The use of the popular weedkiller, Roundup, in public parks and on agricultural crops is a danger to public health, according to a new analysis of scientific evidence.
A report in The Ecologist states that one of the main ingredients of Roundup, as well as several other herbicides, is a chemical known as glyphosate. According to the report, a review of academic research, conducted by Greenpeace and the anti-GM campaign group GM Freeze, suggests exposure to it can cause cancer, hormonal imbalance, birth defects and neurological illnesses including Parkinson’s. It says the glyphosate within weedkiller can also be damaging to wildlife and rivers, when it spreads through the soil and into watercourses with run-off. A new Greenpeace campaign, backed by the report, is targeting Monsanto in particular because of the spread of its GM crops, genetically engineered to be tolerant to glyphospate. This allows farmers to spray the chemical over the top of the crop, killing almost all weeds without affecting the crop, the report notes.