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posted by janrinok on Monday January 23 2017, @10:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the positively-RATified dept.

UK scientists say they have conducted an unprecedented, long-term study showing a link between Roundup - one of the most widely used herbicides in the world - and severe liver damage in test rats.

The research sparked further debate in the international scientific community over the potential health hazards to people caused by exposure to the well-known weed killer.

Scientists from King's College London, whose findings were published in the journal, Nature , earlier this month, said their tests used cutting-edge technology to demonstrate that "extremely low doses" of the herbicide administered to rats through their drinking water had caused "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)" over a two-year period.

NAFLD can lead to more serious liver disease such as cirrhosis, and increases the risk of other illnesses including diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

"The study is unique in that it is the first to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup at a real-world environmental dose and a serious disease condition," the report said.

In recent years, there have been an increasing number of studies alleging links between herbicides - used to help grow genetically modified crops - to a wide range of health issues including birth defects, reproductive and neurological problems, cancer, and even DNA damage. Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, has repeatedly denied the accusations , insisting the product is safe for humans. A number of scientists and researchers say there has been insufficient evidence to prove herbicides cause health problems for people.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23 2017, @11:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23 2017, @11:12PM (#457850)

    I try to use as little as possible of these sorts of things. I planted a grass that is aggressive and likes to strangle out other plants. It also goes dormant in the winter. So in the spring when the weeds show up they are easy to spot. Then I spend a bunch of time pulling weeds. Which sucks balls but does not involve semi nasty chemicals. I still have a jug of the stuff. Every once and awhile you come across a weed that just will not die. A small splotch at the base is usually enough. The one I wish I could find a better substitute for is fertilizer. Most are petroleum based. The type of grass I planted fortunately needs little of it. Now if I could just get my neighbors to realize dog urine is not fertilizer I will be so happy.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Monday January 23 2017, @11:24PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday January 23 2017, @11:24PM (#457856)

    My yard is a free-for-(almost)all experiment in natural selection. Basic rules are: greenish, survivability to hot summer with random infrequent watering, not being scratchy/itchy, not being a dandelion, and resilience to those rare times when a mower comes by.
    I'm highly popular with my neighbors, but at least I don't slow-poison their dogs/cats/kids with products designed to alter essential chemical functions in living organisms.
    Plus it's f--ing SoCal people, not green England...

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Sulla on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:06AM

      by Sulla (5173) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:06AM (#457863) Journal

      I think this is a good way to go, probably because I do pretty much the same with the exception of my veggie garden. I am more concerned with pests than I am with weeds. Have been using the age old usage of plants that keep the bugs away. Have done great with a border of nastursiums, tobacco, sage, and dalpheniums (spelling need not apply).

      Tobacco is wonderful. When watered enough it gets a nice sticky sap along the stem, this draws in the aphids. Aphids die and attract yellow jackets. Yellow jackets die and life is wonderful.

      Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:23AM (#457867)

      You may be better off with a drought resistant sort of grass such as zoysia or creeping fescue. I went with zoysia as it comes out thicker and much less scratchy. Took about 10 years to from about 2sqft to covering 1/2 acre. Think the last time I had to actually water my yard was 3 years ago.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Nerdfest on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:25AM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:25AM (#457868)

      I do the same here in Canada. My yard is primarily a mix of various grasses, clovers, and wildflowers, although about probably 10% in one area is Oregano. Smells great when O mow the lawn, although it's rarely required. It does make my neighbours lawn look neat and clean, but I never have to water it and only mow it about one quarter of the times he does, perhaps less. As with software, monocultures are bad.

    • (Score: 2) by jelizondo on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:43AM

      by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:43AM (#457949) Journal

      I hope you mean NOT highly popular with your neighbors because some years ago I decided to abandon the Western idea of gardens and let it be closer to a natural state, with little intervention, and I definitively am not popular with my neighbors.

      Years ago I had an irrigation system and used plenty of fertilizer and herbicides, but then I realized I was poisoning the ground and wasting water.

      Now, leaves are (almost) left where they fall, there is no watering (I ripped out the irrigation), my two dogs use it for their needs and I do have plenty of flowers and green all year round.

      The fallen leaves serve both as food when decomposing and as a water trap, whenever it rains, moisture gets trapped between the leaves and slowly makes its way into the ground and at the same time helps decompose the leaves, providing both moisture and nutrients.

      I had two citations from City Hall about the ‘cleanliness’ of the place but have been able to strike them out, my ‘garden’ is really a carbon sink, it uses no water and it provides me with shade and flowers. On top of it, there are rarely any weeds to pull out.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @06:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @06:44AM (#457977)

        Be careful with the leaves thing. It is a survival mechanism for the trees. They dump leaves that have a slight amount of acidity and natural poison in them. The tree is literally killing out any competitors that live under the tree. They will kill the your yard. I have holly bushes. NOTHING grows under those. Because the bushes leaves and sap kill everything under them. You need to keep in mind what sort of shrubs and bushes you want to encourage to grow. Not all are friendly to each other. You may be fine. But it is just something to keep in mind.

        The city I live in has a leaf recycling thing. They come by and vacuum them up if you have them in a pile at the curb. If you do not have that you can pile them up and compost them. Once composted they can be spread back into the yard. A neighbor I grew up near had a 6-8 ft high 5 ft radius cylinder of cement reinforcing mesh that he would dump them into. Then every couple of years he would turn it over and pull out the stuff from the bottom and spread it evenly into his yard/garden. With special attention to weed areas he wanted to kill off.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:21PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @05:21PM (#458156)

        > > highly popular with my neighbors, but at least I don't slow-poison their dogs/cats/kids
        > I hope you mean NOT highly popular with your neighbors

        Yup, they really don't like my yard. I only kill dandelions to avoid all-out war with the most oblivious to the semi-arid nature of the area.
        At least, the perfect-lawn eugenicist finally calmed down and ripped out his grass to put artificial. I'm pretty sure he saves two or three hundred bucks a month (and many many many hours).

        And there I thought that some people had fought a war against the English...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @12:18AM (#457866)

    Not dog urine. Human shit.

    Mixed with sawdust and left to "mature" for a while makes excellent fertilizer. []