of true cost accounting, not sustainable, and, to get to the point, a smaller genetic resource base, as seen by less species and less varieties of species.....

Anyway, Forest, thanks for mentioning that aspect of this argument, and sorry I did not respond to it earlier. It is a large topic (larger and much more important than wether or not Round Up is sustainable,especially since we all know it isn't :lol: ), and it deserved more attention than it got (even here).


Richard on Maui
07-12-2005, 03:36 AM
I'm sorry, now I don't get it. What is my strawman idea? Whatever... Let's all meet on a field somewhere, line up on opposite sides, as clearly identified by the partisan nature of this debate and throw rocks at each other? :roll: :lol:
Seriously, can we please feel free to have disagreements here without ending up calling one another names?

07-12-2005, 03:54 AM
Richard, you know how to shoot? I'll bring all of our guns, both of dawns and ALL three of mine! (Lets get Dan the Man and Corny on our side, since they were soldiers....)

And, just to clarify: this was a joke.

(I'll bing 'em Richard. Tell me where we can get these guys..... :twisted: )

Seriously, though: just kidding.....

(The 12 gauge kicks like a mule, the 16 gauge kicks less, but its a double barrel, so after the first two shot, you have to reload.... the 9mms are loud and not entirely accurate past 25 meters, and the .223 has a 40 rnd clip, and it'll put all 40 into a pie plate at 100 meters....... :twisted: )

Jokes like these are simply not funny..... very sophmoric, Christopher, and they could be consturued as a threat :axe: I am very disappointed in your behaviour....

(we could get Tullymoor to bring her axe....)

07-12-2005, 03:56 AM
A strawman fallacy or strawman argument, is when you set something up to look real, and it isn't. People buy into and fight over something that was never real to begin with.

Bio never said what you or the other twit claimed he was suggesting.

Every contact I have had with Christopher has been the same. He still to this day has been lobbing in posts, inciting trouble and then editing out his obvious insults, namecalling, judgements, assertions and arguments and making it LOOK like everyone else is the problem.

He harasses and hounds, and people turn away. Unfortunately there is always someone at the end of it, copping his incessant ravings. And others have expressed their fear that they will be next if they involve themselves, so individuals are left trying to counter ongoing nonsensical attacks.

If there is genuine care for the rastafarians, you don't go and shove stuff at them that you openly state you know is going to hurt or offend them. But that is his way.

You too, have fallen subject to, and been a part of building the strawman, Richard, whether you did this intentionally or not. You are not alone - as Christopher has reminded us all.

07-12-2005, 06:53 AM
Respectfully, RF, I am not sure that is true.

Early on, shortly after you joined this forum, I asked your opinion, along with Richards about goats. I found your information very valuable and interesting.

I am not sure everyone is so easily manipulated as you suggest, in part because I don't see the manipulation (any such manipulation is accidental).

I wish you or noone any bad time, and I don't want him or anyone to leave. My point with asking Jeff why he was here was just that. I don't care if he disagrees with me. Many people do on a very broad array of subjects. (of course they are ALL wrong :lol: ) I wanted to know why he was here.

If he doesn't believe in organics, if he consider permaculture to be a system (I consider it more of a modality) that he doesn't want to practice, and isn't interested in learning about, then why is he here? That is all I wanted to know, and while perhaps it seems to you that I badgered him with it, this question is not such a difficult question to answer, and shouldn't be perceived as hostile when asked.

I asked him several times before he ignored me.

I am probably being ignored, but if you have read what I wrote since he came back, I have tried to be considerate, even biting my tongue when he told me he sprays his yard (crazy, in my opinion), except about the rasta thing, which I really do find offensive, tho part of me was just taking a piss.

I welcomed him back. I apologized. I did that after long consideration of what you wrote, hoping to see a reason that his participation here would be valuable. I accept him even if I think the use of Round Up is wrong. But if he can't even answer why he is here, a simple question, and suggests that cheating consumers who purchase certified organic foods is equal to certified organic foods if there is no residue, then his leaving (again), if that is what he decides to do, is not a huge loss, just as it wasn't last time. If you feel cheated, I have his email address.

So far, noone at the Twelve Tribes knows anything about Jeffs disrespectful cultural appropriation. Things will probably stay that way. I am sure he doesn't need 100,000 pieces of email from pissed off Rastas from all over the globe, including the Australian headquarters:

AUSTRALIA: Twelve Tribes of Israel OZ HQ
26 Newmarket Rd.
Windsor Brisbane Australia

If he cares to explain to anyone about his interpretation:

ras_michael_tafari@yahoo.com would be a good person to start with.
Otherwise, that is a dead issue, mon. :lol:

07-12-2005, 08:41 AM
so to get back to the point the dangers of Roundup

I am sick of bashing my head against the wall trying to convince the pro chemical fools but in case anyone bothers to read this topic looking for informtion with an open mind I want to post a few more facts

ROUNDUP is an ORGANOPHOSPHATE (OP)...... you wont see that in the monsanto adds in fact they go to great lengths to try and make people think glyphosate is something else :roll: but glyPHOSate is an OP

and OPs are cholinestarse inhibitors and serious neurotoxins ( see the article I posted with studies proving Roundup is a cholinesterase inhibitor )

OPs are closely related to Sarin gas

OPS are what the Nazis used in the gas chambers to kill the jews

neurological conditions caused by OPs take a long time to become evident one is even called Organophosphate Induced delayed neuropathy (OPIDN )

they are now also finding that Ops are carcinogens

and the residues of them are in ALL conventionally grown foods ( and by what has been posted here in some organic food grown by unscrupulous cheats :cry: )

I will post some articles below


07-12-2005, 08:44 AM
NEW YORK - Daily on-the-job exposure to the pesticide diazinon appears to increase the risk of lung cancer and possibly other cancers, according to new findings from the US government-sponsored Agricultural Health Study, a project begun in 1993 to investigate the health effects of pesticides on farm families in Iowa and North Carolina.
By December 2002, 301 of 4,961 men with occupational exposure to diazinon had developed lung cancer compared with 968 of 18,145 with no occupational exposure to diazinon.

"We found evidence of an association of lung cancer and leukemia risk with increasing lifetime exposure days to diazinon," Dr. Michael C. R. Alavanja from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland and colleagues report in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The results were unchanged after adjusting for cigarette smoking, "suggesting that confounding due to smoking probably does not explain the elevated risks of lung cancer," the authors write.

They also point out an association between diazinon use and lung cancer was reported in an earlier analysis of the Agricultural Health Study, with fewer years of follow-up.

Diazinon is an organophosphate -- a chemical derived from nerve gas agents developed during World War II. Studies linking organophosphates to neurological disorders and other largely noncancer health risks prompted the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2000 to start phasing out residential use of diazinon in home, garden and lawn products. By 2004, the phase out was complete.

The EPA has also proposed new restrictions on agricultural use of diazinon. Nonetheless, in 2004, approximately 4 million pounds of the pesticide were applied in agricultural settings in the US.

In a 1997 review of the cancer-causing potential of diazinon, the EPA classified the chemical as "not likely a human carcinogen" based on studies in rodents. However, some laboratory and epidemiologic data, including the latest findings from the Agricultural Health Study, paint a different picture.

Alavanja and colleagues add that as more cancer cases accrue in the study, they will be in a better position to "clarify whether diazinon is associated with cancer risk in humans."

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, December 1, 2005.

07-12-2005, 08:47 AM
and another Ops also a carcinogen

note this one is widely used in Australia and here we are not pohasing out OPs

Health - Reuters
Job Exposure to Pesticide Linked to Lung Cancer
Tue Nov 30
By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Workers exposed to the pesticide chlorpyrifos may have an elevated risk of lung cancer, U.S. government researchers reported Tuesday.

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute ( news -web sites ) found that among the more than 54,000 farmers and insecticide applicators they followed for six years, those with the highest chlorpyrifos exposure had twice the risk of developing lung cancer as did those who did not work with the pesticide.

Those in the highest-exposure group had worked with the chemical an average of 224 days over their lives.

The fact that the study found an "exposure-response" relationship -- meaning lung cancer risk rose in tandem with chlorpyrifos use -- is probably the strongest piece of evidence that the pesticide may promote lung cancer, study co-author Dr. Aaron Blair told Reuters Health.

However, he and his colleagues are urging caution in interpreting the results, since more research is necessary to establish a definite cause-and-effect relationship.

"This is the first study to show this," Blair said. He added that the findings should be viewed along with the "totality of the evidence available," which includes animal research suggesting that chlorpyrifos is not a strong carcinogen.

Blair and his colleagues report the findings in the December 1st issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Chlorpyrifos is widely used in U.S. agriculture, and until recently it was found in many home and garden insecticides. Starting in 2000, the pesticide was phased out of products used in homes, schools, parks and certain other public areas after the Environmental Protection Agency ( news -web sites ) (EPA) revised its risk assessment of the chemical.

Chlorpyrifos, sold as Dursban, is one of an older class of pesticides that can harm the central nervous system, and the EPA move was designed to limit children's exposure to the chemical.

However, there has been relatively little evidence that chlorpyrifos may raise cancer risk, though some laboratory research has suggested it's possible.

The new study recorded the incidence of various cancers among 54,383 farmers and full-time pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina, more than 22,000 of whom had worked with chlorpyrifos. All of the mostly male participants are part of the Agricultural Health Study, a project begun in 1993 to follow the health effects of farmers' and pesticide applicators' occupational exposures.

Blair and his colleagues found that while exposed and unexposed workers had a similar risk of developing cancer in general, lung cancer risk was higher among those who had worked with the pesticide. The link held after the researchers weighed other factors, such as age, smoking, family history of cancer, and other on-the-job exposures.

The findings, Blair said, only apply to people who have worked directly with chlorpyrifos. He explained that the main concern with this and other pesticides is not inhalation, but skin exposure, since the skin is believed to be the main route of pesticide absorption into the body.

SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, December 1, 2004.

07-12-2005, 08:53 AM
and nowstudies have now begun to hone in on the mechanism by which the chemical acts on cell division to cause cancer

Rethinking Roundup
August 5, 2005

A recent study of Roundup presents new evidence that the glyphosate-based herbicide is far more toxic than the active ingredient alone. The study, published in the June 2005 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, reports glyphosate toxicity to human placental cells within hours of exposure, at levels ten times lower than those found in agricultural use. The researchers also tested glyphosate and Roundup at lower concentrations for effects on sexual hormones, reporting effects at very low levels. This suggests that dilution with other ingredients in Roundup may, in fact, facilitate glyphosate's hormonal impacts.

Roundup, produced by Monsanto, is a mixture of glyphosate and other chemicals (commonly referred to as "inerts") designed to increase the herbicide's penetration into the target and its toxic effect. Since inerts are not listed as "active ingredients" the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)does not assess their health or environmental impacts, despite the fact that more than 300 chemicals on EPA's list of pesticide inert ingredients are or were once registered as pesticide active ingredients, and that inert ingredients often account for more than 50% of the pesticide product by volume.

The evidence presented in the recent study is supported by earlier laboratory studies connecting glyphosate with reproductive harm, including damaged DNA in mice and abnormal chromosomes in human blood. Evidence from epidemiological studies has also linked exposure to the herbicide with increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and laboratory studies have now begun to hone in on the mechanism by which the chemical acts on cell division to cause cancer. A Canadian study has linked glyphosate exposure in the three months before conception with increased risk for miscarriage and a 2002 study in Minnesota connected glyphosate exposure in farm families with increased incidence of attention deficit disorder.

Studies have also documented glyphosate's toxicity to wildlife and especially to amphibians. Recently, studies conducted in small ponds with a variety of aquatic populations have presented evidence that levels of glyphosate currently applied can be highly lethal to many species of amphibians.

Glyphosate is the world's most commonly used agricultural pesticide, and the second most-applied residential pesticide in the U.S. Recent evidence notwithstanding, glyphosate is considered less hazardous than other herbicides, an attitude that has increased the pesticide's use and desensitized policymakers to its impacts. The spraying program in Colombia to eradicate coca and opium poppy-the raw materials for cocaine and heroin-is one example. A mixture of glyphosate and several inerts has been sprayed aerially over more than 1.3 million acres of farm, range and forest lands in that biologically diverse nation for five years. The U.S. Drug Czar recently noted that despite the spraying, which is funded by the U.S. government, the number of hectares in coca production has remained essentially unchanged. A report on the impacts of the spraying produced for the Organization of American States has been sharply crit icized by AIDA, an environmental organization, because the analysis failed to assess the impacts of deforestation resulting from movement of illicit crops into previously forested areas, adverse effects on endangered and endemic species, substantial collateral loss of food crops, livestock and fish, and human health effects. Authorization of next year's funding for the spray program is now underway in the U.S. Congress, where the Senate Appropriations Committee complained in a non-binding narrative report, "The Committee is increasingly concerned ... that the aerial eradication program is falling far short of predictions and that coca cultivation is shifting to new locations."

The herbicide is used in forestry in North America to reduce grasses, shrubs and trees that compete with commercial timber trees. Glyphosate is also widely introduced into the environment and the human food chain through cultivation of transgenic, or genetically engineered crops that are tolerant to the herbicide and contain glyphosate residues. "Roundup Ready" crops have been responsible for increased use of the herbicide in recent years. Monsanto's sales of glyphosate have expanded approximately 20% each year through the 1990s, accounting for 67% of the company's total sales as of 200l. EPA estimates glyphosate use in the U.S. is 103-113 million pounds annually.

Sources: Sophie Richard, Safa Moslemi, Herbert Sipahutar, Nora Benachour, and Gilles-Eric Seralini, Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 113, No. 6 June 2005, http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2005/7728/7728.html; Glyphosate Herbicide Fact Sheet, Journal of Pesticide Reform, Winter 2004, Vol. 24, No. 4, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides NCAP, http://www.pesticide.org; Rethinking Plan Colombia, New Science on Roundup: Threats to Human Health land Wildlife, Las Lianas, June 2005, http://www.laslianas.org/Colombia/Round ... e2005.doc; (http://www.laslianas.org/Colombia/RoundupFactSheet--June2005.doc;) Critical Omissions in the CICAD Environmental and Health Assessment of the Aerial Eradication Program in Colombia, Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA); The Center for International Policy's Colombia program, Relevant Text from the Bills So Far, the 2006 Aid Request, http://ciponline.org/colombia/aid06.htm#Senate; PANNA, Monsanto Corporate Fact Sheet; PANNA, Global Pesticide Campaigner, Inert Ingredients in Pesticides, Sept. 1998.
Contact: PANNA

07-12-2005, 08:59 AM

Healing Our World: Weekly Comment
By Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D.

Biological and Chemical Warfare Are Here Now

How many deaths will it take 'till we know
that too many people have died.
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

-- Bob Dylan

There has been much written in the press the last couple of weeks about the threat from terrorists if they commandeered a crop duster to spread biological warfare agents. Yet few writers have mentioned that these planes are used for this purpose every day, but not by terrorists. Instead, they are used by licensed operators who are spraying deadly chemicals on our lands and on our children.
We don't have to wait for chemical warfare to be waged on U.S. soil by terrorists. Such warfare has been underway for over a century. Every day, billions of pounds of deadly chemicals, many of which were used as chemical warfare agents in World War I and II, are applied as pesticides and herbicides to soil, plants, and people around the country and the world.

The U.S. releases over six billion pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment each year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 200,000 people are killed by pesticide poisons, worldwide every year. That means 547 men, women and children die every day from pesticide poisoning. In addition, four million children die each year from the effects of contaminated water and other toxic hazards. That's nearly 11,000 per day.
UNICEF reports that many independent authorities assert that at least 500,000 Iraqi children under five have died since 1990, in part as a result of the U.S. sanctions and the effects of the Gulf War.
Surely these threats and atrocities are worth waging a war upon to save lives.
Crops aren't the only place pesticides are sprayed. Pesticides are being used in classrooms, offices, playgrounds, lawns, playing fields, locker rooms, bathrooms, storage rooms, basements, school gymnasiums and day care rooms. Kitchens and cafeterias are the areas most frequently treated with pesticides. Pesticides and herbicides are applied to eliminate many kinds of pests, including weeds, mice, cockroaches, ants, flies, lice, ticks, fleas and other insects. Some people spray outdoors to kill bees, wasps, ants, rodents and pigeons.
Pesticide and solvent vapors, unlike most chemical warfare agents that dissipate rapidly, can persist in indoor air for weeks or even years. Pesticide residues can contaminate indoor surfaces, and can remain in carpets and dust for months or years. They can also persist outdoors in soil for years and some weed-killers commonly used at schools can last from one to five years in the soil.
Research over the last 20 years shows that pesticides cause sterility, birth defects, and neurological disorders.
Pesticides stay on fruit and produce and most cannot be washed off with water. In studies done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 108 different kinds of pesticides were found on 22 fruits and vegetables commonly eaten by children! Sixteen pesticides were found in eight samples of processed baby food.
Crop dusting aircraft are the worst offenders, possibly contributing to more pesticide poisoning episodes than any other delivery method. Less than 10 percent - some say as little as one percent - of the pesticide gets applied to the crop. The rest becomes airborne and can affect people, animals, and plants many miles away.
These chemicals are regularly detected in the air thousands of miles from where they were used. DDT, banned in the United States in the 1970s has been found in Antarctic ice, penguin tissues, and in most species of whales! Farm pesticide resides have been found in vacuum cleaner bags of people living in cities many hundreds of miles from farms.
The life systems of the Earth are intimately connected. You cannot affect one without eventually affecting them all.
Crop dusters spray every day, and not just to end insect infestations. Potato growers apply pesticides from crop dusters to kill foliage on fields they are about to harvest to make it easier to get the potatoes. Apple growers spray a chemical on the apples to keep them on the trees longer so they get redder and don't fall off in the wind.
The Environmental Working Group estimates that every day, 1.1 million children eat food that, even after it is washed, contains an unsafe dose of 13 organophosphate pesticides. Of those children, 106,600 ate food that exceed the EPA's own safe daily dosage level for adults by 10 times or more.
The foods found to most likely contain unsafe pesticide levels are peaches, apples, nectarines, popcorn and pears. Among baby foods, pears, peaches and apple juice had the highest levels.
The problem is much worse than we can even imagine. We have no way of knowing the true extent of the illnesses and deaths that result from toxic pesticide exposure. A study in California reported that 16 out of 20 critically ill children that were transferred to a major medical center from smaller hospitals were wrongly diagnosed. They were actually suffering from acute pesticide poisoning.
The number of deaths each year from pesticide poisoning is staggering and grossly underestimated. Migrant farm workers suffer the most and their deaths and birth defects rarely show up on the lists of the dead, since they can't afford health care and fear reprisal by immigration authorities. They may never make it in to a hospital or to a doctor.
Business and industry have been waging chemical warfare on U.S. citizens for decades. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that more than 32 million workers are exposed to harmful substances from more than 3.5 million workplaces. Yet over the last 30 years, OSHA has issued only 170 citations to employers for not having proper procedures to protect against toxic substances leaving the workplace.
Solvents such as benzene, carbon disulfide, methylene chloride, and ketone are a few of the 49 million tons of solvents that are produced annually in the United States, and 9.8 million workers are exposed to them daily. They are in nail polish, paint, plastics, rubber cement, furniture and thousands of other products. They are absorbed through the skin or ingested.
Thousands of people are sickened and many die from these exposures annually.
We are under constant assault from industry sponsored chemical warfare every day:
 Asbestos, especially from construction workplaces, causing lung tissue scarring and cancer of the lining of the lung.
 Hormones from pharmaceutical workers, embalmers and farm workers cause many health problems for them and their families.
 Lead from employees who work in the lead smelting industries, fix batteries or radiators or who work at a shooting range can harm the brain, nervous system and kidneys.
 Cadmium from electroplating plants, paint pigments and solder is linked to lung and prostate cancer and even low level exposure can be harmful.
 PCBs and other chlorinated hydrocarbons come home with firefighters, plastics workers or those who work with electrical transformers and can cause cancer.
 Pesticides from farm workers, gardeners or park maintenance workers can easily be transported into the home and can cause many fatal illnesses.
Many pesticides are part of a deadly family of pesticides that came from chemicals that were developed as nerve gases during World War II. Please take that in for a moment. Chemicals that were specifically designed to kill all life forms quickly during wartime were approved by our government for use on our lawns, in our homes, and around our children. Toxic terrorism is taking place right now.
This family of organophosphate pesticides - nerve gases - were first synthesized in Germany before and during World War II. Tabun, Sarin, and Soman were made by Gerhard Schrader in the 1930s and '40s.
Sarin, still available today, is lethal to an adult human if only 1,700 mg gets on his or her skin. It doesn't even have to be taken internally to kill.
Sarin gained worldwide attention when on March 20, 1995, the Aum Shinrikyo, a terrorist group in Japan, placed Sarin on five subway trains traveling toward Kasumigaseki station. This subway stop is a common one for those working in Tokyo government offices. Twelve commuters died and over 5,000 were injured.
More than 100,000 human-made chemicals have been introduced into the environment in the past 50 years. More than 1,000 new chemicals are developed each year. Wherever you live, there are probably more than 250 synthetic industrial chemicals in your body that were not present in the bodies of your grandparents when they were your age.
A permanent ban on crop dusters would not only lessen a terrorist threat, but would lessen the daily toxic terrorism that is perpetrated on American lives and ecosystems - and all the Earth - every day. Pursuing the American Dream has many consequences. It is a trail covered with the blood of innocent children, women and men, considered by industry to be acceptable consequences of progress.
The losses in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania are tragic, and my heart goes out to the victims and their families. But sadly, their numbers pale in comparison to the yearly death toll from existing toxic practices in the United States and around the world. Let's extend our outrage to the other many hundreds of thousands of senseless deaths around our nation and the world that occur because of our business-at-all-costs model for economic growth.
We don't have to wait to demand action on chemical terrorism - it's here today.
1. Read the tragic stories of those who have been poisoned by pesticides at: http://www.getipm.com/our-loved-ones/memorium.htm
2. Find out about pesticide poisoning and learn of alternatives at: http://www.safe2use.com/
3. Track pesticide abuse from the Pesticide Action Network at: http://www.panna.org
4. See details of pesticide poisoning from the Soil Association
5. Visit the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides at: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/
6. The Rachel Carson Council's Guide to Pesticides can be found online at: http://members.aol.com/rccouncil/ourpage/samples.htm
7. Read the Environmental Working Group reports at: http://www.ewg.org/pesticides/
8. Read about the facts of the sanctions against Iraq from Voices in the Wilderness and from Citizens Concerned for the People of Iraq at: http://www.endiraqsanctions.org
9. Find out who your Congressional representatives are and e-mail them. Tell them that you want an end to ALL the senseless deaths that take place every year that are considered a consequence of progress and the pursuit of the American Dream. If you know your Zip code, you can find them at: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ziptoit.html
{Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D. is a writer and teacher in Seattle. He can be found watching at all the outpouring of support for the tragic deaths on September 11 while millions of children and adults die each year, unnoticed. Please send your thoughts, comments, and visions to him at: jackie@healingourworld.com and visit his website at: http://www.healingourworld.com}

Veggie Boy
07-12-2005, 09:10 AM
Christopher wrote:

I go back and forth, wondering, is he a paid misinformant? is he a paid agent provacateur?

I laughed when I read this. Although I think this is a very valuable forum - the only one I read or post to - I rally don't think that the big chemical cpmpanies are going to pay somebody to 'misinform' within this forum :lol:

I suspect that would not be overly concerned about this forum having an impact on their sales. Although we all like to think that we can change the world - I think most of us proceed on the basis that it starts in your own backyard.

I have not contributed to this debate - as I lack the facts to do so in a valuable manner. I will however admit - and this can be identified from threads tht ended well before Christopher or Jeff joined this forum - that I have used glyphosphate as a means of getting my property to where I want it, to implement my permie practices. I took the pragmatic approach, but was sure not to end up dependant on this product.

Having read parts of this thread - I find it a bit tiresome, so have not read it all - I admit that I have changed some of my views on glyphosphate. While I am not convinced that it is as bad as some express here - I cannot be sure of this and accordingly am not willing to expose myself, my family or my soil to it anymore. A couple of areas that I have yet to deal with on my land will now be copping solarisation with black plastic before I put down my mulch. In the past I would have given the area a whack of glyphosphate.

Of course plastic is toxic and the process to produce it is not sound, it is not biodegradeable (though I will not be leaving it down of course) etc., but this is my best option. I used to sheet mulch using newspaper - before I resorted to a bit of glyphosphate use - but the termites had a field day with this and I am not willing to risk the house that my family lives in.

07-12-2005, 10:23 AM

I keep telling myself, don't go back to that thread, stay away.... and I keep getting sucked back in.

:oops: Um, okay, perhaps I AM paranoid..... :lol: , um, so we can whittle the list down to one of the other options, then.

But Monsanto and many other companies do have a long track recod of paying people to change perception. Market practices include paying people to write letters to the paper saying that their products are "safe", good, better than brand X, etc.

I read a book at university about marketing, and "branidng", getting people to identify with a product (scarily easy to do...). It wasn't for a class, so I can't remember the name, but it was all about manipulation for marketing... how a certain cigarete came in green packs in the 1930s because green as a dress color was fashionable, about paying people to go to bars and ask for and buy a new brand, etc, etc, etc. The maniuplations were really sneaky, and I realized that I had been manipulated subtly for most of my life! I have been leery of marketing ever since, and perhaps seeing it where it isn't.

So when I see someone who comes here, a permaculture forum, and a high percentage of his posts saay that Round Up is safe (never aknowledging the growing catalogue of info that Frosty has provided which says otherwie), who isn't interested in permaculture, who can't tell us why he's here.... I get, um, paranoid.

Monsanto was summonsed and fined in New York State court for saying Round Up was safe. They still say it is safe, and they hire people to say it. When the largest proponent of Round Up here says Round Up is safe, and originally quoted the Monsanto line that Round Up controls erosion, therefore Round Up is good, I get, um, paranoid.

And I have said several times here that althoug I would never buy or use any product made by Monsanto, ever, period, (etc), I can see a place for it in agriculture, and especially that such use may be extremely valuable for pioneering a new area.

This guy named.... uh... Paul Somethingorother (Sprecher?), in Australia, has an amazing agroforestry system, and his species index is very impressive. He used Round Up in the beginning, and that is fine as the end result is definitely worth the limited and controlled use of a chemical that still scares me.

I am not a purist, I just don't like half truths and unanswered questions....


07-12-2005, 04:24 PM
talking about marketing and perceptions this is part of an artcile about MCS but shows how the drug companies are also making pesticides

Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry is also involved in the effort to suppress MCS. Drug companies, which usually work with the medical profession to try to help patients, are working to deny help for those with MCS. This is extraordinary, but can be explained by the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is intimately linked to the chemical industry. That is, many companies that make medications also manufacture pesticides, the chemicals most implicated in causing MCS and triggering symptoms in people who are chemically sensitive. For example, Novartis (formerly Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz) is a pharmaceutical company that makes and sells the widely used herbicide atrazine.3 This helps explain why a Ciba-Geigy lobbyist submitted material to a New Mexico legislative committee in 1996 opposing all legislation related to MCS and declaring that the symptoms of people with MCS “have no physical origins.”4 The legislation being proposed would have, among other things, funded a prevalence study of MCS, an information and assistance program and “800” telephone number, hospital accommodation guidelines, and an investigation of housing needs of people with MCS.5

Novartis is also a large manufacturer of the organophosphate insecticide diazinon,3 a neurotoxic pesticide currently being reviewed for its safety by the US Environmental Protection Agency.6 The EPA recently banned a related organophosphate pesticide, chlorpyrifos (commonly sold as Dursban), from household uses because of concern about its toxicity, especially to children.7 The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly used to be a part of DowElanco (now Dow Agroscience), the primary manufacturer of chlorpyrifos.8 Aventis (formerly Hoeschst and Rhone-Poulenc) manufactures the allergy medicine Allegra as well as the carbamate-containing insecticide Sevin (active ingredient carbaryl).9 Monsanto, known for making Roundup and other herbicides, is a wholly owned subsidiary of a pharmaceutical company called Pharmacia.10,11 Zeneca manufactures pesticides12 and pharmaceuticals (AstraZeneca), including drugs to treat breast and prostate cancer, migraine headaches, and epilepsy13 – illnesses whose cause or exacerbation have been linked to pesticide exposures.

Pfizer and Abbott Laboratories make both pharmaceuticals14 and pesticides,15 while BASF makes pharmaceutical ingredients and pesticides.16 Even Bayer, famous for making aspirin, manufactures the popular neurotoxic pyrethroid insecticide Tempo (active ingredient cyfluthrin).17 Novartis, Ciba, Dow, Eli Lilly, BASF, Aventis, Zeneca, and Bayer are all members of the American Chemical Council (formerly the Chemical Manufacturers Association), as are other pharmaceutical manufacturers, such as Dupont, Merck, Procter & Gamble, and Roche.18

The pharmaceutical industry has been able to spread misinformation about MCS and limit the amount of accurate information received by physicians and other health care providers through its financial influence over medical journals, conferences, and research. It is well known that magazines containing cigarette ads are less likely to publish anti-smoking articles. Similarly, because medical journals rely on pharmaceutical advertisements for funding, they are not likely to publish positive MCS articles. In fact, researchers supportive of MCS have long complained that it is very difficult to get their studies published in the medical literature. Pharmaceutical companies may also influence medical organizations such as the American Medical Association, whose funding relies in large part on the sales of drug advertisements in its journals,19 and the American Academy of Family Physicians, whose major donors are drug companies.20

Corporate financing of medical conferences has also been shown to bias the information presented.21 Since continuing medical education is becoming increasingly reliant on corporate sponsorship, industry influence over physician education is a growing concern in the medical community.22 Other ways the pharmaceutical industry can influence physicians are also of concern. In a 2000 Journal of the American Medical Association article,23 the author states that “physicians have regular contact with the pharmaceutical industry and its sales representatives, who spend a large sum of money each year promoting to them by way of gifts, free meals, travel subsidies, sponsored teachings, and symposia.” The study concludes that “the present extent of physician-industry interactions appears to affect prescribing and professional behavior and should be further addressed….” This is especially true regarding the effect that the pharmaceutical and chemical industries have had on physicians’ professional behavior in response to MCS. Because they do not receive appropriate and accurate information on MCS during their training or from medical journals and continuing education courses, physicians have been largely unprepared to deal with chemically sensitive patients. As a result, their responses to MCS patients have tended to range from dismissive to blatantly hostile.

One example of the pharmaceutical industry’s direct attempt to present anti-MCS information at a medical conference was at the 1990 meeting of the American College of Allergy and Immunology. Sandoz (now Novartis) was scheduled to sponsor a one-day workshop that characterized people with MCS as mentally ill.24 This company was a large manufacturer of pesticides and pharmaceuticals,25 including anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, and sedative medications.14 Therefore, Sandoz stood to benefit both from pesticides being exonerated as the cause of MCS and from people with MCS being treated with psychiatric drugs. As it turned out, people with MCS – outraged by the workshop – risked their health to protest the event and were able to shut it down.26

The pharmaceutical industry also influences research on MCS. First and foremost, it is not pursuing research on MCS (other than to perhaps fund a few studies to try to discount it), despite being a major source of funding for medical research to help those with other diseases. Secondly, as was evident when the Ciba-Geigy lobbyist opposed funding for MCS research in New Mexico, the industry is not only refraining from doing research on MCS itself but is attempting to block research by others as well.

A recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine outlined a myriad of ways that financial ties with the pharmaceutical industry may influence physicians.27 “The ties between clinical researchers and industry include not only grant support, but also a host of other financial arrangements. Researchers serve as consultants to companies whose products they are studying, join advisory boards and speakers’ bureaus, enter into patent and royalty arrangements, agree to be the listed authors of articles ghost written by interested companies, promote drugs and devices at company-sponsored symposiums, and allow themselves to be plied with expensive gifts and trips to luxurious settings.” In fact, some industries, including the tobacco industry, have paid authors up to $10,000 to publish letters in high-profile scientific journals.28,29 The author of another New England Journal of Medicine article wrote, “The practice of buying editorials reflects the growing influence of the pharmaceutical industry on medical care.”30 Since these conflicts of interest are increasingly encroaching on the medical profession in general, it is highly likely that some of them apply to physicians opposed to MCS as well.

07-12-2005, 07:38 PM
The only way to decide this dispute that I can see is pistols at ten paces! Winner take all.

07-12-2005, 07:55 PM

08-12-2005, 05:05 AM
In fact, some industries, including the tobacco industry, have paid authors up to $10,000 to publish letters in high-profile scientific journals.28,29 The author of another New England Journal of Medicine article wrote, “The practice of buying editorials reflects the growing influence of the pharmaceutical industry on medical care.”

This is why I get paranoid. They are so manipulative, and thge line between pharmaceuticals and pesticides is so blurred that many pharmacetical companies make pesticides now.

Anyway, Frosty, thanks for sharing that!


08-12-2005, 07:58 AM
Rainbow...I can't believe how long I sat here watching those two little guys. The ending was spot on!