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The other side of the use of glyphosate

December 19, 2018
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

On page six of your Dec. 5 paper is an article titled: "Just say No to fertilizers." But the article dwells largely on an herbicide containing glyphosate, sold as Roundup. Here are the facts that reveal this is not as much of an alarming product as painted in your story.

Glyphosate is equivalent to man-made salt. Salt kills weeds by dehydration. The ingredients in Roundup break down in soil generally within two weeks, so they do not get leached into surrounding waters without sufficient precipitation falling during that time period. As we all know, south Florida has an extended dry season without rain, during which time glyphosate may disappear.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic in humans." Glyphosate joins that list along with red meat and drinks hotter than 65 degrees celsius. Wow, I'm surprised they didn't include drinking milk and eating food that has been microwaved when it's too hot.

Hyperbole is not news reporting. The author claims Roundup, when dispensed from a sprayer, has been shown to drift a quarter of a mile on calm days. Look, if you take Roundup in a crop duster airplane and fly two miles high, Roundup will drift at least two miles! So what? This is fear mongering!

Roundup For Lawns is a separate product from Roundup and does not contain glyphosate-is this perhaps being used by lawn care companies on Fort Myers Beach?

Glyphosate inhibits a metabolic pathway used only by plants, fungi, and bacteria. It does not appear to be dangerous for birds, insects, or other animals to consume. Thus, our EPA and the European Commission have reapproved the use of glyphosate. Why is this side of the story not told in last week's article?

Leon Moyer

Fort Myers Beach

 
 

 

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