Resistance Versus Tolerance


Listen, we’re nutbags, but we’re not the Conspiracy Theorist Anti-GMO flavour of nutbag. We just aren’t sure how Monsanto, a company that has one of the worst health and environmental records of any company in history, is now producing a huge slice of the world’s food bowl, given they seem to be leveraging off one of their best selling ‘possible carcinogens‘ to do that.

Bottle of Roundup weed killer.  Green bottle, yellow cap

Roundup is used on many farms around the world, in public parks by local councils, on roadways by maintenance crews, on public golf courses, schools, backyards; just about anywhere weeds are a problem. Roundup’s key ingredient glyphosate is a systemic herbicide, meaning it kills plants by being absorbed into its leaves, foliage and/or roots.

Roundup Ready crops are genetically modified so that they are not affected by the Roundup. Most people say that Roundup Ready crops are resistant to Roundup, but this is not true. These plants are tolerant to Roundup. The distinction is important.

Saying they are resistant implies the herbicide is not absorbed by the crop, that it somehow bounces off the leaves and only affects the weed being targeted. But this is not the case. Roundup is absorbed by the crop as well as the weed. Monsanto have genetically engineered the Roundup Ready crop so that it does not die when it absorbs the Roundup.

This is important is because some consumers think that sprays and chemicals can be easily washed off before consuming the plant. In some cases this is true.  But Roundup makes its way into the food and cannot be washed off. Therefore animals and humans eating crops grown with Roundup are consuming it whether they know it or not, and whether they like it or not.

Some preliminary research in Malta revealed 9 out of 10 people from urban areas who had not recently handled glyphosate tested positive for traces of it in their urine. Despite its widespread use we don’t monitor for it in water or food supplies anywhere in the world.


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