Shocking news for everyone with grounds and gardens – we’ve all been using this, not knowing its long term impact on our environment – and on us.
Roundup, An Herbicide, Could Be Linked To Parkinson’s, Cancer And Other Health Issues, Study Shows
The peer-reviewed report, published last week in the scientific journal Entropy, said evidence indicates that residues of “glyphosate,” the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, which is sprayed over millions of acres of crops, has been found in food.
Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc. Samsel is a former private environmental government contractor as well as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body,” the study says.
We “have hit upon something very important that needs to be taken seriously and further investigated,” Seneff said.
Environmentalists, consumer groups and plant scientists from several countries have warned that heavy use of glyphosate is causing problems for plants, people and animals.
The EPA is conducting a standard registration review of glyphosate and has set a deadline of 2015 for determining if glyphosate use should be limited. The study is among many comments submitted to the agency.
Monsanto is the developer of both Roundup herbicide and a suite of crops that are genetically altered to withstand being sprayed with the Roundup weed killer.
These biotech crops, including corn, soybeans, canola and sugarbeets, are planted on millions of acres in the United States annually. Farmers like them because they can spray Roundup weed killer directly on the crops to kill weeds in the fields without harming the crops.
Roundup is also popularly used on lawns, gardens and golf courses.
Monsanto and other leading industry experts have said for years that glyphosate is proven safe, and has a less damaging impact on the environment than other commonly used chemicals.
Jerry Steiner, Monsanto’s executive vice president of sustainability, reiterated that in a recent interview when questioned about the study.
“We are very confident in the long track record that glyphosate has. It has been very, very extensively studied,” he said.
Of the more than two dozen top herbicides on the market, glyphosate is the most popular. In 2007, as much as 185 million pounds of glyphosate was used by U.S. farmers, double the amount used six years ago, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data.
We’ve had a stormy weekend, temperatures dropped once again and we were able to turn off the air conditioning and open all the windows I love the cool winds. Today is overcast and warmer, sigh, but still not so hot as to have to close the windows and turn on the A/C.
Meanwhile, we are enjoying our yard, including the new Mother’s Day gift – to me, and more widely, to my family. Everyone loves this swing!
I’ve started up some new roses from my ever-flowering old branches, which the Pensacola Rose Society helped me identify as French Lace:
AdventureMan has potted up our mints – we have a large variety – and they are thriving! We also appear to have a good crop of blueberries coming in!
“There’s a box turtle in our backyard!” AdventureMan exclaimed, coming in after making his early morning rounds to make sure all was well in the garden, and to bring us up to date on any new developments. I was eating breakfast with our house guests, getting ready to leave for water aerobics class. (If you come to visit, you get to come to water aerobics too!)
The two guys went back out to consider the box turtle, but the box turtle had disappeared. Of course we kidded AdventureMan.
“Are you SURE you saw a turtle? How would it get in to the backyard?”
He was mystified, but certain he had seen a box turtle. They searched all the spots they could think of, but could not find any turtle.
This morning, I was up early feeding the Qatari Cat when I saw a movement in the yard, and there he was, the box turtle.
AdventureMan was still sleeping; so I ran and got my camera and took some photos. I think he was aware of me, but couldn’t figure out where I was (I was inside, he was outside). When he got up, AdventureMan was delighted to have his observation verified, and hurried outside to see if he could spot him. Nope! Turtle back in hiding.
. . . . And the land I am talking about is utility bills, water and sewage bills to be specific.
This month we got a very low water-related utilities bill. I say this in relative terms, for about a year, we have been paying huge bills, bills which, to my perception, seemed out of proportion with the water we have been using. AdventureMan called the utilities company and they explained that the averages are measured in certain winter months, and then you are charged for that usage.
So this time, I called, because I didn’t understand the explanation. A very patient, very kind customer service representative explained it again to me. They send notices, she explained, saying they are about to monitor the water usage, and your sewage will be charged accordingly. “We can measure how much water you are receiving,” she explained, “but we don’t really know what is going down the pipes as sewage or waste water (laundry, etc) or going into the ground, which is not sewage. So we measure intake during three – four winter months when people are NOT watering, and guesstimate (my word, not hers, this is a sort of paraphrase, even with the quotes) what your sewage rate is.”
It’s still a little vague to me, but just clear enough for me to understand that just when we should have been NOT watering the year before, we installed a large new planted area and watered generously while the plants settled in. We watered generously during the exact time we were to be not watering at all and using water conservatively.
For a year, I have been calling in plumbers and asking them to look for a leak, fixing every kind of water problem I could find, not understanding how we were being charged so much.
We saw a program on 60 minutes, a follow up to the “Lost Boys” segment they did years ago on groups of Sudanese men who came to the US as the Janjaweed marauded through there villages, killing, raping, destroying everything in sight. It showed their disorientation as they learned how things are done here; I feel their pain. I can identify with their confusion. My next monster to tackle is COX cablevision; they keep raising my rates, it is all totally arbitrary, and I want to find an alternative. Our son – and many others – have explained different avenues, but until you actually do it, it seems complicated. I like to understand what I am doing, and I am not ready to just throw up my hands and give up; I insist on understanding! There must be some rationality (except for Cox’s mendacious billing) and we will prevail!
But for now, through no understanding on our part, we did not water during the measuring months this last year, and now have a very reasonable water bill. Ahhhhhhh. Life is sweet.
Yesterday when I got home from a day-long seminar on Heirloom Feathers (a follow up to another one earlier in the week on making quilts from Heirloom linens), with Cindy Needham, well-known expert and instructor, (that’s Cindy giving us an extra demo during lunch on how to do beading embellishments while on an airplane)
I found a huge bouquet of flowers from my sister and her husband, who had been house guests this week. It’s one of those gorgeous days we have a few of in Spring, warm and sunny, not too hot, and oh, this bouquet looks like Spring. Arriving home and finding this gorgeous bouquet just made my heart laugh. Can you see the Easter Bunny? We had time to walk and talk, to laugh and share stories, and we were able to take them to Five Sisters. We hope they come back soon
We’ve had a busy week. AdventureMan is getting ready for the big Expo and garden sale in May, we expect our next set of house guests tomorrow morning, and meanwhile, we have our normal daily busy lives to follow. Tonight we meet up with friends we love, people who spend their lives doing good for others, and with whom we always have great conversations, and tomorrow, early, we pick up the house guests, get them settled in, and share an Easter banquet with them, and with our son, his wife, our sweet little grandson and her mother and her husband.
I found a wonderful new Spring salad recipe to share with you Very easy, very good:
Spring Asparagus Salad
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1. Whisk together the rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and mustard. Drizzle in the peanut oil and sesame oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify. Set aside.
2. Bring a pot of lightly-salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus to the water and cook 3 to 5 minutes until just tender, but still mostly firm. Remove and rinse under cold water to stop from cooking any further.
3. Place the asparagus in a large bowl and drizzle the dressing over the asparagus. Toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.
Tomorrow is our happiest of holidays, the day that sin and death are defeated and HOPE for all mankind is welcomed joyfully into the world. Happy Easter, my friends.
AdventureMan and I were up early yesterday, headed for early church, then he headed home to vacuum (God bless him mightily!) and I headed to the commissary. We expected house guests today, Monday, but they were coming by car and I had hopes they might arrive a little early, which they did.
As we were cleaning, putting away groceries, making sure the guest suite was in top condition, we could hear a symphony of buzzing, humming, clicking, sawing – we had the windows open, and with the temperatures in the 70′s, climbing into the 80′s (F) it was one of those irresistible days for yard work, and all the neighborhood was out mowing, trimming, weed-whacking, etc. We could hear the hmmmmmmmmm of air conditioners turned on, and the clicking of pool cleaners whirring and cleaning.
We treasure these rare days; warm enough to enjoy having the house open, to hear the birds and cicadas. It’s one of those days that energizes.
And then, the wind shifted, and grew cool. From the 80′s, around three in the afternoon, to evening, it dropped 30 degrees. This morning, it is in the high 30′s – a fifty degree shift! I hope the pool is warm at the Y.
AdventureMan and I had one of the sweetest days of the year – nice cool sunny morning, heading into a warm afternoon as we got up early to head over to the Mobile Botanical Gardens Annual Plant Sale.
They do a GREAT job. Starting with publicity, ads in the Pensacola News Journal and information sent out to all the regional gardening clubs and extension centers raising the level of awareness and creating a buzz. Everyone wants to go.
You get there, and parking is well organized and handy to the sales area. Signage is great – ENTER HERE! EXIT ONLY! PERRENIALS! ROSES! SHADE PLANTS! TREES! And great signs telling you how each plant is color coded and you know immediately what the price is:
Lots and lots of healthy looking plants. We knew what we wanted and found it quickly, except for the ones that were already sold out. Check-out was friendly – and fast. There was an exit strategy; people with large purchases could leave plants, drive into a pick up zone and have them loaded up. It was an amazingly efficient and well-run operation. Perfect weather, great selection of healthy plants, well-organized and efficient – it doesn’t get much better.
Well done, Mobile.
AdventureMan, half way to his goal of becoming a Master Gardener, spent the last week cleaning out the pots and gardens in back, but couldn’t bear to get rid of these two valiant tomato plants which continue bearing well into January. We’ve had delicious tomatoes since August! Who know we would live in a place where you plant tomato seeds in June and continue to have fresh tomatoes growing into January?
We also have a wonderful aloe plant, which got a little confused in the warmth of a couple days of December and sent up a flower. The first year we were here, the flowers came up in April, but Spring seems to be coming earlier and earlier . . .
We’re having a little tree work done, and AdventureMan is studying pruning techniques, so as to judiciously and minimally trim back some of our fruit trees, and clear some of the dead branches off our huge oak tree. I’ve got two avocado trees that I’ve grown from seeds, in large pots now, and some basil plants that still appear to be doing well. I still remember the hedges made of basil, which grew year round in Qatar at the Ramada Hotel, and in Kuwait would go dormant during the brutal heat of summer but come roaring back once the heat moderated.