El Salvador Bans Glyphosate Use


B. McPherson
Are you ready for Roundup in your baby's food?
In the fight to keep GM crops from polluting their fields legislators in El Salvador have banned the chemicals used on them, taking any advantage in buying GM seeds away. In total, 53 agricultural chemicals have been banned with glyphosate, paraquat and endosulfan topping the list.

Glyphosate was first developed as the herbicide Roundup, an effective killer of broad leaf plants. Monsanto developed a genetically engineered corn that wouldn’t die when sprayed with the chemical – Roundup Ready corn. The GM corn has been widely planted in the US as well as soybeans, canola  and sugar beets, all resistant to glyphosate.

The US has found over the years that superweeds that won’t die have evolved in many areas. Canada is starting to recognize the presence of superweeds as well. While that is troubling, questions have been asked about the widespread use of glyphosate and the health of people who ingest trace amounts in their food. The public has been assured on many occasions that the GM food is perfectly safe. The resistance of producers to label their products as genetically altered has created a vast, uncontrolled experiment with the public’s health. No one knows for sure that they have been harmed because no one knows for sure if they have been eating biotech foods.

Some countries have dealt with the problem by banning the growing of GM crops. In spite of that, they must constantly be alert to the smuggling of biotech seeds and the pollution of normal crops. The recent discovery of GM wheat grown in the US where it is banned, is but one example of the problem of stealth planting. This last week in British Columbia, Canada, politicians attending the annual Union of BC Municipalities voted 85% in favour of banning GM seeds, plants and animals from the province and urging the Provincial Government to institute legislation to do so.

The El Salvador move is not without opposition. The Trade Association called CropLife speaks for the biotech industry and is warning of dire crop failures if their products are not used. The El Salvador Associationof Coffee Producers  is calling for an extension of the use of the pesticide endosulfan, a hormone disruptor.

Independent scientific research is accumulating evidence of harm caused by glyphosate, paraquat and endosulfan. Canada has banned the use of the hormone disruptor, endosulfan. Perhaps it’s time to ban those other two bad boys.

Further Reading:
Toxicity of glyphosate herbicide: Science Direct 

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