Ecologist: ‘Heavily scrutinized’ glyphosate not a ‘highly toxic chemical’

testing treating body glyphosate

[Editor’s note: Frank Hassler is chief ecologist with Good Oak Ecological Services, which works to provide sustainable landscaping and land restoration]

As a professional ecological land manager and lifelong environmentalist, I find myself in a strange position these days defending pesticides, in particular the herbicide glyphosate.

When carefully targeted and used with due caution, herbicides are an extremely effective and efficient tool to control weeds and invasive plants. In fact, they can have considerably less environmental impact than the many “traditional” control methods. For example, tilling a weedy field often leads to erosion and siltation in local streams. Glyphosate allows the use of no-till farming practices that drastically reduce erosion. Pulling weeds like garlic mustard disturbs the soil, and weeds, including garlic mustard, thrive in disturbed soils. Don’t forget that gas-powered digging and mowing tools are a major source of urban air pollution.

Certainly, we should be cautious about any artificial chemical that people or wildlife come in contact with. And like medicines, we should use as little as possible and only when necessary. But what we know about glyphosate, a chemical that has been heavily scrutinized over the past few decades, is that it is largely safe when used correctly. Let us please base future discussion and policies on facts and reason, not accusation and trumped-up rhetoric.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Frank Hassler: Glyphosate is a valuable medicine for conservation

Related article:  94 scientists back IARC's glyphosate assessment, may influence EPA review of herbcide
Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend