Viewpoint: Roundup is a ‘timid cousin’ of dangerous pesticides, and a blessing to agriculture

roundup
Image : SETH PERLMAN, AP

The public has found its witch to burn. Glyphosate — or, colloquially, Roundup — is shackled to the stake in front of a heckling public.

It’s folly. It really is. And it’s a red herring. The proliferation of synthetic, agricultural chemicals post-WWII does not reach its height with Roundup. Pound for pound, Roundup is a timid cousin to what’s out there. Its ubiquity makes it an easy target. I’m not the final word on this, and I won’t defend it as above reproach. But I can encourage perspective.

The media landscape surrounding agriculture is problematic. When news broke that trace amounts of glyphosate had been found on the popular breakfast cereal Cheerios, once again the pitchforks were raised.

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The problem lies with consumers who are willing to selectively suspend disbelief when it comes to food and food production. There are those who have chosen to consider a parts-per-billion finding to be alarming. It would be a telling exercise to report on what one wouldn’t find on a Cheerio using a parts-per-billion metric. And when a Monsanto — now Bayer — representative is called upon for comment, disbelief seems to be employed gratuitously.

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When the ag community responds with “observe the science,” the science itself and those conducting it are called into question as biased.

Read full, original article: Another Roundup red herring distracts from the real issues in agriculture

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