Tag Archives: Glyphosate

Episode 244. Five Years In

This is The ChangeUnderground for the week ending 1st of February 2021.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

A little foreshadowing as they say in the trade, I have a partnership announcement coming in the next few weeks. They’re currently dealing with a small tech issue, as we all do from time to time. The fit is great, the people are wonderful and their vision, truly inspiring. But more when we have our links set up and the venture is visible. Continue reading →

Episode 237. Nature Always Bats Last

This is The ChangeUnderground for the week ending 9th of November 2020.

I’m your host, Jon Moore 

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

We must realise, I think, how little we know. Compared with 3.8 billion years of evolution, no-till/no-dig farming is, at a scientific, measured and data collected level, about sixty years old. A major part of no-dig is the use of cover crops and they have been known about in ag for much longer. The combination of ground covers and no-dig though is a newish thing. Continue reading →

Episode 230. Evolution & Response

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 7th of September 2020.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil

Way back in episode 144 I delved into the misunderstandings we have to deal with when the word “Evolution” arises. To give a quick summary: There’s a feral pest in Australia called the cane toad. Introduced in the 1930s into the state of Queensland, against the advice of the scientists but in time for an election. The toads were supposed to eat the cane beetles ravaging the sugar industry at the time. The toad, once introduced, avoided the cane beetles and started chewing through native frogs, toads and reptiles. The toads carry a poison on their back, excreted through glands. These toads have spread south into northern NSW, north through Queensland and west into the Northern Territory. Continue reading →

Episode 226. We Need a Regeneration Revolution

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 11th of  August 2020.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

Soil

Today we’re going to discuss regeneration in particular regeneration of the soil and ecosystems. Over the last 50 to 75 years, basically since the second world war we’ve gone through a period of destruction. In effect a faustian bargain in which we gave up 1% of our topsoil every year in return for production returns. Continue reading →

Episode 213. Glyphosate, The Gut & A Surprising No-Dig Benefit!

This is the World Organic News for the week ending 11th of  May 2020.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

As a bit of a follow on from last week when I recommended the resources at NCAT ATTRA which are now free to download, link in these show notes too, I listened to their podcast this week. I listen to most of theirs unless the episode revolves around US Tax law or something equally not relevant to me. Continue reading →

Understanding Glyphosate

Glyphosate Now

The current situation with glyphosate is that it is now ubiquitous and we’ve been sold a pup. The theory was that glyphosate works on a certain channel in plant physiology, the shikimate pathway, and as animals don’t have this pathway, glyphosate couldn’t affect animals that is humans, insects and invertebrates. The reality though is very different.

Yet because of this sales pitch by Monsanto originally and then other glyphosate producers once it came off patent, means that glyphosate (Roundup) is everywhere. People drank the Kool-Aid. Now farmers will only use x amount of glyphosate because they’re running a business and they have costs to keep under control. The use of GMO corn and soybean and BT cotton and that sort of thing that works in conjunction with glyphosate has a certain level of use built into the system and because of the way it’s setup there’s enough glyphosate used to keep the crop safe but not destroy the income of the farmers. After all, parasites (Monsanto) never want to destroy their hosts (farmers).

Local Authorities

Continue reading →

Why the World Needs Regeneration

Soil

Today we’re going to discuss regeneration, in particular, regeneration of the soil and ecosystems. Over the last 50 to 75 years, basically since the second world war we’ve gone through a period of destruction. In effect a faustian bargain in which we gave up 1% of our topsoil every year in return for production returns.

Industrial Agriculture

We did this by using chemicals: chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides and herbicides and fungicides and it worked. There were lots of famines and people starving in the 1970s. A lot of the techniques developed with chemical inputs saved many people, kept them alive. But the cost! That bill is coming due and we need to pay for it now. If we wait the cost will be so much higher.

A few years back, maybe 20, the idea of sustainability started the kickoff and that was about holding the decline, holding things steady but even then that wasn’t enough. It was never going to be. You could see it then. Being sustainable was great but it wasn’t going to actually improve things and as we’re growing more people every year. We need to actually do something to improve and save our soils. Regeneration is about returning that which was ripped out of the soil by the use of agricultural chemicals. Continue reading →

167. Time For A Revolution Run By Gardeners!

This is the World Organic News for the week ending the 6th of May 2019.

Jon Moore reporting!

Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!

I came across a quote somewhere in my travels lately that just won’t leave my mind. I suspect it was from Charles Massie of Call of the Reed Warbler fame. (Link in the show notes.) The words were something like: Sustainability isn’t enough anymore we need to regenerate. This immediately put me mind of a Bill Mollison quote.
Quote:
“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”
End Quote
And clearly we are in a position where we need a revolution. Not the violent sort but a broad based, grassroots revolution in food production. We face the current effort, in Star Wars terms, of the Empire Striking Back is the EPA confirming Glyphosate as safe. From the reuters report: U.S. environment agency says glyphosate weed killer is not a carcinogen.
Quote:
May 1
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Tuesday that glyphosate, a chemical in many popular weed killers, is not a carcinogen, contradicting decisions by U.S. juries that found it caused cancer in people.
End Quote
Now the “science” this is based upon was provided by Monsanto. So no problem there really. The science, as it is, is very old in this IT world. Since the original approval of glyphosate, some newer research has occurred. The argument from Monsanto is based upon the notion that glyphosate attacks plants through the Shikimate pathway which is peculiar to plants but does not exist in animals, ergo glyphosate is safe to use around animals. Ta dah! As we’ve explored on this podcast and elsewhere, there’s a plethora of other beasties lurking on and within us, literally, within.
From the Journal Nature: The Human Microbiome Project
Quote:
Before the Human Genome Project was completed, some researchers predicted that ∼100,000 genes would be found. So, many were surprised and perhaps humbled by the announcement that the human genome contains only ∼20,000 protein-coding genes, not much different from the fruit fly genome. However, if the view of what constitutes a human is extended, then it is clear that 100,000 genes is probably an underestimate. The microorganisms that live inside and on humans (known as the microbiota) are estimated to outnumber human somatic and germ cells by a factor of ten. Together, the genomes of these microbial symbionts (collectively defined as the microbiome) provide traits that humans did not need to evolve on their own 1.
End Quote.
The paper goes on to explain there is a connection between these will beasties and our own immune systems. Now this is the clincher, There is a growing body of evidence that glyphosate does affect the microbiome. I quote a paper out of the University of Texas, Austen a while back on the effect of glyphosate on the ability of bees the withstand infections. Now the legal actions currently and subject to appeal refer to individuals suffering non hodgkins lymphoma. Given the growing knowledge of the microbiome, our immune systems and the consequences of glyphosate exposure I would not be surprised if more diseases are able to be related to glyphosate exposure.
The point I am trying to get to is the inertia of the system. That courts have decided in favour of individuals bringing prosecutions against glyphosate manufacturers is fairly remarkable but a sign of things changing. The EPA deciding to reaffirm the safety of glyphosate is a sign of that inertia. Good science takes time but science will self correct its own errors, eventually. From 1912 it took till 1953 to fully overthrow the Piltdown hoax.
While Piltdown was just a matter of clownish attempts to show the first human was English, even if that England was 500,000 years ago, other matters need to be cleaned up more quickly.
The glyphosate situation is one such.
And glyphosate is but the tip of the iceberg of industrial agriculture. The canary in the coal mine, I’m running out of metaphors. The point is, glyphosate is part of a suite of activities which destroy soil life, require the application of greenhouse gas intensive fertilisers which destroys even more soil life and requires even more fertiliser, you get the picture. The vast store of soil life, read fertility, which has accumulated through physical, chemical AND biological actions is being slowly bled dry.
From a Guardian article back in 2017 entitled: UK is 30-40 years away from ‘eradication of soil fertility’, warns Gove
Quote:
The UK is 30 to 40 years away from “the fundamental eradication of soil fertility” in parts of the country, the environment secretary Michael Gove has warned.
“We have encouraged a type of farming which has damaged the earth,” Gove told the parliamentary launch of the Sustainable Soils Alliance (SSA). “Countries can withstand coups d’état, wars and conflict, even leaving the EU, but no country can withstand the loss of its soil and fertility.
End Quote
And to overcome this soil destroying culture we need a root and branch, grassroots, overgrow the system approach to rolling back industrial agriculture. Whilst we on the front lines, custodians of land, can make a difference we need to change the incentives within the current system. If the true costs of production were included in the sale price of foods, we would see a fairly quick realignment from the incentives implied in such  pricing structure.
To do this requires tearing down the lobbying structures inherent in the democracies of the world. In a more command and control political system change relies upon the mindset of the “supreme leader” or whatever title they use. Now as to how we destroy the lobbying industry I have no idea and little hope. Maybe we need to infiltrate and subvert it but I know not how.
Hammering our local politicians, complaining loudly until they are forced to change might work. I really am at a loss. And that’s where I see the EPA coming out in support of glyphosate when the growing evidence says otherwise.
And on that frustrating note I’ll draw this episode to a conclusion.
The podcasting checklists are still available over at Jon Moore Podcasting Services
Thank you for listening and I’ll be back next week.

~~~~

LINKS
email: redocean112@gmail.com
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Transcript HERE
Facebook Page:  World Organic News Facebook page.
WORLD ORGANIC NEWS No Dig Gardening Book: Click here
Permaculture Plus
http://permacultureplus.com.au/
Topical Talks
Call of the Reed Warbler
U.S. environment agency says glyphosate weed killer is not a carcinogen
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-epa-glyphosate/epa-says-popular-weed-killer-glyphosate-is-not-a-carcinogen-idUSKCN1S62SU
The Human Microbiome Project
https://www.nature.com/articles/nature06244
Piltdown hoax
UK is 30-40 years away from ‘eradication of soil fertility’, warns Gove
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/24/uk-30-40-years-away-eradication-soil-fertility-warns-michael-gove
 

160. Winning the Bee War and Losing the Glyphosate Battles

This is the World Organic News for the week ending the 11th of March 2019.
Jon Moore reporting!
Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil!
The decline of honeybees from Colony Collapse Disorder to pesticide effects has been well documented over the past decade or so. The news has been all bad but there is hope!
From the blog Coolbees comes a post: Slovenia’s Bee Protections. Continue reading →

Episode 23: Wheat, Meat and Lawns

This is the World Organic News Podcast for the week ending 4th of July 2016.

Jon Moore reporting!

This week we begin with a post referring to an upcoming film night in Glenbrook, NSW. This event is the screening of the Australian documentary: “What’s With Wheat?” The doco looks at what’s changed recently, in evolutionary terms, to create a huge number of health reactions to wheat. Given we’ve been eating this grain for at least 10,000 years, why are we suddenly finding individuals, not just those diagnosed this Celiac’s disease, having adverse reactions to this noble grain? Continue reading →