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Glyphosate: Its Effects on Humans

Glyphosate: Its Effects on Humans

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There is quite a bit of debate surrounding the herbicide glyphosate, also known as Roundup, and its degradation byproduct known as aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA). Recent studies highlight the potential adverse effects of exposure to this agricultural chemical. First, it is necessary to examine the facts about glyphosate and its mechanism of action.
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world.1 It was originally patented by Stauffer Chemical Company as a chelating agent, wetting agent, and biologically active compound used principally as a descaling agent to clean out mineral deposits in plumbing pipes, boilers, and heaters in commercial and residential hot-water heaters.2 Glyphosate was later acquired by the Monsanto Company, patented as an herbicide, and eventually marketed under the name Roundup starting in the 1970s. It is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide, meaning that it spreads throughout the plant, from the leaves to the roots or from soil into the leaves. It does not affect germinating seeds. Glyphosate is used to kill weeds that compete with commercial crops throughout the world. In 2007 in the United States, glyphosate was the most widely used herbicide in agriculture with 85 000 tons used; 3600 tons were used in the home and garden market, and commerce, industry, and government used another 6800 tons.3 The use of glyphosate continues to rise annually worldwide. It was praised at the turn of the century as the most significant chemical in modern agriculture.4
There is quite a bit of debate surrounding the herbicide glyphosate, also known as Roundup, and its degradation byproduct known as aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA). Recent studies highlight the potential adverse effects of exposure to this agricultural chemical. First, it is necessary to examine the facts about glyphosate and its mechanism of action.
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world.1 It was originally patented by Stauffer Chemical Company as a chelating agent, wetting agent, and biologically active compound used principally as a descaling agent to clean out mineral deposits in plumbing pipes, boilers, and heaters in commercial and residential hot-water heaters.2 Glyphosate was later acquired by the Monsanto Company, patented as an herbicide, and eventually marketed under the name Roundup starting in the 1970s. It is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide, meaning that it spreads throughout the plant, from the leaves to the roots or from soil into the leaves. It does not affect germinating seeds. Glyphosate is used to kill weeds that compete with commercial crops throughout the world. In 2007 in the United States, glyphosate was the most widely used herbicide in agriculture with 85 000 tons used; 3600 tons were used in the home and garden market, and commerce, industry, and government used another 6800 tons.3 The use of glyphosate continues to rise annually worldwide. It was praised at the turn of the century as the most significant chemical in modern agriculture.4

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Published by: InnoVision Health Media on Apr 21, 2014
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05/16/2014

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