Roundup Ready technology (GM) has allowed for 5.4 million pounds of glyphosate herbicide to substitute for 7.2 million pounds of other chemistries (ex: imazethapyr,pendimethalin,trifluralin ). What are the public health implications of this?
Let’s look at the properties of these chemicals as they relate to environmental health.
PERSITENCE: Roundup (glyphosate) has a half-life of 47 days vs. the much longer periods of those chemicals it has displaced.
TOXICIY: The chemistries roundup has displaced are 3-16 times more toxic.
So we have a GM crop that enables producers to use chemicals that are less toxic and less persistent in the environment than conventional crop production systems.
Perhaps this is why 73% of consumers say they are willing to accept GM products because of their potential for improving safety and environmental impact.
Source: Agricultural Outlook ERS/USDA Aug 2000