WHAT IS IT ?
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It is a broad-spectrum herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds, grasses, and woody plants. It is widely used in grape growing to eliminate unwanted weeds and grasses under the vine rows.
WHY ARE GLYPHOSATES SO CONTROVERSIAL ?
Glyphosates are controversial for two reasons:
First, scientific literature and regulatory conclusions show a mix of findings. For example, in 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that the glyphosate herbicide and its formulated products are probably carcinogenic in humans. In March 2019 a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology analyzed data of more than 30,000 farmers and agriculture workers and reported links between glyphosates and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. U.S. Government Agencies, on the other hand, have tended to take an opposing position. In September 2016, the EPA ‘s Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC) issued a report concluding that glyphosate was “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans” at doses relevant to human health. In April 2019, the EPA reaffirmed its position that glyphosates pose no risk to public health. (Note, however, that earlier in the month the U.S Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) reported that “there are links between glyphosates and cancer.”
Second, recent high-profile court cases have ruled for clients and against U.S government agencies. More than 42,000 people have filed suit against Monsanto (now Bayer) alleging that exposure to the Roundup herbicide caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The first three trials ended in large awards to the plaintiffs for liability and damages, with juries ruling that Monsanto’s weed killer was “a substantial contributing factor in causing them to develop NHL”. These rulings are currently being appealed.
WHAT IS STONERIVER VINEYARD'S POSITION ON GLYPHOSATES ?
We don’t profess to be experts on glyphosates or their impact on our environment or the health and well-being of our employees and customers. We do believe, however, that there is enough evidence pointing to the possibility that glyphosates may be harmful to our environment and carcinogenic to human beings that we have chosen not to use them in our vineyards. To this end, we stopped using all glyphosates in our vineyards 5 years ago and have relied exclusively on mechanical means to eliminate our unwanted weeds and grasses in our vine rows.
1) If you are more technically minded Mimi Casteel of Hope Well Wine has an excellent video entitled ‘Glyphosate in Vineyard Systems’. You can access this video by going to https://livecertified.org/training and select the video entitled Glyphosates in Vineyard systems.
2) Also, you will find a wealth of information accessing the Glyphosate General Fact Sheet (National Pesticide Information Center): http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphogen.html#body