EPA is poised to raise the allowable limits of the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) in certain food commodities like carrots, sweet potato, and mustard seeds. Some of the allowable limits, or tolerances, will more than double! Increasing the levels of Roundup on food will pave the way for an overall increase in the use of this chemical in agriculture. The problem is Roundup is toxic to human and environmental health. In fact, a recent MIT study finds that glyphosate’s interference with important enzymes in the body can lead to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Drinking water contaminated with Roundup can lead to congestion of the lungs and increased breathing rate, as well as kidney damage and reproductive effects.
Given that alternative methods of growing food and managing weeds are available, like those that exist in organic agriculture, it is unreasonable for EPA to increase human exposures to Roundup.
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Organic Solutions Pave a Way Forward
Sustainable, integrated farming solutions and systems must be instituted more broadly --where emphasis on feeding and maintaining healthy soils, cooperating with nature, and moving away from toxic chemical inputs are standard. The underlying standards of organic farming require that practices “maintain or improve soil organic matter content in a manner that does not contribute to contamination of crops, soil, or water by plant nutrients, pathogenic organisms, heavy metals, or residues of prohibited substances.” This is the only viable and sustainable path forward that can take us off the toxic treadmill.
Supporting and buying organic produce is the only way to ensure you and your family are protected from the dangers of Roundup in your food.