Glyphosate herbicide cancer fears could turn electricity, microwaves into viable weed-killing tools

x power png
The XPower system kills plants in less than a second by pulsing electricity through them to destroy the vascular bundles that transport water and nutrients. Image: XPower

Concern about glyphosate – the world’s most widely-used weedkiller – has been growing since 2015, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said it was probably carcinogenic.

[Editor’s note: Most experts say glyphosate probably doesn’t cause cancer.]

In their efforts to minimize pesticide use, some are refining abandoned weed-killing technologies of the past – such as zapping weeds with electricity.

“The first patents were in the 19th Century: there were trials on the railroad but they never succeeded because the energy was hard to control,” says Karsten Vialon of precision farming supplier AGXtend.

But, he says, as weeds have developed resistance to herbicides, and environmental and health concerns have come to the fore, electricity has become a viable alternative once again.

Related article:  Effective science communication, personal engagement changes anti-GMO bloggers mind

The XPower system …. kills plants in less than a second by pulsing electricity through them….” We can destroy any plant ….” [Vialon said].

Meanwhile, a new device created by the University of Melbourne and spun off into a company called Growave is undergoing trials in Victoria.

Just as a domestic microwave warms food, so the microwaves emitted by the Growave system heat up the water molecules within weeds and cause them to vibrate. This ruptures the cell walls, killing the plant.

Read the original post

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