Posts Tagged ‘Roundup’

Two Great Articles

These are long pieces, but too important and informative not to share:

Monsanto’s Sealed Documents Reveal the Truth behind Roundup’s Toxicological Dangers


CENSORED: The Atlantic buried this interview with the Health Ranger after realizing his answers made too much sense.

Natural News ~ Glyphosate contamination will cause 50% of children to be autistic by 2025, according to researcher

It’s not just about the GMOs themselves, but what goes along with them, namely toxic chemicals and gut-destroying pathogens. In addition to this article below, you might enjoy Ronnie Cummins’ recent essay, “Consumer Self-Defense: 12 Ways to Drive GMOs and Roundup off the Market.” Ronnie shares some information I didn’t know, which puts other battles into perspective, too. For example, remember that Tryptophan incident used to justify all manner of attacks on supplements? Who knew that the Tryptophan supplement in question was a GMO? Ultimately, we need a ban, and soon. At issue is helping the general public to recognize why. Any and all methods to do so seem valid, imho, since most people still have no clue of the differences and crossovers between organic, conventional, GMO-free and completely toxic. Anyway, I recommend both articles, but I’m copying in the autism one below, because it’s a simpler argument with a specific timeline. Please do click through to Ronnie’s essay, too.


Natural News ~ Glyphosate contamination will cause 50% of children to be autistic by 2025, according to researcher

By Julie Wilson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Today, 1 in 68 children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the U.S., a rate that’s increased 30 percent since 2012, according to a March 2014 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Boys are five times more likely than girls to have ASD, and white children are more prone to the condition than black or Hispanic children.

Speaking at a conference sponsored by the holistic-focused Groton Wellness organization, research scientist Dr. Stephanie Seneff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presented data showing a consistent correlation between glyphosate (a key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide), and the rise in autism.

Dr. Seneff also made an alarming prediction regarding the recent spike in ASD: “At today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic.”

According to a fellow panelist, “All of the 70 or so people in attendance were squirming, likely because they now had serious misgivings about serving their kids, or themselves, anything with corn or soy, which are nearly all genetically modified and thus tainted with Roundup and its glyphosate.”

Kids with autism have biomarkers indicative of glyphosate toxicity

It’s unsurprising that Dr. Seneff struck a cord with other professionals at the special panel on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as she’s most certainly an expert on the matter. She’s published over 170 scholarly peer-reviewed articles and is an expert in biology and technology. She’s also listed as the first author on 7 out of 10 papers published in various medical and health journals on modern diseases as well as drug side effects, nutritional deficiencies and the impacts of environmental toxins on our health, according to reports.

During the special panel discussion, Dr. Seneff spoke about the alignment between the side effects of glyphosate toxicity and autism, noting that they closely “mimic” one another. The illustrations she presented show that, since Monsanto’s Roundup became a flagship weedkiller in 1990, the number of kids with ASD has soared from 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 68.

Seneff’s research shows that children with autism have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate, including zinc and iron deficiencies, low serum sulfate, seizures and mitochondrial disorder, according to the Alliance for Natural Health.

Monsanto denies all evidence pointing to such a connection, arguing that Roundup is harmless because humans don’t have a shikimate pathway, which the chemical inhibits. However, Seneff notes that our gut bacteria do in fact have this pathway, and these bacteria are crucial for supplying the body with amino acids.

Seneff also argues that most studies on the dangers of Roundup are too short to truly identify the effects of Roundup accumulation in the body over time.

According to Seneff, there are two key problems with autism that are completely unrelated to the brain but are connected to glyphosate exposure:

1. Gut dysbiosis (an upset in the natural balance of microorganisms in the gut)

2. Disrupted sulfur metabolism (sulfur and sulfate deficiency)

While certain microbes break down glyphosate, they leave behind ammonia, and, interestingly, children with ASD tend to have higher ammonia levels, explains Seneff in an interview with Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology.

Seneff says Roundup has the following side effects: It kills beneficial gut bacteria, allowing pathogens to grow; interferes with the synthesis of amino acids and methionine, which leads to shortages in critical neurotransmitters and folate; chelates (removes) important minerals like iron, cobalt and manganese, and much more.


Long Comments Discussion Bump-Up RE: Toxic GMO’s

This string of commentary has taken enough time and frustration that I’m bumping it up to its own post.

Posted by Jon Berkowitz on April 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm edit

Genetic modification of a plant affects only polypeptides translated from the genome template. Proteins in GMO and non-GMO foods may have variation in three-dimensional structure, but all that structure is rendered moot when the protein is digested to free amino acids by enzymes in the stomach and in the small intestine. While there might be vanishingly small variation in amino acid representation in the digestion mix, amino acids are still amino acids whether they come from a GMO plant or a non-GMO plant.
When a GMO food is digested, the digestion products, amino acids, are no different than the mix of amino acids generated by digestion of a non-GMO food. The whole GMO obsession is one big hoax.

Posted by laurabruno on April 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm edit

Then how do you explain all the (numerous) studies showing otherwise? The only times these studies are refuted is when Monsanto takes over the publication or someone gets threatened. The hoax is having the rolling door between our government and Monsanto and paid shills spouting company propaganda. If GMOs are so great, then why the thuggery, why the corrupt business practices, why the refusal to label anything, why the bribery and pressure to keep GMOs unaccountable for organic farms’ crop pollution (and it IS pollution) … why the refusal to conduct REAL scientific, long-term studies before determining something is safe? Even if the proteins were similar, your comment accounts nothing for the toxic herbicides and pesticides these crops are routinely drenched with — chemicals that HAVE been proven to cause cancer. You’re either a paid shill yourself, or a sadly misinformed artificial flavor and FD&C Kool Aid drinker. I would encourage you to research glyphosate and Agent Orange. They’re not health tonics. Also interesting that your url is just a straight url.

Posted by Jon Berkowitz on April 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm edit

Rest assured, I am paid or supported by nobody in my comments. I am a protein chemist with a thy-year career studying proteins from native sources. What I recited to you are the facts. Your studies may reveal this or that but what I have put down are the facts and it’s likely that Monsanto isn’t doing long-term studies because they too recognize the truth that the facts reveal. I not here to discuss the relative merits of pesticides and herbicides as you bring up. That isn’t even tangential to the legitimacy of the claims that GMO foods are dangerous. You can kick against the the pricks all day long, but in the end, the basic facts and the logic that accompanies them will prevail. “Don’t harbor beautiful theories by concealing ugly facts.” (Bill Patton) For the record, I am a big fan of organic gardening/farming and have been involved in the natural foods movement since 1975

Posted by laurabruno on April 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm edit

Good to hear you’re not a paid shill. I disagree that pesticides and herbicides are irrelevant to the discussion. GMOs and these toxins go hand in hand and are designed to do so. Blessings, Laura

Posted by Jon Berkowitz on April 5, 2014 at 11:51 pm edit

The discussion concerns the legitimacy of the claim that GMO are hazardous to human health. If, as you say, that pesticides and herbicides go hand-in-hand with GMO crops then you need to come up with a explanation of why the adjustment of one to several genes in the germline of a compromises resistance to pests and competing plants. Pest resistance is also something that can be manipulated for advantage. This can reduce or eliminate need of and herbicides to great economic benefit. I challenge you to demonstrate the verity of your claim that GMO crops and pesticides and herbicides “go hand-in-hand.” That aside, it seems you are unwilling to recognize the argument I have set forth that refutes the legitimacy of the entire GMO-foods crusade. And it’s irresponsible and misleading to propagate untruths.

My Facebook page is openly available to anyone who wants to view it. I don’t know what problem you had with my Facebook url because your sentence was cut off before the end. I am the Jon Berkowitz who resides in Niskayuna, NY

Posted by laurabruno on April 6, 2014 at 1:57 am edit

Have you really not heard of Bt corn that is designed to be its own pesticide and that cows that eat this corn are having some of the same effects (exploding stomach) as the insects? Have you not heard of Roundup ready corn and soy? As in, these are designed to withstand increasingly heavy sprayings of glyphosate? Do you think they design things to be sprayed by glophosate and then just miraculously don’t spray it? Are you not aware of Agent Orange being used because of RoundUp resistant superweeds?

Where do you think all these chemicals go if not into the food, water and land? My ex-husband was a Vietnam Vet who was exposed to Agent Orange. It’s not a health tonic. What about studies now indicating the role of GM corn in increased food sensitivities and gluten intolerance due to damage of human digestive tracts? What about the fact that most of these pesticides and herbicides are known carcinogens and neurotoxins?

I am not spreading disinformation. Dow chemical and Monsanto are chemical corporations in the business of industrial chemicals. That is a fact. Their GM Frankenfoods are designed to withstand absurdly high applications of their chemicals. To say the connection is not relevant to the dangers of GMO’s is like the bought and paid for Federal gov’t saying “Just because we have the NDAA and the right to drone American citizens, c’mon it’s no big deal, because at our discretion we might decide not to. Why do you assume because we designed the laws this way and insist through court cases that we maintain these rights to do away with due process and just kill people at our discretion that we intend to use the laws to imprison without trial or kill without consequence? That’s paranoid.” Roundup ready soy growers aren’t going to use Roundup. Right.

The reason we have superweeds is because of the massive use of Roundup on GM monocrops. And who’s to say that a tiny shift in proteins isn’t a big deal in terms of the body and the endocrine system? Look at what tiny shifts in an ecosystem do – huge ripple effects. Playing with genetics is, at best, something that ought to require good ethics and a sense of responsibility. Monsanto has shown neither. Consistently.

If you are not familiar with the ravages of indigenous communities and the poisoning of their food and water, then I encourage you to research what’s happening in South and Central America. It is ALL related. Monsanto favors BigAg practices and BigAg is what’s depleting our topsoil of nutrients and poisoning our land and water. That all factors in. I’m sorry if you can’t see that.

Posted by laurabruno on April 6, 2014 at 2:33 am edit

Posted by Jon Berkowitz on April 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm edit

My initial post concerning the basis for claiming that GMO foods and non-GMO are indistinguishable did not have the purpose of launching into the controversy regarding pesticides and their toxicity into which you have manipulated this discussion. You have not addressed my initial assertion that, after digestion, the product from GMO foods is indistinguishable from that of non-GMO food. This is the central thesis of the controversy surrounding GMO foods. Even unique post-translational modification of products emerging from genetically modified plants are rendered into amino acids and simple sugars in the gut before absorption into the bloodstream. Are you aware of any of the beneficial results from genetically engineered crops? For example, this article discusses the engineering of the rice genome so that the crop produces beta carotene for the purpose of ameliorating vitamin A deficiency among natives in primitive communities.

Furthermore, you have not cited the literature in asserting claims regarding the evil that pesticides are as you suppose. You seem to disregard the fact that the body has a certain capacity to detoxify noxious compounds and that resides in the liver. Not that we should tempt this capacity by seeking out opportunities to ingest toxins. But it is a significant factor in clearing the body of those things it cannot use. Unfortunately you don’t seem to understand that we all have potentially carcinogenic processes taking place in our bodies and the causes of metabolic equilibrium shift toward products of these processes and the appearance of malignancy is not determined by one factor but by many. Thus, to say “Agent Orange causes cancer,” is not scientifically sound because there’s no quantitative consideration in the claim, nor is there any mention of the enormous variation in tolerance that exists among people for the toxins found in pesticides. Another element to consider is that the bulk of the pesticides fractionate with the fibrous parts of plant material and are eliminated before they get the chance to be absorbed. (

But again, I would like to know how you can operate in this cause while not admitting the specious pretexts upon which it is based. Studies of anything biological usually yield a spectrum of results and frequently researchers will use calculations to arrive at results which support final conclusions that are consistent with the researcher’s objectives. You can debate, interpret and manipulate results. But you cannot do this with facts. And the facts concerning germline manipulation of plants and the resulting protein products produced by this do not support the notion that GMO-foods are different in their elemental constituents after digestion than non-GMO foods and therefore there is no logical or scientific basis for the assertion that there is a difference between them. Here is a study from a reputable, mainstream scientific journal which supports my stand:

Posted by laurabruno on April 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm edit

I have not manipulated the discussion, as I do not feel you can argue GMOs in a vacuum that fails to address pesticides and herbicides. If you feel so strongly about GMOs being safe then go ahead and campaign for them. Somewhere else.

There have been enough studies and experiences of birth defects, neurological issues, cancers and respiratory issues and even death after spraying of such. A friend of my partner’s family had their young, healthy child drop dead the afternoon of mistakenly riding his bike downwind of a field as they sprayed pesticides on it. My father got the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma specifically associated with glyphosate after a summer of spraying Roundup on dandelions. The level of toxins found in bloodstreams and crossing the placental barrier would seem to indicate that we have far exceeded many people’s capacities to detoxify them.

I have sent links to articles. I will read the one you sent, but I personally don’t care if GMOs digest the same. I don’t believe it does in all cases, as per the humans now having Bt in their own guts. I also do not see how you can reasonably separate pesticides and herbicides from health concerns with GMOs. As for feeding the world? Permaculture and restoring the land so it is not so depleted of life giving nutrients. Permaculture also creates systems that mimic nature and help to enlarge and protect harvests.

I don’t have time to continue this discussion with you. Clearly, we do not agree. In the long haul, mankind has not shown that altering Nature is a universally wise decision. People have an immediate revulsion against some things for a reason. Third World countries are among the groups banning GMOs. They would rather starve than eat that crap. Enjoy your organic gardening whilst trumpeting the safety of GMOs!

Posted by laurabruno on April 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm edit

Twelve “long-term” studies of 90 days or up to two years! LOL, 90 days to two years is not long-term, particularly when some studies have indicated multi-generational effects from both GMOs and the toxins associated with them. It is this sort of short sighted thinking that got us into the corporatocracy and medical mafia destroying our world. I do not worship the god of science. I’m sorry if that’s your chosen profession and religion, but, while science does sometimes have value, science and the corporations worshiping it are also largely responsible for most of the problems they purport to solve. Indigenous wisdom worked well for millennia before science insisted on improving Nature. Even Pasteur recanted some of his work on his deathbed.

As I said, enjoy your organic gardening whilst promoting the “longterm” safety of GMOs. In my world, safety includes living environment, as well as quality of life — all life, not just humancentric. We have not even gotten into discussions about the bees and pesticides. Try solving world hunger without bees! The way things are going, we might have to. I’m sure science will bless us with a solution to that, which causes another whole series of problems, for which they will also have the (patented) solution.

Christina Sarich ~ New Lawsuit Filed Against USDA Over Missing Docs Showing GMO Dangers

Surprise, surprise, Monsanto has undue influence. This does, however, raise some interesting questions about “organic” straw bale gardening, which I was just researching last night. I opted not to do it because I aim for less, not more water usage; however, I did wonder how we would know what kind of straw we’re getting if we buy it at a bigger store rather than from a farmer. “Data now shows that 90% of all alfalfa grown in the US is covered in Round Up Ready chemicals.” Do I want that in my lasagna garden beds and compost? Maybe a moot point since I used two straw bales for layering our front yard, but I will definitely check more carefully for future mulch layers. … Thanks, G!

Christina Sarich ~ New Lawsuit Filed Against USDA Over Missing Docs Showing GMO Dangers

NaturalSociety March 14 2014

Like many Americans, you may be beating your head against the wall trying to figure out how governmental agencies could so blatantly ignore the facts concerning GMO dangers. A new lawsuit filed March 12, 2014 by Center for Food Safety (CFS) demands that federal documents be released which might incriminate the United States Department of Agriculture over findings that GMO were harmful, while shielding the public from this knowledge. The complaint is filed with the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and can be viewed in full, here.

The lawsuit attests that political pressure was asserted on the FDA to approve genetically engineered alfalfa. It seeks 1179 documents from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) which explain why the agency reversed its original decision to deny GMOs, specifically RoundUp Ready Alfalfa, being promoted by Monsanto. The Director of CFS, Andrew Kimbrell, states:

“USDA determined Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa posed significant environmental and economics harms and initially proposed placing restrictions on it. Yet the agency went ahead and granted full unrestricted approval one month later. Did the White House intervene? Did Monsanto pressure the agency? The fact is we don’t know, and unless the court orders USDA to hand over these documents we may never know,”

In 2005, the USDA agency, APHIS, gave Monsanto permission to sell their poison alfalfa under the name RoundUp Ready. The very next year, CFS, along with a coalition of farmers, challenged the approval. And even though Monsanto tried to intervene, courts sided with the Center for Food Safety. APHIS was ordered to complete a thorough analysis of the GMO crop’s impacts on farmers and the environment before making a decision.

Read: Letter Reveals Monsanto Planted GMOs Before USDA Approval

Sadly, Monsanto got its way after appealing the decision at the Supreme Court level, even though the APHIS report showed significant damage to agronomics and the environment at large. The report recommended restrictions of this Monsanto crop.

In January of 2011, APHIS reversed its decision in favor of Monsanto, seemingly ignoring all the data they had uncovered showing that GMO alfalfa was not good for the environment, farmers, or consumers. They even stated that they ‘had no choice’ but to grant unrestricted approval. Alternative media then questioned the abrupt reversal, raising questions of undue influence.

“APHIS’s sudden change of heart on the approval of Roundup Ready alfalfa has led to the contamination of organic and conventional alfalfa to the detriment of U.S. farmers, and threatens the health of our environment and the survival of sensitive species,” said Sylvia Wu, attorney for Center for Food Safety. “The public deserves an explanation from the agency. APHIS cannot be allowed to disregard the public’s right to access governmental records guaranteed by the Freedom of Information Act.”

While it isn’t corn, wheat, or soy, alfalfa is the fourth most commonly grown GMO crop in the US. It is grown in every US state and asserts huge economic outcomes on farmers who grow it. Data now shows that 90% of all alfalfa grown in the US is covered in Round Up Ready chemicals.

Ethan A. Huff ~ The Facts on Glyphosate, “Satan’s Molecule”

Here’s what I don’t get: a surprising number of people who eat organic food, who frequent Farmer’s Markets and believe in “permaculture” and “natural everything,” have suggested we use Roundup to get rid of poison ivy on our property. Because somehow Roundup “painted on” a noxious weed doesn’t count or “isn’t that toxic.”

Likewise, “environmentalists” in San Francisco’s East Bay Area advocate “painting” Roundup and an even more toxic chemical on clear cut eucalyptus tree stumps as a sustainable way of managing an invasive species. Ummmmm, personally, I will learn to live with an invasive species before I will voluntarily spew death and mutant causing chemicals on my lawn or near my food supplies. Not coincidentally, my dad still has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, mentioned below, developed after a summer of Roundup use a few years ago.

I also knew a woman in Sedona who had almost died after living near a golf course and walking there every morning with her little dog, who did die of cancer within months of their move. This friend had recovered and moved away from her Florida golf course home by the time I met her, but she was passionate about body cleansing. Her medically verified toxin load from the golf course weedkillers and chemical fertilizers was so high that she had previously lost all of her hair and double digit weight without chemotherapy. Her life was forever changed by that “luxury” home with the pristine expanse of thick, weedless “lawn.” Even many years later, she needs to remain vigilant to stay ahead of the toxic load on her liver. No alcohol, only organic foods, regular cleansing — or she literally can’t function. She’s a walking miracle that never would have needed to occur had she not lived near such laudably poisonous conditions.

I can (sort of) understand less informed people using Roundup and other toxic chemicals after watching advertisements or reading the packages. What stymies me is the internal switch that seems to click in otherwise well-informed and passionately organic people who “love the Earth.” Somehow, their use of Roundup magically won’t funnel money into what has been voted the most evil corporation on the planet, and — equally mystifying — their use of Roundup won’t possibly escape into the soil or pollute their own, carefully managed, otherwise organic food crops. Likewise, in the Bay Area, the “painting” of 1,400 pounds of Roundup on stumps and spraying it (and worse) into the air won’t in any way pollute the local watershed, land or air.

Really?!?!!!! How marvelous! For those who think “just this once” won’t hurt, have a look at some sobering facts below. Thanks, G!


Ethan A. Huff ~ The Facts On Glyphosate, ‘Satan’s Molecule’
Natural News, July 16, 2013

The most widely used pesticide chemical in the world, glyphosate has been a target of environmental protection and human rights groups alike for many years now. And rightly so, as glyphosate, which is widely marketed and sold under the Monsanto-owned brand Roundup, is linked to causing cell damage, genetic mutations, miscarriages, behavioral disorders, reproductive damage, immune disease, cancer, and death.

All of this and more is revealed in a 2004 paper published in the Journal of Pesticide Reform, which highlights many of the dirty little secrets about glyphosate that you will never hear about from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or any other regulatory authority for that matter. While the EPA and others are busy arbitrarily declaring glyphosate to be safe enough to eat, real scientists are uncovering the many horrors associated with exposure to this pervasive chemical.

Glyphosate was created to kill life

By its very nature, glyphosate has been designed to squelch life before it can even begin. Monsanto’s own background and marketing materials for glyphosate explain how the chemical blocks plants from producing the nutrients they need to survive, effectively killing them. And this chemical solution is being indiscriminately spread across tens of millions of acres of crop land every single year in the U.S., which is leading to massive dead zones of lifeless soil and polluted earth.

“Glyphosate blocks the activity of an enzyme used by plants to make certain important amino acids,” explains the glyphosate fact sheet. “Without these amino acids, the plant cannot make proteins required for various life processes, resulting in the death of the plant. Glyphosate is a broad spectrum herbicide, so it kills most types of plants.”

Did you catch that? Taken literally, this succinct description reveals glyphosate to be nothing more than a life-destroying poison. Natural, living organisms, in other words, do not stand a chance when it comes to being exposed to this chemical – only genetically-modified (GM) plants that have been artificially programmed to resist glyphosate are able to survive, and this at the monumental expense of the greater ecosystem in which they reside.

Commercial glyphosate formulas contain dozens of highly-toxic ‘inert’ ingredients

But glyphosate itself is not the only major cause for concern when it comes to the chemical’s use. As it turns out, Roundup and many other commercial glyphosate formulas are also loaded with all sorts of so-called “inert” ingredients that are not indicated on the label. As highlighted in the glyphosate report, these inert ingredients typically carry with them their own toxicity, triggering many of the same harmful side effects as glyphosate in isolation.

5-Chloro-2-methyl 3(2H)-isothiazolone, for instance, is a chemical component used in Roundup that has been linked to causing both allergic reactions and genetic damage in laboratory tests. And 3-Iodo-2-propynyl butyl carbamate, a biocide often used in glyphosate formulas, has been shown to cause thyroid damage and growth abnormalities in test subjects. Other harmful glyphosate ingredients include petroleum distillates, polyoxyethylene alkylamine, and methyl p-hydroxybenzoate, which are linked to fertility problems, genetic damage, and other harm.

“Four laboratory studies published in the late 1990s demonstrated the ability of glyphosate and glyphosate-containing herbicide products to cause genetic damage,” adds the report. “(And) three recent studies have demonstrated a link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer.”

Soil persistence, water contamination, drift, damage to plants and animals, and “superweeds” are among the many other major causes of concern with regards to glyphosate. None of these issues has ever been properly addressed by governing authorities, and yet glyphosate continues to increase in use year after year.

Be sure to read the entire report on glyphosate as published in the Journal of Pesticide Reform by visiting:

Sources for this article include

FEMA Plans Clear-Cutting 82,000 Berkeley and Oakland Trees

I had just sat down to read about the Elementals when they drew my attention to the following monstrosity of a plan. Heads up, tree lovers, organic foodies, and Nature lovers, when FEMA wants to chop down 82,000 perfectly healthy trees, cover the ground with two feet of wood mulch and then pour Roundup all over that land … it’s not about improving the soil! It’s about a Monsanto payout — yes, for those who don’t already know, the GMO company brought us Roundup and Agent Orange — and a major attack on Mother Earth and the high proportion of tree-hugging humans inhabiting the Bay Area. While everyone’s out Marching Against Monsanto and demanding GMO labels, Monsanto’s workin’ another angle.

UPDATE: I’m bumping up a comment from Million Trees: “People are concerned about the use of Roundup by this project because they know more about it. In fact, a much more toxic herbicide will be sprayed on the stumps of tens of thousands of trees that will be destroyed. Garlon with the active ingredient triclopyr is less well known than Roundup, but more toxic. If people knew as much about Garlon as they know about Roundup they would be more concerned about this destructive project. Roundup will also be foliar sprayed on non-native shrubs.

Thanks for covering this issue.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Do read the comments below, as some local people are speaking up regarding the pro’s of this plan as well, in terms of returning native trees and vegetation. My main concern is the large amounts of toxic chemicals being released into the environment. The original information was found on RMN.

Info and action tips below (originally seen on RMN):

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is moving to chop down 22,000 trees in Berkeley’s historic Strawberry and Claremont Canyons and over 60,000 more in Oakland. This destructive plan is rapidly moving forward with little publicity, and FEMA cleverly scheduled its three public meetings for mid and late May while UC Berkeley students were in finals or gone for the summer.

“UC Berkeley has applied for the grant to destroy the bucolic Strawberry and Claremont Canyon areas, claiming that the trees pose a fire hazard. The school has no plans to replant, and instead will cover 20% of the area in wood chips two feet deep. And it will pour between 700 and 1400 gallons of herbicide to prevent re-sprouting, including the highly toxic herbicide, Roundup. People are mobilizing against this outrageous proposal, which UC Berkeley has done its best to keep secret.

“Strawberry Canyon. Photo credit: Corin Royal DrummondWhen I heard this week that the federal government would be funding the clear-cutting of 85,000 beautiful Berkeley and Oakland trees, including 22,000 in historic Strawberry and Claremont Canyon, my initial reaction was disbelief. I then wondered how the feds have money for this destructive project while Head Start and public housing programs are being cut due to the sequester.

“The trees in Strawberry and Claremont Canyon have been there for decades and hardly constitute a “hazard.” But pouring 1400 gallons of herbicide on the currently pristine hills will create a real hazard, and UC Berkeley even plans to use the highly toxic herbicide “Roundup” to squelch the return of non-native vegetation.

“This is a true horror story that will happen absent public opposition. I know that many will find it hard to believe that this could occur in the pro-environment San Francisco Bay Area, but UC Berkeley may be counting on this attitude to get all the approvals they need before people find out the truth.

“Please read “Death of a Million Trees,” which provides all of the facts, figures and background about the Strawberry and Claremont Canyon proposed clear cutting as well as the tree destruction plans for the East Bay. The last public hearing will be held Saturday, May 18, 2013, 10 AM – 12 PM, at Claremont Middle School, 5750 College Avenue in Oakland.

“The public has until June 17 to submit written comments on the project. You can do so through the East Bay Hills hazardous fire risk reduction project website, or via email.

“There are countless destructive attacks on the environment that Bay Area activists cannot impact. But this is occurring in our own backyard, and activists must make sure that this cannot happen here.”