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What does the glyphosate spent so much controversy? How bad is it? So safe? Not hearing of the two? France reopened the ban this eternal debate by prohibiting their sale as a herbicide for common gardening.
At this point who has not heard of glyphosate and Roundup herbicide Monsanto? Defended tooth and nail by some and demonized endlessly by others, the fact is that the debate remains open. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the scientific community is positioned next to a clear battlefield . Some other voices, however, are trying to raise alarm about the dangers of this substance. Do they have reason to do so? Let’s dare to enter a world that rises over a blister and explain what we know.
France against glyphosate
Just recently listened to the French Minister of Ecology, Ségolène Royal confirm that France withdraw permission for gardening commercially available products with glyphosate. Although he has not given more details for the moment, it is expected that the decision only affects the sale of products for garden and not for professional agriculture. This action plan would be framed within the French Ecophyto II and would come after the popular petition to prevent the common use glyphosate among the population. This request would come from the product categorization within the group 2A in the catalog IARC by WHO. In fact, this classification already given that talk a few months ago. Yes, it is important to sift through the facts and statements to understand what is happening. At first glance, it appears that a government ban commercial sale for gardens is an endorsement of their insecurity. But let’s look more closely.
With this argument we will not defend the use or glyphosate, but to try to understand the French government. Luckily, this is one of the governments that more and better listen to their citizens, who have been demonstrating for decades they have an independent opinion that has to be heard. The motion of censure against glyphosate, in fact, is an example. But now look: first, the motion is just par for sale in gardens , which is less than 20% of glyphosate use. Not for commercial use agronomic, a landscape that is more difficult to appreciate by users. That should tell us something. On the other hand, categorization IARC, placing it as a product with “probable carcinogenic consequences” for humans rise glyphosate fourth security status, just one below.
That means that it is, according to the IARC, could have adverse consequences in certain specific circumstances (remember that the IARC is based on the precautionary principle). To give us an idea, mate, typical of some Latin American countries, grass is classified in the same group. The coffee, however, is classified in group 2B (one less level of security). Smoke from burning diesel cars, for example, gasoline is listed in the Category 1 , ie proven carcinogenic. Yet cars are still there. With this we must understand that the IARC makes a number of recommendations based on studies but not take legislative decisions. Another important detail is that it still has not exposed the full report on glyphosate by the IARC.
What is known about glyphosate?
The current debate is mainly lives for two Positions: who says that glyphosate is bad for health and agriculture; and who explains that is safe as a whole. Glyphosate is a broad spectrum herbicide that is, used to kill many types of plants without being too selective, so that it is used against weeds. It is absorbed by leaves and acts in the shikimate pathway (it is a complex metabolic pathway common plants use to form secondary compounds and other things they need). The animals do not have this route or the need . For this reason, it is a theoretically harmless to other living things other than plants herbicide. The multinational Monsanto patented many years its Roundup herbicide along with a variety of transgenic soy resistant to this herbicide. However, 15 years ago that Monsanto has no patent on glyphosate, which is available almost anywhere as a common herbicide. Moreover, although in Europe it is not soy “RoundUp” ready , GM, using
Several studies funded by Monsanto were retracted his false glyphosate still used as a herbicide commonly used for all kinds of plants, having very little to do with GMOs.
At the time, several studies promoted by Monsanto were dismissed (and laboratory convicted) for malpractice and interests. Meanwhile, EFSA, FDA and WHO catalog glyphosate as a low-toxicity for the purpose for which you have stipulated. That is, according to these organizations, which are the benchmarks for our food security and health, glyphosate is safe as long as the plants continue using it as before. Some studies show that, indeed, glyphosate can remain in trace remains, that is, in small amounts, tiny, in the vegetables we eat. But, as previous agencies, these radicals are, according to studies, harmless. However, several studies not many compared, such as Séralini or Carrasco, indicating that at certain concentrations of glyphosate, it can be terribly toxic. There are also some studies that link to small amounts of the product with the mutation of the cells of our own sistema immune.
The controversy is served cold plate
However, both the article Séralini like Carrasco have been refuted. In fact, Séralini was retracted, and Séralini, with his team, criticized by a study wrong and manifestly false . In the case of Carrasco, or last on the immune system, the data is not conclusive, having problems of methodology or sample, so that ultimately mean nothing from a scientific point of view. In fact, some tests in the laboratory show that glyphosate has a half lethal dose (LD50) of less than caffeine, for example, which means that equal amount by die before coffee glyphosate. With this, I just want to show that the dose is the secret, because every day we are exposed to deadly agents without suffering terribly one iota. Moreover, some of these agents are actually substances that allow us to live (medicines and food, for example).
The main health agencies strictly represents that its use is secure There are actually other more toxic and commonly used herbicides, which will retiring as are the necessary evidence. These same evidence sought on glyphosate, have managed to raise its category at IARC group 2A, a panel recommendations that are other worldly goods use. But it has failed the scientific consensus see any significant risk .
The only legislation against the French, the more it seems arising from fear that evidence, really. A step to please than to face a real danger . Or if not, why not remove it from the field, which is really where it is used on a massive scale? In short, although the debate is still there seems to be more subject to socio-economic issues (such as agricultural policy, use of monocultures, social controversy fraud laboratories on both sides) than a scientific issue. For now there is no strong evidence that tells us that we should worry about glyphosate. So you better deal with the controversy from the cold and calm. Only then can we clearly discern between fact and opinion
June 15, 2015
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