23 August 2018 ·
Wake Up Canada
They are spraying your forests with glyphosate...
Why is glyphosate of such concern?
Glyphosate is an organic compound with phosphorus as an important component as well as nitrogen in its chemical make-up. It was invented by Monsanto chemists, brought to market in 1974, and its chemical name is N-phosphonomethyl) glycine (aka 2-[(phosphonomethyl) amino]acetic acid) – glyphosate for short and much more easily remembered. Monsanto’s patent on glyphosate expired in 2000 and since then it has been manufactured by dozens of companies with a significant drop in price and therefore increasing popularity with farmers.
In 2007, glyphosate became the most-used herbicide in agriculture in North America. It works as a weed killer by inhibiting the production of certain plant amino acids and enzymes. After it has done its deadly work, some of it breaks down in the soil into simpler molecules of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus. Excess glyphosate can run off into water, particularly at peak farming times. Its use has been expanding in the agricultural sector by about 20% per year for the last several years.
Unfortunately, it has become apparent through a number of recent laboratory-based studies that glyphosate does not act as a killer for some blue-green algae, aka cyanobacteria.
The blue-greens love the phosphorus in glyphosate or its degradation products, which otherwise is a limiting factor in their survival. They thrive on increased phosphorus.
Second, and more insidiously, recent research has indicated that glyphosate actually enhances the growth of blue-greens. The blue-greens apparently have the ability to absorb glyphosate directly from the water and some are tolerant to it or become adapted to it by rare genetic mutations.
Blue-greens are actually bacteria, not true algae. As such their genetic material is distributed throughout the cell, and they reproduce by binary fission producing endless clones. There is no “mix-and-matching” of chromosomes and genes such as occur in nucleated organisms using sexual reproduction that tends to dissipate the effects of mutant genes. Once a cyanobacterium has undergone a mutation, that mutant gene is replicated again and again as the cell divides. It produces clones of the mutant cell, and if that mutant has an advantage (such as resistance to or affinity for glyphosate), it will rapidly spread.
A more familiar example is the recent rise to prominence of so-called superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. Human infections are often related to bacteria that enter the body, and are treated by the intake of prescribed antibiotics as a course of treatment for a number of days. If the antibiotics are not taken for an adequate period of time, the residual bacterial population includes mutants that resist the drug in question, and in turn that drug becomes less and less effective against new infections. This way a superbug is created e.g. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). So think of the blue-greens as bacteria (which they are) and glyphosate as an antibiotic (which it is). Those blue-green cyanobacteria that survive the glyphosate thrive as mutants and have the capacity to spread widely."
Read this... from one of your own. Professor Geoffrey Norris, a geologist and algae fossil specialist with a long career at the University of Toronto.
Spraying in Nova Scotia forests soon to begin | Truro News
It’s spray time again in Nova Scotia forests. More than 2,000 hectares of privately owned woodland is to be sprayed, mostly with the herbicide VisionMax. The active ingredient in Vision-Max and Roundup is the controversial chemical