Glyphosate was quickly adopted by farmers, even more so when Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant crops, enabling farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops. In 2007, glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States agricultural sector, with 180 to 185 million pounds (82,000 to 84,000 tonnes) applied, and the second-most used in home and garden market where users applied 5 to 8 million pounds (2,300 to 3,600 tonnes); in addition, industry, commerce, and government applied 13 to 15 million pounds (5,900 to 6,800 tonnes).
With its heavy use in agriculture, weed resistance to glyphosate is a growing problem. While glyphosate and formulations such as Roundup have been approved by regulatory bodies worldwide and are widely used, concerns about their effects on humans and the environment persist.
Glyphosate's mode of action as an herbicide is to inhibit a plant enzyme involved in the synthesis of the aromatic amino acids: tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine. It is absorbed through foliage, and minimally through roots, and translocated to growing points. Because of this mode of action, it is only effective on actively growing plants; it is not effective as a pre-emergence herbicide. Some crops have been genetically engineered to be tolerant of glyphosate (i.e., Roundup Ready, also created by Monsanto Company). Such crops allow farmers to use glyphosate as a postemergence herbicide against weeds, but the development of glyphosate resistance in some weed species is emerging as a costly problem. Roundup Ready soybean was the first Roundup Ready crop.
Many regulatory and scholarly reviews have evaluated the relative toxicity of glyphosate as an herbicide. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment published a toxicology review in 2013, which found that "the available data is contradictory and far from being convincing" with regard to correlations between exposure to glyphosate formulations and risk of various cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). A meta-analysis published in 2014 identified an increased risk of NHL in workers exposed to glyphosate formulations. In March 2015 the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer published a summary of its forthcoming monograph on glyphosate, and classified it as "probably carcinogenic in humans" (category 2A) based on epidemiological studies, animal studies, and in vitro studies."
See more @ Wikipedia
- GlyphosateTechnical Fact Sheet @NPIC
- Glyphosate – The New Bogeyman
- Roundup/Glyphosate Background Materials @Monsanto
- Glyphosate @ Pesticide Information Profile
- Glyphosate poisoning. @ PubMed
- Glyphosate and Roundup Brand Herbicides
- Why The Netherlands Just Banned Monsanto’s Glyphosate-Based Herbicides