Originally published October 22 2013
El Salvador bans glyphosate
by Rebecca Winters
(NaturalNews) While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was busy doubling (and in some cases quadrupling) the amount of allowable glyphosate residue on certain foods, the nation of El Salvador actually heeded the grim data surrounding the herbicide's disastrous effect on our environment and everything in it and decided to outright ban the chemical.
Glyphosate, the number one ingredient in biotech giant Monsanto's best-selling Roundup herbicide, was banned in El Savador, along with 52 other harmful chemicals, this past September.
A wealth of independent (read: not funded by Monsanto or Big Agra interests) research been published over the last year to further affirm the havoc wreaked by the now ubiquitous chemical, most notably, award-winning scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini's genetically modified corn toxicity study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicity last fall. Seralini and his team found that feeding rats Monsanto's glyphosate-resistant GMO corn resulted in massive bodily system failures, including chronic hormone and reproductive disruption, severe liver and kidney damage and the formation of large tumors which may have been, according to the study, a result of endocrine disruption linked to Roundup.
Other recent research continued to confirm the link between glyphosate and Colony Collapse Disorder, the mass wipeout of America's honeybee population. This is especially troubling, considering the fact that bees are responsible for pollinating every third bite of food on our forks in this country.
In addition, studies have shown that the promises made when genetically modified, glyphosate-resistant crops were introduced back in the mid-1990s have not been kept. GMOs were supposed to herald the use of less agricultural chemicals worldwide, but in fact, one study surveying the 15 years following the first widespread proliferation of GMO crops back in 1996 found that herbicide use increased a whopping 527 million pounds during that time.
Those pesticides continually contaminate soils, water sources and, eventually, people's dinner plates.
Glyphosate-resistance has actually created an out-of-control chemical roller coaster that never ends, as pests are mutating into glyphosate-tolerant superbugs, and weeds are giving rise to millions of hectares of glyphosate-tolerant superweeds. Because Mother Nature keeps outsmarting the biotech industry, farmers who grow genetically modified crops are required to play a never-ending game of agricultural catch up, using ever and ever higher amounts of chemicals to keep getting the same yields from their fields as the previous year.
The majority of corn and soybeans in the U.S. - the top two crops subsidized by the nation's government - are genetically modified to be glyphosate-resistant. Perhaps that is why the EPA recently doubled the allowable glyphosate residue limit on oilseed crops, including soybeans, flax and sesame from 20 parts per million (ppm) to 40 ppm. Allowable glyphosate contamination in carrots was also raised from 0.2 ppm to 3 ppm, while sweet potatoes went from 0.2 ppm allowable glyphosate residues to a 25-fold increase of 5 ppm.
In the meantime, our USDA allows the biotech industry to continue to essentially regulate itself. All these Big Agra companies have to do is provide information to the government stipulating that their GMO crops do not pose any more of a plant-pest risk than an eqiuvalent non-GMO crop, and the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) can approve their petitions - and voila! The new GMO crops are able to be introduced into the environment without any further government regulation or oversight. In short, our government has a big fat rubber stamp, and it's busy using it.
The overall cycle spells disaster for the future of our planet. Hopefully, other countries see what El Salvador has done, and that trend catches on - before it's too late.
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