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To: Costco, Bend Oregon
COSTCO PLEASE Remove Round-Up Weed Killer From Your Shelves
Remove Round-Up Weed Killer from the shelves of Costco in Bend, Oregon
Why is this important?
Our town is progressive and strives for ecological restoration. People move here from all over the United States because of the beautiful and clean environment. We should work together to keep it that way.
There are numerous reasons why you should take the initiative and remove Round Up Herbicide from your shelves. First, because it is applied as a spray, the potential for drifting can and does occur. Non-target plants nearby can be killed when wind carries the herbicide. The plants that are affected are native to our area and are already facing a struggle placed on them by the amount of invasive plants we have introduced. Second, Roundup has been found to contaminate our water systems, which in Bend is very important to the local citizens. Studies have found a connection to Roundup and the decline of amphibians. The problem appears to be the detergents used to disperse the glyphosate. This surfactant --polyoxyethylene amine (POEA)--has a lethal effect on frogs and their tadpoles. It has proved to kill certain water insects as well. This reduces food sources for fish and other inhabitants in our rivers. Roundup has also been linked to higher than normal amounts of algae which reduce the oxygen level of the water. In water it takes Roundup 2 to 60 days to disappear but studies have found that Roundup persists in wetland sediment for up to 400 days. Trace amounts have also been found in surface drinking water which may not have effects in small dosages but can be quite harmful in large quantities.
Third, Roundup has a devastating impact on our soil systems. Studies around the world have shown that on average, Roundup stayed in soils for 250-350 days. The most detrimental soil findings were the negative effect it has on michorizial fungi. This fungi is found in connection with the roots of most plants and is a very important symbiotic relationship. The fungi feeds off of the plant sugars and in turn the fungi supplies the plant with nutrients and water. Earthworms found in soils laced with Roundup also have been affected. In these areas they appear to be softer and slower acting. Earthworms are important to our soil systems as they work to break down organic material and chemicals, as well as loosen the soil particles.
Lastly, although Roundup is less toxic than some herbicides, it has been found to have effects on human beings. The most common reactions that occur from contact with the herbicide are skin-related irritations such as dermatitis and eczema but there have been more disturbing findings. One finding was reported by scientists at the University of Caen in France in December 2008. The article stated that in low doses, a component of Roundup (POEA) can kill human embryonic cells. It was proven in lab tests and linked to higher numbers of miscarriages and premature births to farm women who were regularly exposed to the compound. Another study and possibly even more disturbing was the study performed by Senior Research Scientists at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Dr. Stephanie Seneff. She states that her studies have found her to believe that autism isn't just genetic but is almost surely due to environmental factors including the exposure to Monsanto's RoundUp (glyphosate). Glyphosate has been shown to interrupt the workings of the pineal gland which leads to high levels of autism. It has also been linked to the cause of the increase in gut related problems. In her article she states, “The way glyphosate works is that it interrupts the shikimate pathway, a metabolic function in plants that allows them to create essential amino acids. When this path is interrupted, the plants die. Scientists and researchers beleived that human cells don’t have a shikimate pathway so that exposure to glyphosate would be harmless. The problem is that bacteria DO have a shikimate pathway and we have millions of good bacteria in our guts – our ‘gut flora.’ These bacteria are essential to our health. Our gut isn’t just responsible for digestion, but also for our immune system. When glyphosate gets in our systems, it wrecks our gut and as a result our immune system.”
I can continue to write down facts about the negative effects from Roundup but I feel that I have already made my point on why you should take the initiative and remove it from your shelves. There are numerous other natural, organic herbicides that you can replace it with that do not have such devastating consequences. If you think about it, Roundup has only one benefit, the easy removal of weeds, but the negative effects of numerous. An action which may seem to you a poor financial decision at first, will actually benefit you in the long run as our society as a whole turns to making better ecological decisions and you find yourselves as one of the leaders.