I remember checking with colleagues, including weed scientists, each
of whom said that it was impossible because Roundup degraded almost
instantly. So, of course, being myself, I had to look it up and sure
enough, Roundup doesn't degrade instantly. It is bound to soil
particles, so doesn't "move", but has a half-life in soil of
something like 50 to 300 days, depending on soil type and moisture.
It remains physiologically active, but soil-bound, where some have
reported effects on soil organisms etc.
So, I filed this all away mentally until last week, when a colleague
reported on an unusual seminar he'd heard. Apparently a
farmer-breeder of potatoes in PEI had grown some GMO potatoes for a
major Canadian potato concern. The GE was not for Roundup
Resistance (RR), but for Bt, if I recall correctly. But for some
reason, he decided to spray Roundup on the potatoes and what do you
know, they were RR.
Then, being a farmer, he had the foresight to retain the tubers and
plant them out the next year. The tubers which had grown on plants
sprayed with Roundup the previous year had very weak emergence and
poor seedling growth. Reportedly (and I don't know this to be true,
as I'm getting this all second hand), the tubers had accumulated the
Roundup, which acted to suppress or retard growth when the tubers
were planted out the following year. I do not know if he had the
tubers tested for this, or surmised it.
This is rather intriguing. I'm wondering if anyone has seen studies
on the metabolic fate of glyphosate (and the various "inerts" such as
POEA) which are in Roundup) WITHIN the soybean or canola plant after
it has been sprayed? Could it stay there compartmentalized in the
seed, as in the apparent tuber example, and affect germination and
growth the following year? What happens to you and me when we eat
grain, vegetable oil, or french fries made from plant parts which
have accumulated glyphosate (if indeed, this happens)?
Could this be a factor in the 50% increase in soybean-related
allergies recently reported by a lab at York University in the UK?
They reportedly tested 4500 people for potential vegetable-related
allergies (using blood antibody levels as the indicator, coupled with
other symptoms) and for the first time in 17 years, soybean was in
the top 10 species causing allergic responses in people. They do not
know the soybeans to be GMO, but it seems likely as they were not
segregated at source and the trial was conducted last year. Ann
Dr. E. Ann Clark
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 2508
FAX: 519 763-8933
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