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posted by janrinok on Wednesday July 30 2014, @07:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the Monsanto-is-having-a-bad-week dept.

Monsanto's RoundUp, a widely used pesticide, uses the active ingredient Glyphosate and it may be up for another serious beating. Medical specialists and scientists in Sri Lanka has found that when glyphosate comes in contact with heavy metals like cadmium, arsenic, manganese and cobalt which exist naturally in the soil or fertilizer, it becomes highly toxic and has a high likelihood of causing fatal kidney disease for anyone that comes into contact with it. And because the substance binds to metals it will not show up in current tests. The report (and another one) is published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and has resulted in that the Sri Lanka president to ban glyphosate immediately.

Exposure to glyphosate causes a drop in amino acid tryptophan levels, which interrupts the necessary active signalling of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with weight gain, depression, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. The report show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980's and 1990's that glyphosate causes malformation, but that information was not made public. Glyphosate is also a teratogenic.

Monsanto has been in the news quite recently.

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  • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Wednesday July 30 2014, @08:40PM

    by cafebabe (894) on Wednesday July 30 2014, @08:40PM (#75678) Journal

    I donno what its mixed with, but I assure you from personal experience applying the stuff, its unholy stinky, some kind of organic solvent, and probably not terribly good for you.

    After browsing glyphosate [] and ester odorants [], I presume it smells worse than rancid milk.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday July 30 2014, @09:08PM

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday July 30 2014, @09:08PM (#75691)

    Most of the bottle is solvent / buffer solution, not much actual glyphosate in a sprayer bucket.

    Kind of like "everyone knows what paint smells like" but they're actually talking about liquid paint aka the solvents that evaporate away. Obviously paint doesn't smell once all the solvents are gone.

    You see this in non-paint finishes too. Urethane is odorless once it polymerizes, but the benzene or WTF it is in the "paint" can is really stinky.

    I can't be the only SN guy who's ever sprayed roundup, I think it stinks like fresh paint, and just like paint, as soon as it dries (minutes) I can't smell it anymore. I am almost motivated enough to kill some weeds and let the stuff dry on the leaves and give it a big sniff. I mostly use it in places where I can't safely use a weedeater like by the natural gas meter (what could possibly go wrong?)

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by turtledawn on Thursday July 31 2014, @03:56PM

      by turtledawn (136) <> on Thursday July 31 2014, @03:56PM (#75969)

      There are a fair number of compounds that bind so strongly to scent receptors that after only the shortest exposure, you are physically incapable of smelling them anymore until new receptors are generated, a matter of minutes to hours depending on the receptor in question. The disappearance of a scent absolutely cannot be taken to mean that the responsible compound is no longer present - that's a good way to get yourself killed in some industrial situations.