Statements | May 16, 2017 | Read Time: 3 minutes
Glyphosate and Roundup Brand Herbicides
Ever since the beginning of agriculture—thousands of years ago—farmers have been battling a common enemy: weeds. For farmers, weeds are much more than just an eye sore. Along with bugs and plant disease, weeds are a “pest” that damage crops and ruin harvests. Weeds cause problems in farm fields because they steal water, sunlight and nutrients from the crops farmers are working hard to grow.
To help farmers protect their crops from weeds, Monsanto offers a variety of solutions. One of our popular products is called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup® branded agricultural herbicides. Farmers, as well as homeowners and others, have been using Roundup® and other glyphosate products for more than 40 years.
Glyphosate has been a breakthrough for farming. Not only do glyphosate products work really well on weeds, but they also help farmers grow crops more sustainably.
For example, glyphosate has helped farmers adopt what is called “conservation tillage.” With conservation tillage, farmers can disturb less soil and drive their tractors less. As a result, farmers can reduce soil erosion and carbon emissions, which is great for the environment. In fact, conservation tillage can reduce soil erosion by up to 90 percent and, in 2014 alone, reduced carbon emissions by an amount equivalent to removing nearly 2 million cars from the road.
Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing agriculture and society overall. Glyphosate is helping farmers be part of the solution.
Glyphosate is just one tool in the farmers’ toolbox for controlling weeds. Any farmer will tell you: there is no silver bullet. In fact, if a farmer relies too much on one tool, no matter how well the tool works, weeds can become resistant to the tool.
To avoid and manage resistant weeds, farmers use a variety of tools and practices together. Monsanto works with university researchers, industry partners and others to provide farmers with advice on how best to combine different tools and practices.
Like all pesticides, glyphosate is routinely reviewed by regulatory authorities to ensure it can be used safely. In the U.S., that’s the job of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and like other regulatory authorities around the world, the EPA’s process is comprehensive and based on the best available science. Click here to learn more about the EPA’s current “registration review” underway for glyphosate.
When it comes to safety assessments, no other pesticide has been more extensively tested than glyphosate. In evaluations spanning four decades, the overwhelming conclusion of experts worldwide, including the EPA, has been that glyphosate can be used safely according to label instructions.