Tag Archives: round-up. poisoning the soil

Organics on the rise in Europe.

Sales of organic food and drink in the UK rose by 6% last year to a record £2.2bn, fuelled by strong growth through independent outlets and home delivery which outpaced sales in rival supermarkets.

Almost 30% of all organic sales now take place online or on the high street, according to a new report from Soil Association, the trade body which licenses organic products and promotes organic farming.

In a sixth year of consecutive growth, sales have bounced back after plummeting following the recession. Last year’s £2.2bn figure – up from £2.09bn in 2016 – beats the pre-recession all-time high of £2.1bn in 2008.

The organic market is still dwarfed by the size of the overall food and drink sector – the largest manufacturing segment in the UK and now worth £112bn according to the the Food and Drink Federation. However, non-organic sales edged up by only 2% over the same period, the report says.

Sales of organic products in supermarkets rose by 4.2% to £1.5bn, while independents – delis, fine food stores, health shops, farm shops, farmers’ markets and retailers such as Whole Food Markets and Planet Organic – enjoyed a 9.7% sales jump to £359m. Home delivery services including box schemes saw a jump of 9.5% to £286m.

Consumers are also buying more organic items in non-food categories, snapping up beauty products, where sales rose 24%, and textiles, where sales soared by 25%.


Is glyphosate toxic to humans?

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it has found trace amounts of a widely-used and controversial herbicide in roughly 30 per cent of food products it tested, and residue levels above the recommended limits in nearly four per cent of grain products.

Canada’s food safety watchdog released a report this week outlining the results of its glyphosate testing program which looked at more than 3,100 samples of domestic and imported food products in 2015 and 2016.

READ MORE: The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15: 2017’s list of fruits, vegetables with the most pesticides

Testing used 482 samples of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, 2497 samples of grains (barley, buckwheat, and quinoa), beverages, bean, pea, lentil, chickpea and soy products and 209 retail samples of infant foods.

Here’s what the CFIA found when it tested food products for glyphosate residue and measured it against the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) set by Health Canada.







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Soil degradation.

Good morning working in a valley which was half layered with lantana mulch 6 years ago. Follow up should have been achieved earlier which made for some hard slashing. But to clear around emerging rain forest trees, self sown, is very satisfying. A variety too, from red, white and pencil cedars to rosewoods. The soil is teeming with life beneath the cover of lantana and in this area I have found discarded birds nests.

Me feeling quite satisfied  with my hardy brush hook.


No wonder with the huge increase in synthetic fertilizers and herbicides to maximize harvests. Banks and governments have a lot to answer for.

Davidson Plum tree in blossom. This plum makes the most delicious plum jam and for a savory twist, a sauce with chilli…………..I remember plum jam my Mother used to make and in my adult life always disappointed at a bought product. Then I tasted Davidson Plum jam and I would never buy a shop product again.

The Coral tree is still in full blossom and attracted King Parrots, lorikeets, honey eaters and Noisy minors. I have never seen such a variety of birds feasting which I put down to the killing/poisoning of the trees down the valley and the birds are seeking sustenance. Little else flowering as we wait for rain.



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Share this shocking new report with everyone you know….
A FDA-registered food safety laboratory tested iconic American food for residues of the weed killer glyphosate (aka Monsanto’s Roundup) and found ALARMING amounts.
Just to give you an idea of how outrageous these amounts are, independent research shows that probable harm to human health begins at really low levels of exposure – at only 0.1 ppb of glyphosate. Many foods were found to have over 1,000 times this amount! Well above what regulators throughout the world consider “safe”.


BSCFL is a project of Mullum Seed
Mullumbimby Sustainability Education and Enterprise Development Incorporated

Nadia de Souza Pietramale
Project Coordinator
0478 272 300

All the stories of farmers successfully shifting away from industrial agriculture give me hope that momentum for real change is building.
—Kristin Schafer, PAN executive director

Like our overuse of antibiotics, targeted plants with herbicides are also resisting and bouncing back, stronger than ever, while the residue of the poisons we apply leech their way into our soil, air and water.



Below is a photo I took yesterday when I went on a follow up walk in Zone 3, a regeneration site cleared and mulched with lantana 8 years ago. The regrowth of a variety of rain forest trees is incredible. Next to find an expert botanist who knows the id of emerging plants.

10 years on……what a fiasco.



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Myths of the Pristine………………Fred Pearce.

We live in what geologists are now calling the new Anthropocene, an epoch in which the planet is shaped primarily by humans. We need to get used to it. But we shouldn’t be depressed. For while one lesson of the Anthropocene is that nothing is pristine, another is that nature is resilient and resourceful. And while many endangered species are vulnerable to our activities, others like us. Humankind is not always bad news for nature. Some forests died, but others grew up to replace them. By breeding some species as crops and livestock, we increased the genetic diversity. And by moving species around the world ( as humans have been doing for thousands of years ) we have dramatically increased local biodiversity on a local level and which may have sometimes triggered a burst of evolution.



We have assaulted forests on a huge scale, yet where we have walked away, they have generally revived. This is especially true in the tropics, the area of our greatest current environmental concern. ” So called virgin forests have in fact undergone substantial prehistoric modification” says Kathy Willis. ” tropical forest eco systems are not as fragile as often potrayed, are in fact quite resilient. Left for long enough, forests will almost certainely regenerate”. There is, she says, no reason why that should not remain the case in the 21st century. The new forests won’t be pristine. But then, they never were.

From Myths of the Pristine.   THE NEW WILD      Fred Pearce.

In our present regeneration working site, as we unpeel the layers of lantana, tiny emerging rain forest are visible where a little light has been able to get through. In the site where we slashed, layered and pulled lantana last year, already a mass of scotch thistle, farmers friends and Giant devils claw ( remove the root of this one ) have flowered, and seeded, in the case of the thistle. I remove what ever maybe too close to an emerging rain forest tree and leave the rest for ground cover.  Next year, when the red, white and pencil cedars plus 10 more varieties of rain forest tree, have establish canopy ( yes, growth is incredibly fast ) another layer of introduced plants will colonize where the thistles ect grew. Within 5 years canopy shade will block out most introduced plants. Just as lantana filled the niche overgrazing and tree removal provided, now the thistle ect are the next plant stage which is nourishing and protecting our remaining soil.



And Denmark’s new tax.


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Citizen Science and a Fungi Map.



In our current regeneration area numerous fungi’s display amongst the mulched lantana. The emerging seedling is a red cedar.


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Wow, a whirlwind of media coverage on the damage glyphosate (Round-up) is possibly doing. Those of us who have been exposed and watching the effects of the local poisoning, know from close observation, it is a destroyer of a lot more than the target plant. Argument  aired last night that steam weeding and other means of removing unwanted plants, is more expensive in dollar terms, does not take into account the very real actual cost the invisible damage the herbicide does. Think of contaminated water for a start. Think of the spray drift, particularly on food we eat.  Also revealed was the million dollars the chemical company provides to the Pesticide regulator here in Australia.


Example below of irresponsible spraying along Left Bank Road, Mullumbimby.

I am a resident of the Gold Coast and am concerned with the well being of our country when it comes to toxins found in our food and environment, I am writing you this email to ask you for any kind of support or help that you can give me regarding this important matter and my petition https://www.communityrun.org/petitions/bunnings-warehouse-please-ban-cancer-causing-glyphosate-weed-killers.

As you may be aware, the WHO IARC recently classified glyphosate as a 2A class carcinogen and many countries as well as gardening retailers have decided to ban this hazardous product.

So far, nothing has been done in our country despite all this information supported by countless experts in the field.

Having said that, a lot have been achieved theses last few years by organisations such as Sumofus, Change.org and their Communityrun and many other in many fields of action.

I have therefore created a petition on communityrun.org

Roundup Fact Sheet

Photographed in our local Mitre 10 hardware.


Now for some positive news. recent European studies are finding net positive health out-comes for those of us who endeavor to support and consume Certified organic food.




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Rising anger at Round-up use.

More people are protesting at Council and land-care’s visible increase in the use of herbicides. Read the article and letter responses from the general public. Where is the leadership?


Another very successful and satisfying lantana slash and mulch here this morning. Numerous seedlings have sprouted at ground level so it is now “a weed around the emergent” as they appear.


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Snake skin.

The carpet snake discarded it’s skin yesterday.


A detailed article on soil in Sydney’s back-yard gardens.
And some of us here in our beautiful Shire think adding another contaminant in their use of herbicides is the only way.

Variation in toxicity among formulations and species makes it difficult to extrapolate results to all species and all formulations of herbicides. We exposed larval wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) from four populations to two glyphosate-based herbicides, Roundup Weed and Grass Control™ and Roundup WeatherMax™. 96 hour LC50 values for both formulations varied among the populations (RWGC: 0.14 to 1.10 mg acid equivalents (a.e.)/L; RWM: 4.94 to 8.26 mg a.e./L), demonstrating that toxicity varies among the formulations and that susceptibility may differ among populations. [Christopher Edge, Meghan Gahl, Dean Thompson, Chunyan Hao & Jeff Houlaha (2014). Variation in amphibian response to two formulations of glyphosate-based herbicides.

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, http://weedsnetwork.com/traction

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A chronic toxicity study on the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup and a commercialized genetically modified (GM) maize, Monsanto’s NK603, led by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini has been republished. The republication restores the study to the peer-reviewed literature so that it can be consulted and built upon by other scientists. The study found severe liver and kidney damage and hormonal disturbances in rats fed the GM maize and low levels of Roundup that are below those permitted in drinking water in the EU. Toxic effects were found from the GM maize tested alone, as well as from Roundup tested alone and together with the maize. Additional unexpected findings were higher rates of large tumours and mortality in most treatment groups. The study was first published in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) in September 2012[1] but was retracted by the editor-in-chief in November 2013 after a sustained campaign of criticism and defamation by pro-GMO scientists.[2] Now the study has been republished by Environmental Sciences Europe. The republished version contains extra material addressing criticisms of the original publication. The raw data underlying the study’s findings are also published – unlike the raw data for the industry studies that underlie regulatory approvals of Roundup, which are kept secret. The new paper presents the same results as before and the conclusions are unchanged. The republished study is accompanied by a separate commentary by Prof Séralini’s team describing the lobbying efforts of GMO crop supporters to force the editor of FCT to retract the original publication.

I recall numerous attacks on Seralini’s study on ABC Radio National’s Bush Telegraph, incidentally coinciding with the beginnings of the Steve Marsh case in Western Australia. Not holding my breath for this republished study to be heard.


A comment on Clive Palmer’s about face this week. Once he rids himself of his dirty coal operations and reinvests his enormous wealth ( from Australia’s Natural resources ) into sustainable clean energy projects, then he will gain some credibility.

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Round-up use visible on our road verges.

Ecological weed management. It can be done….

This week, weed scientists gathered in Washington D.C. for the National Academy of Science’s “National Summit on Strategies to Manage Herbicide-Resistant Weeds.” The major focus of the forum was the development of a “coordinated strategy” to handle the epidemic of superweeds resistant to RoundUp (glyphosate) and other weedkillers that now infest over 14 million acres of American cropland.

Weed ecologists have long been demonstrating the efficacy and profitability of non-chemical or ecological weed management. This cutting edge approach to weed management includes an array of techniques and practices that are grounded in ecological sciences and principles, reduce weed populations and prevent the evolution of herbicide resistance. Established tactics include crop rotation, planting cover crops, selection of competitive crop cultivars, mulching and minimal tillage (i.e. occasional inter-row cultivation over a multi-year rotation), advanced fertilization techniques that favor crop over weed, and conservation of weed seed predators.

Long-term cropping systems research at The Rodale Institute has demonstrated the efficacy and productivity of organic systems that have eliminated chemical herbicide use entirely, while regenerating the ecological health of soil, water, farm and landscape. Iowa State University scientists have demonstrated the ability of integrated weed management (IWM) in corn to reduce herbicide inputs by up to 94%, while obtaining profits comparable to conventional chemical-based systems.

….but will we?

Unfortunately, many weed scientists — including the Summit’s chair and others — have long and close associations with the Big 6 pesticide companies, which makes it very difficult for them to think independently of their corporate sponsors and/or former employers. It remains to be seen whether the academic community and  regulators who attended the Summit will confine themselves to the same herbicide-resistant crop paradigm that got us into this predicament, or whether they will dare to embark on a path of sustainable, ecological weed management.

In the coming months, USDA will decide whether or not to approve Dow’s 2,4-D corn. Meanwhile, Congress will decide whether or not to fund crucial conservation programs in the Farm Bill. These two decisions will demonstrate whether our elected officials and policymakers will commit to the path of sustainable agriculture that so many people so clearly want, or deepen American agriculture’s crippling chemical dependence.

Source. Pesticide Action network.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Not for bees and pesticides!

Bees are vital for food production (and mmm… honey) but studies show common pesticides are destroying colonies of bumbles and honey bees. Reyes Tirado explains these shocking findings in her latest blog.

Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of pesticides and GMOs, is trying to control the research so that we don’t know about it. Last year, the corporation bought Beeologics, the leading bee research centre.


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