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The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are investigating the yellowing of upward of 40,000 acres of wheat in Umatilla and Morrow counties. So far, the cause is a mystery
Dr. Don Huber walked past a soybean field and noticed a distinct line separating severely diseased yellowing soybeans on the right from healthy green plants on the left (see photo). The yellow section was suffering from Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a serious plant disease that ravaged the Midwest in 2009 and ’10, driving down yields and profits. Something had caused that area of soybeans to be highly susceptible.
Don Huber spent 35 years as a plant pathologist at Purdue University and knows a lot about what causes green plants to turn yellow and die prematurely. He asked the seed dealer why the SDS was so severe in the one area of the field and not the other. “Did you plant something there last year that wasn’t planted in the rest of the field?” he asked. Sure enough, precisely where the severe SDS was, the dealer had grown alfalfa, which he later killed off at the end of the season by spraying a glyphosate-based herbicide (such as Roundup). The healthy part of the field, on the other hand, had been planted to sweet corn and hadn’t received glyphosate.
Sudden Death Syndrome is more severe at the ends of rows, where Roundup dose is strongest. Photo by Amy Bandy.
This was yet another confirmation that Roundup was triggering SDS. In many fields, the evidence is even more obvious. The disease was most severe at the ends of rows where the herbicide applicator looped back to make another pass (see photo). That’s where extra Roundup was applied.
In fact, Roundup herbicide weakens plants and promotes disease in a number of ways, including:
•Acting as a chelator of vital nutrients, depriving plants of the nutrients necessary for healthy plant function
•Destroying beneficial soil organisms that suppress disease-causing organisms and help plants absorb nutrients
•Interfering with photosynthesis, reducing water use efficiency, shortening root systems and causing plants to release sugars, which changes soil pH
•Stunting and weakening plant growth
•Promoting disease-causing organisms in soil, which then overtake the weakened crops
There are more than 40 diseases of crop plants that are reported to increase with the use of glyphosate
"This study was just routine," said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.
After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.
And if this isn't shocking enough, some in the third generation even had hair growing inside their mouths--a phenomenon rarely seen, but apparently more prevalent among hamsters eating GM soy.
Surov said “The low numbers in F2 [third generation] showed that many animals were sterile.”
Genetically Modified Corn Study Reveals
Health Damage and Cover-up
By Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception
When a German court ordered Monsanto to make public a controversial 90-day rat study on June 20, 2005, the data upheld claims by prominent scientists who said that animals fed the genetically modified (GM) corn developed extensive health effects in the blood, kidneys and liver and that humans eating the corn might be at risk. The 1,139 page research paper on Monsanto’s “Mon 863” variety also revealed that European regulators accepted the company’s assurances that their corn is safe, in spite of the unscientific and contradictory rationale that was used to dismiss significant problems. In addition, the study is so full of flaws and omissions, critics say it wouldn’t qualify for publication in most journals and yet it is the primary document used to evaluate the health impacts.