July 15, 2016
America’s Great Lakes are in dire straits. Elevated levels of phosphorus are triggering devastating algae blooms that are tainting drinking water supplies and killing fish in record numbers, and researchers from Ohio Northern University (ONU) say there’s one main cause of all this destruction: the glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
It’s known more precisely as dissolved reactive phosphorus, or DRP, a waste byproduct of industrial agriculture that’s literally pouring into the Lake Erie basin from farms located primarily in the Maumee watershed area of Western Ohio. Scientists have long wondered where all this phosphorus is coming from, but it’s now apparent, based on more than 40 years of observation, that chemical agriculture is to blame.
Ever since the early 1970s – right around the time when glyphosate first emerged as the herbicide of choice for factory farmers – water quality reports have shown escalating levels of phosphorus in Great Lakes waters. They dipped for a short time, only to come back with a vengeance in the mid-1990s, when Roundup Ready crops were introduced by Monsanto.
Today, more than 95 percent of soybeans and more than half of all corn planted in the U.S. is Roundup Ready, meaning these crops can tolerate spraying of glyphosate without dying. Farmers have been using increasingly more Roundup as a result, and data extrapolations show that these increases in herbicide use directly coincide with increases in DRP in the Great Lakes.
“These crops that are able to grow in the presence of glyphosate have really kind of started to take over, to the point where we’re washed in Roundup,” admits Christopher Spiese, a chemist at ONU who held nothing back concerning the dangers of glyphosate at a recent conference looking at the possible causes of the Great Lakes phosphorus phenomenon.
Every acre of Roundup Ready crops produces 1/3 pound of polluting phosphorus, scientist admits
With the help of several collaborators, Spiese decided to take a closer look at the DRP runoff situation to see if glyphosate really is the culprit. He and his team looked at the amounts of DRP present in relation to herbicide-tolerant crop acreage throughout the Maumee watershed. They also evaluated how much phosphorus is likely to be produced by a given amount of glyphosate, measuring this amount in relation to total estimated herbicide use throughout the region.
They found that, just as suspected, glyphosate is a major, if not sole, contributor to DRP pollution in Lake Erie and beyond. It turns out that glyphosate not only contains, but also bears a chemical structure that closely resembles phosphorus, which means it most certainly is a clear and present danger to our Great Lakes.
“For every acre of Roundup Ready soybeans and corn that you plant, it works out to be about one-third of a pound of P [phosphorus] coming down the Maumee,” Spiese says.
The problem is now so out of control that Ohio Governor John Kasich had to declare a state of emergency back in 2014, after at least half a million Ohio residents were left without clean drinking water due to phosphorus pollution in Lake Erie. It’s the job of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be looking out for the interests of the people and preventing this type of thing from happening in the first place, but this federal agency seems to be missing in action, and the people now have to fend for themselves.
Clean drinking water is becoming increasingly hard to come by, which is why companies like Berkey offer advanced filtration systems that purify water of phosphorus, fluoride and many other chemical contaminants that threaten you and your family. Learn more about the benefits of this amazing system here.
Read More At: NaturalNews.com