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APRIL 4, 2012 10:33PM

Zap It With Roundup? Think Again Before You Spray.

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Years ago, one of the big herbicide companies bioengineered corn and soybean seeds and sold them to farmers with the promise that the corn and soybeans would survive applications of their herbicide, Roundup.

The farmers were happy with the convenience of loading up their tanks and spraying Roundup at will. The farmers were happy with the high yields in corn and soybeans after applying liberal quantities of a substance that was so deadly for the flora.

They were happy until they found themselves having to douse the land with more and more Roundup. The costs were going up. The quantities were going up.

Something frightening was going on. 

We homeowners who owned larger than average plots of land came to love the big green and yellow containers. We snorted with murderous glee as we mixed the concentrate up by the gallon, then doused those pesky weeds with plant genocide in mind.

I  had a mother who never met a gallon of Roundup that she did not like. Eventually, I took over caring for the back half acre. After a few years, I came to notice that the weeds in the back half acre were calling out for me to feed them.

They loved a taste of Roundup. 

I grew up on that acre of land and had no memory of such weeds. The old folks around who owned their land for over 50 years shrugged it all off, figuring that the wind blew something in from the north.

Over the years, the weeds developed thicker stalks. By the time the Spring rains stopped and it was time to mow with the riding mower, the weeds were so tough that the job was impossible.

Where was the fescue and alfalfa that we grew for the horses? I was forced to hire the neighbor to come over with his big field tractor. The neighbor would have to disk everything to 16 inches. After that, the grasses came back and mowing would be an easy task for the rest of the 6 month California drought season.

But every year, the weeds would get more out of hand before they would dry out enough to mow.  


This is what Roundup has done. This is what I eventually had to clear out every Spring, after the stuff dried out enough to mow.



These are the weeds that we were destined to get when we started our ill fated marriage of convenience with our Roundup.  

According to GreenRightNow,

  • "Super weeds built up resistance to Roundup, creating a tidal wave of ever-taller, ever-more-resistant weeds, stymieing farmers, who had to buy more and more Roundup or face declining yields.
  • Herbicide use shot up. Monsanto sold a lot of Roundup – 4.4 million pounds in 2000, and by 2010, 57 million pounds, according to Beyond Pesticides.

Yes. The more Roundup we used, the more weeds we had to deal with the next year, and the next year, and the next year. 


 Milk Thistle

 So what did Monsanto do? 2-4D! This is a fantastic new herbicide that is safe for homeowners and farmers! And it is not proven as a carcinogen!

Seriously, little has been done to prove that 2-4D is not a carcinogen, either.

 "Animal studies detailed on Extonet, a compilation of university research, show that 2,4-d has caused reproductive problems for rats and low doses administered over two years produced malignant tumors."

It is not that 2,4-D will do anything right away, but the growing volume of application will assure that its residues linger on crops, gets into the soil and leaches into waterways.

And now, Monsanto wants to sell a variety of corn seed that resists 2-4D, restarting a cycle of profiteering that is now has historical precedent in Roundup and those great, bioengineered soybean and corn seeds.

It is the new business plan: creating a problem while claiming to solve a problem.

Buy the seed and douse the weed with more and more herbicide. If your endocrine system blows out, well WE didn't do it!  


From Reuters, 

 "With any technology there is risk," said Jim Borel, executive vice president of DuPont, which has projected strong growth in sales of insecticide, herbicide and pesticide products. "People tend to focus on either the problems or worse yet the fears that people create about potential problems.

"But," Borel said in an interview, "if we are going to feed 10 billion people in the next 40 years we have to essentially double agricultural production. We all have to work together. We have to be eyes wide open around the challenges and the risks."

So that's it folks! While DuPont rakes in the profit, WE are to be the eyes and ears even though we are not prepared, trained or equipped to catch the chemical companies at their game and when nature is no longer the same.  




UPDATE: 5 April.  The thistle is called Milk Thistle and it is an incredibly beneficial plant that we have been wasting and nuking with herbicides!

 According to Wikipedia, it is a genius of a medicinal and food plant. 

"...of the genus Silybum Adans., a flowering plant of the daisy family (Asteraceae)."


Milk Thistle helps with liver damage from exposure to toxic chemicals, hepatitis and chemotherapy drugs. 

Reduces the growth of certain cancer cells.

Reduces insulin resistance.


The roots can be eaten raw or boiled and buttered or par-boiled and roasted. The young spring shoots are boiled and buttered. The flower head are like globe artichoke. The stems are peeled and be soaked overnight to remove bitterness, Then they are stewed. The leaves are trimmed and boiled or added raw to salads.


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What a dream for the company who produced Roundup. The more you use, the more you will need! I can't help but wonder if the inventors of this product knew from the start what would occur? It scares me when I think of what products are in our food....
RoundUp is far more vile than we Americans realize. It should be boycotted from stem to stern and we all know Monsanto's track record of human indifference when it comes to ill-gotten gains.

Here's one article on its use in South America, where the military and the oil companies have sprayed it over vast swaths of land and people. It's a fucking nightmare. I cut up my Texaco card and sent it back to them with a nasty note after reading about this and that was 15 years ago.

All these companies know full well what they are doing, destroying the long term outlook for short term profit then playing dumb afterwards. One day they will have to answer when it's too late for them.
Unless I'm mistaken, Roundup is a broad-spectrum weed killer. 2-4D is a broadleaf weed killer. So 2-4D is not really a replacement for Roundup. Spray 2-4D on your lawn and the dandelions will die. Spray Roundup on your lawn and everything will die.
Ilovelife: I'm tempted to find out what food is in those incredible weeds! Remember Kudzu? Turns out it has incredible nutrition and medicinal properties. Any plant that is not poisonous sucks up vitamins, minerals, and makes its own phytochemicals. I have no clue what thistle that is, but would love to know. Anyone have a clue?
Harry: I wish I had had OS and the more developed internet skills back then! I would have banished the stuff! The photos are from the empty lot next door to where I live, believe it or not. I took the photos because it all looked so much like home.

Mishima: The only thing that Monsanto cared about was the corn and soybeans! Many of us found out about the devastating effects of Roundup getting onto the wrong plants!
Algis might know what kind of thistle and if he does he might also tell you what medicinal value it has. He has a lot of knowledge in that area.
Once again Icarus flies too close to the sun, and if I can invoke the Blog Commenters Bill of Rights, the section permitting the occasional use of mixed metaphors, and another Frankenstein is born. Where have all the flowers gone...When will they ever learn?
round-up is evil. know someone proud of property with these dead patches around out-buildings. prob full of alien weeds now. all these chemicals going into our bodies...
Thanks, L'Heure. Hopefully there will be an answer soon, because those leaves would make some killer greens...hopefully not really killer!

Abrawang: we truly do screw up when we mess with the stuff of attempted extinction. I read years ago that the organic freaks caused some plants to start producing their own protective chemicals...like nicotine and other poisons. This is why I don't eat organic. Here we go from Gaia Research:
"Plants raised for pest resistance and grown without artificial pesticides may produce high levels of natural toxins that pose risk to consumers (Jim Kirkland, Nutr 4510, Toxicology, Nutrition & Food, Dept Human Health & Nutrition al Sciences, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Fall, 2005).

Organically grown plants may each produce a minimum of 50 such natural pesticides. Prof Bruce Ames is quoted as saying that the average person consumes 1500mg of pesticides a day, of which 1499.91mg are endogenous toxins, the remaining 0.09mg being synthetic pesticides applied to the produce by the farmer. Indeed, selective-breeding of conventional, as opposed to organic produce has favoured plants that synthesise the least and the most endogenous toxins respectively. Organic systems provide increased opportunities for insect attack and chemical defense. All plants, but especially those with abundant foliage, produce endogenous toxins in defence against attack by insects and their larvae. Organic vegetables are subject to much more insect attack than and hence have concentrations of these toxins considerably higher than in those vegetables treated with exogenous pesticides. (Graham I, “Endogenous Toxins of Plants”, The Thought Field, 10(1), 2004); (Young J et al, Mol Nutr Food Res, 49(12), 2005)"


I do believe in some organic policies, though, but the pseudo science has to stop. It's killing us as quickly as the Koch Bros.
Myriad: I figure that the occasional weed is fine, but whole swaths of landscape are just not the place for these chemicals!

I haven't even started here with the problems with pesticides, and fertilizers...the phosphates and nitrates! Oh geez. Maybe the "evolved" humans need to go away for a while.
One years seeding, 7 years weeding.

You need to make sure those thistles don't seed. Cut them with clippers as they bud, attack them with a flame-thrower (you can buy ones designed for weeds).

Regular mowing will turn your meadow back into a meadow (or a lawn), but not if you let the unmowable weeds seed themselves every year.

I don't see why people need a manicured lawn with every blade of grass exactly the same as the other 100 million on the lawn. I have a nice lawn. It was a meadow that's mown. It looks nice underfoot. It looks nice. Sure, if you sit on it and examine the leaves, you will notice that it's not all grass. And occasionally a dandelion raises a cheery yellow head. In contrast, many manicured lawns have chemical burn brown spots.
Ah, the easy life. Let's just spray a little of this juice on those unwanted weeds and make it all better...

I can't believe anyone falls for the hype. The history of herbicides and pesticides goes back to the bad old days of chemical warfare. And now the harvest of chemicals is inside our bodies still as deadly as ever.

Spray this around my yard?? Never ever.
Time to rent Up in the Air again.

Thanks for this, Zuma. Had no idea how insidious this stuff is. I stopped using Roundup when we started keeping chickens. To kill the unwanted driveway and sidewalk flora I mix a batch of vinegar, salt and detergent, which works fine and leaves a delicious pickle aroma for days. Got the recipe off the Internet.
Like some dandruff shampoos, reportedly.
Boy am I glad I live on the 20th floor of a bldg.
Gawd. As a cancer survivor and suspicious person, I knew this stuff was bad news the minute I saw it, and my yard and garden has caught nary a spritz. My neighbor on either side however......one stands there every spring and empties a full bottle on his sidewalk.

ugh. Just ugh.
RoundUp is Crack! Lovely. That agricultural conglomerate is killing this planet. But they have paid off all of the politicians so it's okay.

I read an article a few years ago about India. Monsanto had convinced them to plant their seed instead of the crops they had been growing since time began. Monsanto caused a drought because their seed required 10x's as much water as the indigenous seed. I never read any more about it, so I don't know the outcome. Hopefully they went back to their historic ways of doing things but knowing Monsanto, they had some kind of contract that wouldn't allow it.

"Agri" shouldn't be a "business."
Thank you so much for sharing this about Round Up, maybe some of the people who use it will step away now. I've always hated the stuff and gone about doing things a more natural way when gardening.
There's a sci-fi screenplay in this story.
Thanks for posting this, zumalicious...what you noticed in your backyard sounds par for the course for Monsanto and its products. That company has a horrible environmental track record and uses ruthless/illegal tactics to get around environmental requirements. Among other things, they have been charged with monopolizing seed markets, tried to patent pigs born by a breeding method they developed, tried to create Terminator seeds, which produce sterile plants, so farmers are dependent on the company for any future crops. They develop genetically modified crops (which the EU has now put a stop to in Europe because of concerns about their safety). They are also one of the major companies that made Agent Orange dropped on Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, and later to be found to be contaminated with the carcinogen dioxin.

In 2005, they were fined for bribing a high-level Indonesian environmental ministry, to avoid having their genetically modified cotton undergo an environmental impact study. In 2007, the company was fined in France for false advertising, claiming that Roundup was biodegradable and left the soil clean after use (!).

Maybe one of the most dangerous things they try to do is monopolize seed markets, because diversity is so important in agriculture...if there is something that comes along and kills one kind of crop, it's important that other crops be able to grow. The silver lining is that partly in response to Monsanto, the heirloom seed movement and other organic farming movements have grown in the past years, too. Thanks for posting this...this company is so ruthless, and it is a danger to our environment.
Monsanto is a monster... they do everything from chemistry to lumber and leave nothing but twisted landscape in their path... kill the monster at it's root!!
I'm afraid I learned this lesson the hard way. Round-up had a real thing going on. My weeds had weeds. I can still get pissed off just thinking about it.
Organic Gardening rulez!!!

Plus, you can just throw stuff into a bin and call it a mulch!! ~nodding~ ~:D
I'm thinking I'll get a flame thingy and burn them.
It's always about the buck, isn't it? Not the people's health and well-being, but the almighty dolla dolla bill. So tragic.
This should be on the cover. We have destroyed ourselves with greed again. That is the common denominator with all the failures in this country, what has happened. It is so wrong.
Thanks for the info. I'll donate my big jug of Roundup to the chemical disposal people this spring. Does anyone have a natural solution for killing weeds?
@Con Chapman, it's been done: Day of the Triffids.
I have a love/hate relationship with posts where I can't acknowledge each person's contribution. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by, reading, and adding so much more to the discussion.

And yeah...where's my EP? Do I have to dip into my catalog of fake EP's?

Just kidding. Stephen King also did a short story about a plant that arrived inside of a meteor and took over the planet.

Still looking for a name for that plant. I would love to see if we can eat them.
OMG! The monster plant from hell turns out to be a great food as well as a medicinal giant with liver helping properties. We have been fools to kill these instead of paying a $5 per plant bounty so they can be used!
Great post! I love weeds. Hemp is a perfect example of our insanity. We need to start this world over again and do some things differently!