JEFFERSON CITY – Farmers in Missouri still put their faith in Roundup and the science behind the weed killer despite the tens of thousands of lawsuits over its alleged risks, an agriculture advocacy group said during a recent interview.
"The Missouri Corn Growers Association and our partners at the National Corn Growers Association fully support the use of science-based technology to meet growing demands," Missouri Corn Growers Association Communications Director Becky Frankenbach said. "This support includes educational efforts on the farm and online through outlets like www.GMOanswers.com."
GMOanswers.com is funded by members of the Council for Biotechnology Information and several biotech companies and endorsed by many national agriculture trade groups, including the American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association and American Sugarbeet Growers Association.
Monsanto, now a unit of Bayer AG, began selling Roundup in 1974 using a formula that no longer is patent protected.
Bayer AG, which faces thousands of Roundup-related lawsuits in the U.S. that claim the product causes cancer, has maintained for years that Roundup is safe and also is an important herbicide used by farmers across the nations.
In a Q&A about Roundup's active ingredient glyphosate, GMOanswers.com says that a "certain percentage" of the chemical is absorbed and transported throughout the plant.
"The amount absorbed is variable depending on the application rate and the type of plant. Very little of the absorbed glyphosate is degraded by the plant and cannot be removed," the Q&A says. "Its persistence in plants is also variable. Federal regulatory agencies have established allowable limits for glyphosate residues in many different crops to protect human and animal health. The tolerance for glyphosate in grass, forage, fodder and hay, and non-grass animal feed is either 300 ppm (e.g., timothy or Bermuda) or 400 ppm (e.g., alfalfa). Concentrations below these tolerances would be considered safe to feed to livestock such as cattle and horses; concentrations above these tolerances would be considered adulterated and should not be fed to livestock. It is important to point out that allowable concentrations have wide margins of safety built in to their determination."