EPA Says Glyphosate Is Safe, But Lawsuits Loom and Bayer’s Woes Mount

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday doubled down on its previous call that the chemical herbicide glyphosate is safe, making one wonder: is this a 737 Max Redux moment?

The agency announced in an April 30 press release:

EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. The agency’s scientific findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies. While the agency did not identify public health risks in the 2017 human health risk assessment, the 2017 ecological assessment did identify ecological risks. To address these risks, EPA is proposing management measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays on the intended pest, protect pollinators, and reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate.

“EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s proposed action includes new management measures that will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections. We look forward to input from farmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the draft management measures are workable, realistic, and effective.”

This announcement reaffirms the agency’s previous position, according to the this May 1 NYT account.

Roundup Lawsuits

Bayer acquired Monsanto for $63 billion in one 2018, and assumed liability for pending litigation against Monsanto, which originally developed and marketed, Roundup, the world largest selling herbicide, based on glyphosate. Bayer reported last week that 13,400 US Roundup lawsuits are now pending.

I wrote about Bayer and Roundup in this March post (see Second Roundup Decision: Jury Finds Weedkiller a “Substantial Cause” of Plantiff’s Cancer).That post discussed the second jury verdict against the company and rather than recap the arguments I made there, I’ll pick up where I left off and only discuss subsequent events.

Bayer returns to court this month for a third action, this time involving a husband and wife who claim long-term exposure to Roundup caused their cancer. Four more lawsuits are expected to come to trial in 2019, according to an April 26 WSJ report.

The EPA’s decision provides a boon to Bayer, as Fortune reports, as “now Bayer’s lawyers get to point to the EPA’s opinion as backing up their central argument that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.”

But environmental groups and other regulators disagree with the EPA’s findings, as Ecowatch reports:

Environmental groups have cast doubt on the [EPA’s] findings, saying they dismiss the conclusions of other public health experts. Just a few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a toxicology report for glyphosate that acknowledged its health risks, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) pointed out.

“The EPA’s pesticide office is out on a limb here — with Monsanto and Bayer and virtually nobody else,” NRDC senior scientist Jennifer Sass said.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) agreed, pointing to the 2015 conclusion of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which ruled it was “probably carcinogenic to humans.” EWG also cited a January report published in Environmental Sciences Europe that found the EPA had disregarded independent, peer-reviewed research that showed a link between glyphosate and cancer in favor of Monsanto-funded studies saying it was safe.

The EPA decision isby no means a get out of jail free card. As Fox points out, Bayer could still opt to settle the pending cases:

Damien Conover, an analyst who covers Bayer for Morningstar, estimates that it could wind up paying €2 billion ($2.2 billion) in costs related to glyphosate litigation.

In a worst-case scenario, Conover predicts costs could rise above €13 billion ($14.6 billion). It’s hard to put an exact number on the liability without knowing more about the quality of the cases, he said.

Bayer is presently pursuing a full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes approach –  aka, a controlled flight into terrain? The WSJ reports on May 1 

Roundup is getting an advertising boost after thousands of plaintiffs have alleged that the world’s most widely used weedkiller causes cancer.

Bayer AG, the manufacturer of Roundup, and Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., which markets it to home-and-garden retailers in the U.S., have spent millions of dollars this year on expanded marketing for the weedkiller, Scotts executives said.

“We were concerned, the retailers were concerned,” James Hagedorn, Scotts’ chief executive, said Wednesday on a call with investors. So far, he said, U.S. consumers haven’t abandoned the product.>

As CBS reports, consumers may still sour on glyphosate as continuing details emerge, either via revelations in litigation, actions of other regulators, or activist activity:

In addition to lawsuits, Bayer has found itself trying to tamp down a bout of unwelcome PR that came with reports by consumer groups contending traces of the chemical were showing up in beer and wine, as well as some children’s cereals Bayer dismissed the claims as “misleading.”

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in U.S. agriculture. Beyond its use by farmers, Roundup is sprayed on golf courses and residential lawns to kill weeds.

Bayer has also helped finance damage control on behalf of Scotts Miracle-Gro, to which it licenses its consumer business. Scotts CEO Jim Hagedorn told analysts in a conference call that the controversy made the future less than clear. “I can’t predict that it’s going to be as good next year,” Hagedorn said Wednesday. “It’s the court of public opinion and consumers that matter here.”

Bayer’s Woes Extend Beyond its Potential Roundup Liability

Before the EPA decision was released, the FT reported Tuesday, Bayer faced a potential ratings downgrade, with Moody’s warning that a costly Roundup settlement would push its bonds into junk territory. At that point, analysts appeared to believe Bayer’s settlement exposure starts at 5 billion euros:

Any settlement worth about €5bn — still the base case for many analysts who follow Bayer — could be absorbed by the German group without jeopardising its credit rating. Should the cost spiral to €20bn, however, Bayer’s leverage could rise to a level where a cut to the group’s “Baa1” credit rating was necessary, and even a “Baa2” rating could look stretched. Such a scenario could leave the company’s rating just two notches above junk status.

But that’s not the only problem Bayer’s board and management face. As the FT reported on April 28:

The management and board of German conglomerate Bayer are under huge pressure to win back shareholders’ trust after a stunning vote of no confidence in the company’s bosses on Friday that has no precedent in German postwar corporate history. Investors vented their fury over the 38 per cent fall in Bayer’s share price since its deal to acquire US rival Monsanto closed last year. Once one of Germany’s most valuable companies, Bayer is now worth just the $63bn it paid for the US seed giant.

I’m no expert on German corporate practice, so I’m unduly reliant on the FTs April 28 report:

In a rare act of insubordination, a majority of Bayer’s shareholders at Friday’s AGM refused to “discharge” management. Voting against “Entlastung” or discharge is one of the strongest forms of protest available to investors under German law and Bayer boss Werner Baumann is the first serving chief executive of a Dax-listed company to suffer such a vote of no confidence.

Normally, the discharge vote is a formality, with management routinely winning the backing of more than 90 per cent of voting shareholders. If they garner substantially less than that, they are often in trouble. Shortly after 39 per cent of investors voted against discharging Deutsche Bank management in 2015, co-chief executives Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen were forced out.

On Friday, 55.5 per cent of investors present voted against ratifying Mr Baumann and his team. Bayer’s directors were also hit by the revolt, with only 66 per cent voting to discharge the board.

The WSJ reported on April 29 that on the day after this vote, Bayer’s supervisory board poured oil onto troubled waters:

Bayer AG’s (BAYN.XE) supervisory board said Saturday that it stands behind the company’s management after a majority of shareholders refused to ratify management’s actions in 2018.

“While we take the outcome of the vote at the annual stockholders’ meeting very seriously, Bayer’s supervisory board unanimously stands behind the board of management,” said Werner Wenning, chairman of the supervisory board.

The WSJ further reported the company intends to contest upcoming glyphosate litigation vigorously:

“It is our top priority to vigorously and successfully defend the company in the upcoming appeal proceedings and trials concerning glyphosate, as well as to attain the ambitious operational growth and profitability targets communicated by the board of management in December last year,” said Mr. Wenning.

The consensus as of the beginning of the week was that Baumann’s position is safe – for the moment. The argument is that to force him out would plunge the company into chaos. But  if the company were to lose more lawsuits – and suffer a ratings downgrade, that might prove to spark even greater chaos.

A May 1 Reuters report suggests that the supervisory board is now having second thoughts:

The supervisory board of Bayer is planning an extraordinary meeting to discuss a crisis of confidence in its leadership after an investor rebuke at the German drugmaker’s annual meeting, a magazine reported on Wednesday.

Citing an unnamed board member, Wirtschaftswoche magazine said the meeting would take place in the next two or three weeks: “We can’t just carry on like this,” the person said.

A Bayer spokesman declined to comment.

Reputational risk will remains a looming problem for Bayer.Concerns about glyphosate won’t just fade away – EPA happy talk notwithstanding.

Neoliberalism and US Regulatory Reputation

Alas, neoliberalism has led to the widespread acceptance of toxic ideas about what the relationship should be between regulators and the companies they regulate. First, there’s the idea that regulators should work closely with companies they regulate – rather than keep them on the straight and narrow. Second, is the idea that that self-regulation is a model to be championed. Third, is the idea that an agency should rely on company-funded studies when it makes regulatory judgments. Fourth is the idea that it’s okay to use the revolving door, hopping between being regulator and regulated.

The widespread acceptance of these ideas has led to the loss of credibility of US regulators. Let me just offer up a smattering of examples.

US financial regulation was once lauded, and the Securities And Commission (SEC) respected – and indeed feared. That seems to be a long long time ago and in a galaxy far away – although the agency was still a force to be reckoned with when I finished law school in 1991. That’s no longer the case. As I’ve written, that erosion set in long before Trump became President (see News Flash: Mary Jo White Claims SEC Produces “Bold and Unrelenting Results” and see The Obamamometer’s Toxic Legacy: The Rule of Lawlessness).

The 737 Max tragedies have damaged more than Boeing’s reputation. They’ve also harmed the reputation the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enjoyed for integrity. It’s my sense that particular agency’s good reputation endured – despite the obvious deterioration on different regulatory beats. Now regulators from Ethiopia to China no longer are willing to defer reflexively to US agencies  – whether the National Transportation Safety Board on analyzing black box recordings or the FAA on certifying aircraft.

The EPA’s reputation has reached a nadir under Trump (see as just one example Another Win for Fossil Fuels: EPA to Weaken Basis for Calculating Mercury and Future Environmental Standards details of one of many concessions to fossil fuel interests).

As it has so less far to fall, the glyphosate call can’t damage the EPA’s present reputation significantly.

But if the WHO and public interest groups are right and glyphosate is indeed carcinogenic, the verdict of history on the EPA’s reputation will be much more harsh.

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  1. Cal2

    Maximum “safe” dose of glyphosphate in glass of water.

    In a scientifically proctored situation, Bayer and Monsanto board members drink it, as well as have their grandchildren and children pour it down the hatch.

    What a confidence inspiring TV ad campaign that would be.

    Back in the 1980s, Jerry Brown’s press secretary walked over to a helicopter that sprayed MedFly chemicals, opened the spigot and drank a glass of it. He might have lasted longer than he did if he hadn’t pulled that stunt.


    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Oh Geez, thanks. Fixed it. And of course, that’s the last place one wants to make a misspelling! All the times I typed that word, too, w/out error…..

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, it isn’t really “the” EPA which is saying this. It is the political commissars sent into EPA by the Trump Administration who are saying this through the EPA megaphone and under the EPA’s letterhead.

      I imagine such scientists as are still holding out at EPA might disagree with the “glyphosate is safe” concept. But in our no job = no money = you die society, only a twittering purist would demand that any scientists still existing at EPA resign over the issue.

    2. polecat

      EPA, DEA, SEC, FDA, FAA, FTC, FBI, NSA … on, and on, ad nausium ! Who ISN’T on the take ??

      Completely • Failed • Regulatory • BUREAUCRACIES –ALL OF THEM !

      I think much creative destruction is in order .. as D.C. is totally ensconsed within the fubar zone, doing as is it’s want, the Red God’s work. That’s why No One is gonna save us in ’20 .. ’24 … and beyond. There’s just not enough credibility left to keep the U.S.S. Gargantua afloat much longer. Grab your snorkels, fins, and swim away asp !

      Valar Morghulis

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Or take them off the take. That would require a political combat movement devoted to taking them off the take and understanding how to do that.

        At the barest minimum, the FDA’s job may be described as stopping a pill-seller from putting arsenic in the bottle while putting aspirin on the label. Can you tell the difference between aspirin tablets and arsenic tablets just by looking? Because if we abolish the FDA, that is what you get to try doing.

  2. VietnamVet

    In the beginning, chemical companies promoted pesticide regulation due to the costs of safety testing for registration which would weed out competitors and provide a government stamp of approval. Pesticides are by definition toxic to living organisms. The persistent organochlorines like DDT were phased out and replaced by organophosphates like parathion which are highly toxic to applicators who need certification and training to apply safely.

    Then neoliberals seized control. The Industry was consolidated into a few multi-national companies economically more powerful than nation states. A significant portion of the funding of pesticide registration comes from fees for service. It is human nature to do what you have to do to get a paycheck to stay alive and deny it at the same time. The revolving door cemented self-service between regulator and the regulated. Eric Holder stopped jailing C-suite criminals. Corporations since then have ignored the law and its rules and regulations. If caught, fines are the cost of doing business. The Trump Administration hates regulation. It is whacking away at the law, rules, and federal employees.

    America has regressed back to the inequality of the Gilded Age and the dangers of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”. People have started to fight back through protests and jury nullification. The question is will progressives take back control in 2020 and bring back regulation of corporations or will chaos imposed by the reign of the mighty engulf the world.

    1. Olga

      To answer your question… as should be obvious to most, if not all… chaos will reign the day.

      1. VietnamVet

        No. A pesticide is defined by law as “any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.” Weeds are a pest. Herbicides that kill weeds like Roundup are a type of pesticide.

  3. Olga

    This adds to the topic:
    It is hard to believe Bayer did not know what it was getting into by buying Monsanto
    “You can’t blame the Americans at Monsanto any more. Europe’s most politically inflammatory chemical — the ubiquitous weedkiller glyphosate — is now well and truly a German problem.
    Shareholders of the German chemical giant Bayer staged a full-blown revolt at a heated 13-hour meeting in Bonn on Friday, arguing that the management failed to see the company was inheriting a raft of nightmarish litigation associated with glyphosate when it bought U.S. agrichemical giant Monsanto for $66 billion last year.”

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps Bayer thought they could perfume the Monsanto pig with the delightful scent of Germany’s high reputation for engineering, science, etc. Perhaps Bayer thought that everyone else would think that ” if Bayer decided to buy it, then it must be alright.”

      1. wilroncanada

        Bayer has had its own problems before the Monsanto marriage. In about 2000 or 2001 I had an angina attack. Had two stents installed after which I was prescribed a statin: Baycol. I used the few days free pills given me in the hospital, then decided to try to control heart issues with better nutrition and less stress. Soon after, Baycol was withdrawn by Bayer because one side effect was an unusual number of deaths.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Hey – a new slogan inspired by that Boeing slogan-

        “If it’s Bayer, I’m not buyin’ it!”

  4. drumlin woodchuckles

    I gather that Naked Capitalism has a fair number of European readers. I don’t know how many of them have heard of Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology Don Huber of Purdue University. Over the last some years he has been studying glyphosate and GMOs both separately and together, and he has been especially tracking other peoples’ studies and papers on those subjects. From what I understand from the couple of Professor Huber lectures I have attended, cancer is the LEAST of glyphosate’s problems.

    Here is a link to some Don Huber videos. Some about GMOs. Some about glyphosate. Some about both. Some about other things.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Thank you for the kind words. The link I offered is a whole grab-bag of videos of uneven length and quality. Professor Huber himself has refined a lecture over the last few years which he gives versions of wherever he is invited to do so. It has a large bunch of Power Point slides. Power Point has been condemned by many, but I have to think that Professor Huber put into the slides all the information he felt would fit, and that he would not use any slide he was not satisfied with.

        I got frustrated from trying and failing to “take notes” on all the written material shown on those slides. But the nice thing about You Tube is that you can freeze it and “capture” the “frozen still” image of any chart-graph-text slide for as long as you want to take all the notes you want. So I tried looking through the different videos to find one which showed the slides at near-full-screen size. And here it is.

        Here is a much shorter video with some okay shots of some other different slides, suitable for freezing and scrutinizing.

        And here is another much shorter video by an Indian scientist who had an email correspondence with Professor Huber to explain and clear up some particular points. It has yet a few more other different slides.

        ( And by the way, as of a few years ago, Dr. Huber would send a disc copy of his Power Point slides to anyone at these conferences who asked and arranged for where to have it sent. He did not charge for these. I don’t know if he still does that for people who can get in touch with him and make that request. He cares enough about this issue to spend his retirement years going all over everywhere giving these talks and interviews instead of just enjoying his retirement).

  5. John Zelnicker

    It’s kinda fascinating that the value of Bayer has fallen to the same amount as they paid for Monsanto.

    One way to look at this is that, effectively, investors are valuing all of Bayer’s operations prior to the merger as essentially worthless.

    Or, contrariwise, Monsanto is worthless and the real world cost to Bayer was $101 billion (purchase price plus reduction in company value).

    That doesn’t sound like a particularly good deal to me. I think it’s safe to say that Bayer would not have paid such a high price for all the trouble they bought had they done proper due diligence.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If Bayer were to go into Roach Motel Liquidation ( as BP deserved to have gone), it might provide a lesson to other players in the ag and chemo industries. They might start quietly tip-toeing out of the cancer-juice rackets.

      1. Conrad

        The former Monsanto shareholders seem to have already done so in a quite timely fashion.

      2. Cal2

        Ah, but Bayer still makes the chemotherapy drugs to “cure” the cancer that their chemicals caused. It’s called “Vertical Integration.”

        Similar to Tobacco Companies that sell cancer and nicotine patches. It’s a “growth” industry.

  6. Prufrock101

    My father has been using Round Up for at least 35 years around his garden. I remember those stupid green bottles from my childhood.

    He’s been having difficult to diagnose medical symptoms for the past 3 years, and now has been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer that is associated with glyphosate (i.e. it is one of the types of cancer that attorneys list as wanting you to call them if you have and have used glyphosate). He is in a position where medical coverage is taken care of, and is going in for a second opinion at a “prestigious” hospital, so a lawsuit isn’t at the top of the list of his concerns right now.

    I’ve done a small amount of research, and can’t at all tell which attorneys in this area are reputable… if anyone has suggestions on how to go about picking one, I’d appreciate suggestions. If it matters we’re in the Northern California (e.g. SF/Sacramento) area.

  7. grayslady

    Timothy Litzenburg’s firm in Virginia (Kincheloe, Litzenburg & Pendelton) specializes in representing Monsanto Roundup victims. He was the attorney who won the victory for the first plaintiff. Looking at their website I can’t tell if any of the three partners are admitted in California, but it can’t hurt to contact them.

  8. GM

    It never ceases to amaze me how people continue to believe things even when the empirical evidence to the contrary is right in their faces.

    Glyphosate has been in widespread use since the mid-1970s.. That’s 45 years. Multiple generations. Pretty much everyone has consumed vast amounts of the stuff.

    Are we all dead? No, not at all, overpopulation is only worsening (in no small part thanks to glyphosate and other reviled chemicals)

    Has there been a major increase in cancers in that period? Not really.

    Has anyone shown a molecular mechanism for possible toxicity? No, not really.

    So why the panic exactly?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      As Lambert would no doubt note, the words ‘not really’ are doing a lot of very heavy lifting in your comment.

    2. Quanka

      This is so factually wrong it needs no response. Read your own first line: Mansanto scientists have been hiding the findings of the stuff since they started looking at it. The empirical evidence is clear that Glyphosate is an endocrine disrupter and as one commenter said, cancer is actually not the worst thing that it causes!

      Glyphosate – disrupting your life way before Facebook and Instagram!!

      1. Quanka

        I should say: “Mansanto Executives have been hiding the findings of their scientists”

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Everyone? Not everyone. Not the long-term buyers-eaters of Certified Organic Food.

      And the use of glyphosate for killing-dessicating whole fields of grain-plants in order to get them to ripen up all the grains all at once for ease of one-pass harvesting . . . is only a few years old. Not a few decades old.
      So the mass presence of glyphosate residues IN many kinds of food is fairly new.
      (Despite the misleading URL title, I think the first article to appear should be about glyphosate in food).

      Of course you may feel that these residues are not alarming. You may feel that these residues are gratifying and reassuring. If so, and if you wish to show your support for Monsanto and other glyphosate makers, you should find and eat the foods with the highest glyphosate residues. Because maybe the highest residues indicates the most glyphosate used, which would mean the most money spent on glyphosate. Which would be the highest level of support to the embattled makers of glyphosate who may be suffering low morale from all these mean-minded petty attacks.

      Here is an article on “how to avoid glyphosate”. You could just do the opposite of all the recommendations in order to show your support for glyphosate.

      Here is an article giving a list of glyphosate residues in some foods. These are the foods you want to eat the most of in order to show the most support to glyphosate.

      1. GM

        So if you really don’t want any glyphosate and other chemicals in your food, are you for reducing global population by 95% then?

        Because that is the alternative option.

        Which will happen anyway because once there is no oil and gas to run the heavy agricultural machinery and to produce fertilizers, industrial agriculture will collapse, with or without glyphosate and pesticides.

        So the question is do we do it the easy way or the hard way.

        The problem is that when people act irrationally and without listening to the scientists on what is in comparison innocuous issues such as glyphosate, vaccines and nuclear energy, what hope is there that they will listen to them about overpopulation?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          This post is not discussing “other chemicals”. This post is addressing glyphosate strictly and only. Nice try, guy. Better luck next time.

          Since the subject is strictly and only glyphosphate, despite your sneaky little effort to change the subject to ” and other chemicals” ( which did not go undetected), the question arises: was the world population 95% smaller the day before Roundup ( which was the only patented permitted formulation of glyphosate at the time) was first permitted to be sold? And has the world population grown 950% since that time?

          If it has, that would be news. Could you show us the evidence of that amazing growth after the introduction of Roundup?

          1. tegnost

            Thanks drumlin, I think at the least there should be labelling on products with proven residue, imagine if you went into the beer aisle and every single option said “known to contain glyphosate residue”. Talk about a buzz-kill…

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              If Total Testing and Total Disclosure were legally mandated, and enforced with long hard-time sentences in America’s Worst Prisons for failure to Totally Test and Totally Disclose; prices of all food items would go up equally by the totally-spread-out cost of the Forced Testing and Forced Disclosure.

              But the Ruling UCOG ( Upper Class Occupation Government) currently in place will prevent such legislation ever being passed, signed and enforced. The only cure for that problem is the systematic and comprehensive extermination of the UCOG now in power, and the total Reconquest and Repurposing of “the government” on behalf of us Natural Person citizens.

              And yet . . . and yet . . . growing numbers of people consider the presence of all these toxins in the food supply to be a danger and a hazard, a hazard they will personally pay a higher price in order to personally avoid. Enough such people exist to feed and power the survival and even growth of a Certified Organic Food market sector.

              Would such people also pay the greater price needed to pass along the greater cost of voluntary Total Testing and Total Disclosure? If they would, then those foodmakers and foodsellers who want to attract that “we will pay more for safer food” constituency might well attract it by running all those tests and publishing all those results on their food product labels, so discerning customers can see which foods have what residues of which chemicals. Such testing would cost money and would have to be paid for by the people buying such tested and disclosured food. Would enough people be willing to pay more for such Total Testing Total Disclosure foods? If enough people would, then parts of the Food Industry will start doing and releasing such tests.

  9. rd

    I doubt this statement form the CBS quotes:

    “Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in U.S. agriculture. Beyond its use by farmers, Roundup is sprayed on golf courses and residential lawns to kill weeds.”

    Glyphosphate is a non-selective herbicide which is why plants need to be genetically modified to allow its use around them in agriculture. So unless you have planted genetically-modified grasses, using Roundup on your lawn will simply kill your entire lawn. So it is one-time use for killing everything for preparation for replanting from scratch, but it is not what the guys doing the quarterly fertilizing are putting on your lawn.

    Roundup is banned for use in wetlands and waterbodies because of the surfactants (essentially soap to allow it to penetrate the leaf) that are injurious to invertebrates etc. So Rodeo (TM) is used there that has a different group of surfactants but it is more expensive. I have wondered if the problem with Roundup for people is more the surfactants in it rather than the glyphosphate itself.

    1. Illegal Country

      I believe Aquatic Roundup is a similar substitute for Roundup in wetland areas.

  10. albert

    “…Now regulators from Ethiopia to China no longer are willing to accept the FAA’s integrity – whether on the matter of analyzing black box recordings or certifying aircraft….”

    It’s the NTSB that analyzes black box recordings. It’s also an independent gov’t branch, not beholding to the FAA. As the NTSB is toothless, it’s probably why it has been around for so long.
    . .. . .. — ….

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thank you for your comment. I have amended the text to correct my error.

  11. drumlin woodchuckles

    There is a pair of people, Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery, who have been studying poly-species microbiology and micro-biomes in plant-soil systems and increasingly in human organ systems . . . mainly the digestive tract. This would seem to be unrelated to glyphosate but there is in fact a zone of contact.

    And here it is. Bacteria share some of the same metabolic energy-handling pathways that plants share. Glyphosate disables, cripples, and-or kills plants. It stops a certain step in what Professor Don Huber said is called the “shikimic acid pathway”. Many bacteria have the same shikimic acid pathway that the plants have. The same glyphosate which can stop-freeze the functioning of the shikimic acid pathway in plants is the same glyphosate which can stop-freeze the functioning of the same shikimic acid pathway in bacteria.

    And here is the nub of the “isness of the business”. Most of the beneficial bacteria in the human intestine have the shikimic acid pathway as part of their many metabolic pathways. The same glyphosate which can stop-freeze the shikimic acid pathway in plants and in soil bacteria can also stop-freeze the shikimic acid pathway of human gut bacteria also if enough reaches them. How much is enough? In one of his lectures Professor Huber noted that ubiquitous glyphosate residues everywhere in the food supply ( except in those particular foods on which glyphosate is not used at all in the least bit may well be dis-ordering the microbial balance in the gut of many people . . . . leading to the rise of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, “Gluten Intolerance” (which some people are beginning to suspect is really glyphosate intolerance), etc. He noted that these disease have been increasing in correlation with the increased use of glyphosate and the increasing residue loads of glyphosate in increasing kinds and amounts of food.

    How does this tie back to Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery? The Montgomerys have been delivering lectures based on various aspects of their books on the subject. Some of those lectures focus on functional analogies between microbe-encased roots in the soil . . . and microbe-encased villi in the intestine. And other microbial ecosystems in the large intestine too. They explain what these microbiome ecosystems do. I myself then wonder how our health degrades when glyphosate residues begin killing off and deranging these gut-dwelling ecosystems.

    Here is a bunch of videos by the Montgomerys.

    Here is a particular video which zeroes in on the intestinal microbiome with some analogies to the root-hosted mycorrhyzal- biome.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    By the way, here is shikimic acid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikimic_acid

    And here is the shikimic acid pathway.

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