The public conversation around glyphosate is all flowing in one direction. A cluster of environmental campaigners, organic food activists and crusading scientists are dominating the discussion around the controversial herbicide.
Over the last few weeks, groups like the Organic Consumers Association and Beyond Pesticides have blitzed the North American media with news releases and social media activity to convince the public that glyphosate is a grave risk to human health.
Meanwhile, North American farm groups and growers who use glyphosate say little or nothing in defence of the herbicide. The silence is surprising, seeing how glyphosate is a critical tool for weed control and that dozens of regulatory bodies around the world, including the European Food Safety Authority and Health Canada, have concluded that the herbicide is not a health risk.
The absence of public support from farm groups means ag industry groups such as Crop Life Canada are left to do much of the work defending the safety and benefits of modern agriculture.
“That’s why I’m suggesting that farmers take a crack at it, as well. Because I think that’s who people want to hear from,” said Owen Roberts, director of research communications at Ontario’s University of Guelph.
“I encourage all farmers to make communications, social media in particular, a part of their farm management strategy.”
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