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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ROUND-UP, and similar products, linked to spike in chronic diseases


 A new study published in the Journal of Organic Systems has linked glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, Roundup, to an enormous increase in chronic diseases. The study proved – once again – that glyphosate and Round-up are lethal, even in small amounts.

More than 650,000 metric tons of glyphosate products were used over five years ago, with the amount being used increasing each year. This increase is contributing to the development of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, lipoprotein metabolism disorder, Alzheimer’s, senile dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, autism, and cancer. 

The report details how there is a direct correlation between the incidence of these diseases and glyphosate use. It isn’t as if the toxicity levels of glyphosate are not already known by its makers. Monsanto was refusing to release to the public lab tests conducted in St. Louis,, which gave them authority to use glyphosate in China.

The poison developed by the Monsanto Company has been allowed on the US market since the 1970s. It isn’t just Monsanto who sells glyphosate at retqai8ol. There are over 100 different manufacturers of the product throughout the world. You can find it in other products with names such as Killzall, Clearout 41 and Honcho.

Although glyphosate is used primarily in agricultural settings, it is also sprayed by public authorities on roads and pavements. Even home gardeners still use the toxic chemicals to control weeds, although alternatives exist.

 According to the new study:


“Within the last 20 years there has been an alarming increase in serious illnesses in the US, along with a marked decrease in life expectancy (Bezruchka, 2012). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the cost of diabetes and diabetes-related treatment was approximately $116 billion dollars in 2007.

Estimated costs related to obesity were $147 billion in 2008 and cardiovascular diseases and stroke were $475.3 billion in 2009. Health care expenditures in the US totaled 2.2 trillion dollars in 2007 (CDC, 2013a). The onset of serious illness is appearing in increasingly younger cohorts. The US leads the world in the increase in deaths due to neurological diseases between 1979-81 and 2004-06 for the 55-65 age group (Pritchard et al., 2013).”

The study points out that, “these findings suggest environmental triggers rather than genetic or age-related causes,” especially since chronic diseases are showing up in younger and younger individuals.


“During this same time period, there has been an exponential increase in the amount of glyphosate applied to food crops and in the percentage of GE food crops planted (Benbrook, 2012). We undertook a study to see if correlations existed between the rise of GE crops, the associated glyphosate use and the rise in chronic disease in the US.”

My advice; Read the label on any herbicide or insecticide you’re thinking of buying.  Make sure it can’t harm pets, children, birds etc. besides killing weeds or bugs.
  






OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton. 

 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Killing all the bugs in your yard means saying goodbye to birds too.


 
In Texas, all but one species of wild bird (even those that eat seed like Cardinals) feed their newborns nothing but insects. They’re easier to digest since newborn birds don’t have fully developed digestive systems! When they leave the nest, young birds learn to find and eat seed – maybe at your birdfeeder with the help of their parents.  The exception is Finches, whose nestlings can eat seeds.

 
If the parents can’t find bugs to feed their newborns, they’ll
probably go elsewhere.

 

 

 
 
 
 
Avoid stale seed or birdseed mixed with other stuff  Birds will NOT eat “other stuff” but you are charged for it nonetheless. The “other stuff” tends to be twigs, plant stalks, stones, dirt and empty hulls left from the production process.  Birds don’t like stale seeds either, and will quickly fly elsewhere for a decent meal.

Short of tearing open the bag in the store, you can’t tell if seed is mixed with other stuff. But if you find it when you get home, complain to the merchant or shop elsewhere next time. From my years running a birding store I know that the middleman charges a tiny bit extra (about a penny a bag) for cleaning the seed. This charge, and the service, is usually the first to go in a price war. I’ve run across this at a nearby Tractor Supply, and a Wild Bird Unlimited in Flower Mound, so I don’t shop there.

Seed is also suspect when bought from many grocery stores and “big box” stores. It’s likely to have been sitting on store/warehouse shelves losing nutrition hourly. Stale seed is avoided by birds since it’s not nutritious anymore, and they need nutrition to survive.

 


 

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.