Mike Barrett, NaturalSociety, June 28, 2012
Water pollution and air pollution has been and continues to be a serious issue in many nations. Both of these pollution types are successfully bringing down the health of not only humans, but also animals, plant life, and the ecosystem as a whole. While the causes of water pollution and causes of air pollution are many, research is actually pointing a straight finger at GMO farming and chemicals like glyphosate for being important culprits.
Causes of Water Pollution – GMO Farming, Glyphosate Big Contributors
One groundbreaking study found that glyphosate, the active ingredient residing in the ever-so-popular Roundup product from Monsanto, is making its way into groundwater across the nation through widespread contamination of aquifers, wells, and springs. The explosive study that confirmed the contamination effect of Monsanto’s Roundup was published in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry in late 2011, where researchers discovered that 41% of the 140 groundwater samples taken from Catalonia Spain were actually above the limit of quantification.
The findings indicate that glyphosate actually doesn’t break down rapidly in the environment, and is continuously building up in concerning quantities. With glyphosate growing among the causes of water pollution, it is becoming more and more apparent that the chemical is polluting groundwater in alarming quantities, enough to pose a significant threat to the purity of drinking water wherever it is used.
How prevalent is this issue, really? One study conducted by a German university found very high concentrations of glyphosate in all urine samples tested. The amount of the chemical found in the urine was quite alarming, with each sample containing concentrations of 5 to 20-fold the limit established for drinking water. Unfortunately, the study doesn’t clearly say how many samples were tested for, and needs to be translated using one of the many translators available.
In addition, the issue of water contamination is only part of the pollution problem. Other findings, published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, came across glyphosate in 60-100% of all air and rain samples tested for. This shows that glyphosate is not only among causes of water pollution, but also resides in the air due to massive overuse.
While GMO farmers and other individuals using Roundup are the heavy contributors, biotechnology giant Monsanto is ultimately fueling water pollution surrounding glyphosate involvement. Monsanto is the world’s largest provider and producer of glyphosate, and dominates the genetically modified crops market. With many of Monsanto’s GM crops being resistant to glyphosate-containing Roundup, glyphosate is sprayed in massive amounts in order to function properly against the resistant crops. In fact, 88,000 tons were used in the US in 2007 alone.
Regarding glyphosate being found in rain and streams in the Mississippi River Basin, Paul Capel, USGS chemist and author of one study has this to say:
“Though glyphosate is the mostly widely used herbicide in the world, we know very little about its long term effects to the environment. This study is one of the first to document the consistent occurrence of this chemical in streams, rain and air throughout the growing season. This is crucial information for understanding where management efforts for this chemical would best be focused.”
With glyphosate becoming more of an issue and player in the causes of water pollution, it is becoming more apparent that the massive use of this chemical needs to cease.