Letter: How Important is it to Remove Mustard with Roundup?


Has anyone noticed that half of every patch of mustard all over our Greenbelt has been killed off already? Huge patches of brown next to the mustard are places sprayed with Roundup.

What is the problem with non-native plants that suddenly we must eliminate all of them from our greenbelt?

I noticed the Laguna Canyon Foundation spraying alongside my shop in the canyon and asked them to stop. I am quite willing to clear that space myself with conventional tools. They sprayed random patches of grass too. Are we to believe that is how we will treat our greenbelt from now on by spraying any grass, anywhere, with toxic chemicals?

I do not want that carcinogen sprayed on grass where my dogs and I walk each day. It gets on your shoes, then your hands, your dog’s feet track it all over the house etc. It cannot be good for the wildlife.

At the crack of dawn on the same morning, I noticed two people going up and over the PG trail by Big Bend, and I asked the guys in the Roundup supply truck if they’d seen them. They said no, but they had seen them too. So, who climbs up that steep trail in full white outfits at the crack of dawn? It occurred to me later that these were two of their own guys who had been sent up there to spray mustard plants with Roundup. I had just asked them, “Aren’t you supposed to post notices of spraying when you do this?” They both said, “Oh no, we haven’t done that in their experience.” Interesting answer, I thought.

It has a half-life of between 2 and 200 days, but that only means to me that some of it is around for a long time, and water moves everything downhill to the ocean. Even if it dilutes fast, that’s still a lot.

How do you justify that? How important is it to remove mustard? Is it just a cost-saving overdoing it mechanically? Perhaps this position on saving the native environment is too costly in this case? And please don’t be stealthy about it. It’s a sign of guilt.

Tex Haines, Laguna Beach

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  1. Tex Haines,the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was first patented as an antibiotic that was claimed to be effective against more that two hundred types of bacteria including E. coli and salmonella. The US uses about 600,000,000 pounds of glyphosate annually. Most of the corn, soybeans, Colton, alfalfa and sugar beets are genetically modified to be round up resistant. The rapeseed plant from which canola oil is made is also roundup resistant as are some of the cereal grains. So here in the US as well as world wide we are applying an antibiotic to the soil. Like the weeds that have become resistant to the roundup bacteria will and are becoming resistant to this antibiotic but in the process will gain gain resistance to the antibiotics we use.

    Another even more dangerous trait of glyphosate is that it is an endocrine disrupter. The male fetus during the first trimester of development is exquisitely sensitive to the various hormones because it is the ratio of these hormones that determines whether the embryo will become a male or female. Any disruption of the endocrine system can produce a variety of abnormalities from from imperceptible cognitive effects to microcephaly.

    Of course like many other toxic products the correlation of its effect is usually found long after it has been deemed as being safe when used in accordance to the manufacturers directions. However many products as is the case with roundup/glyphosate are tested for a very limited time so that we are in fact the test animals for long term exposures. But in the meantime our economy can become “addicted” to the use of a harmful product world wide as is the case with roundup/glyphosate


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