Monsanto’s Roundup saturates Mississippi air and water, according to a new study—what about the rest of the country?
A study published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry on February 19, 2014 analyzed air and rain samples collected during the 1995 & 2007 grow seasons in the Mississippi Delta. While the study found less pesticides used in 2007, it also found similar concentration ranges in both years. Among the findings was that glyphosate (aka Roundup, the wildly popular and wildly controversial weed killer manufactured by Monsanto) was detected in over 75% of air and rain samples in 2007 (glyphosate wasn’t detected in 1995, though high concentrations of atrazine, a Syngenta-produced herbicide that has been shown to change the gender of frogs, has).
Now, that’s perhaps hardly surprising considering how much Roundup is likely sprayed in Mississippi agricultural areas—it is, after all, the world’s most popular herbicide. What’s worrying, however, is what the effects of that level of glyphosate saturation might have on the environment and human beings. I’d very much like to see studies of other areas of the country—especially non-agricultural areas and big cities.
The study abstract, via PubMed:
A variety of current-use pesticides were determined in weekly-composite air and rain samples collected during the 1995 and 2007 growing seasons in the Mississippi Delta agricultural region. Similar sampling and analytical methods allowed for direct comparison of results. Decreased overall pesticide use in 2007 relative to 1995 generally resulted in decreased detection frequencies in air and rain, but observed concentration ranges were similar between years even though the 1995 sampling site was 500 m from active fields while the 2007 sampling site was within 3 m of a field. Mean concentration of detections were sometimes greater in 2007 than in 1995 but the median values were often lower. Seven compounds in 1995 and five in 2007 were detected in ≥50% of both air and rain samples. Atrazine, metolachlor, and propanil were detected in ≥50% of the air and rain samples in both years. Glyphosate and its degradation product, AMPA, were detected in ≥75% of air and rain samples in 2007, but were not measured in 1995. The 1995 seasonal wet depositional flux was dominated by methyl parathion (88%) and was >4.5 times the 2007 flux. Total herbicide flux in 2007 was slightly greater than in 1995, and was dominated by glyphosate. Malathion, methyl parathion, and degradation products made up most of the 2007 non-herbicide flux. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC.
For more info on Glyphosate and how to keep it out of your diet, check the Ultraculture book Monsanto vs. the World: The Monsanto Protection Act, GMOs and Our Genetically Modified Future.