The “Herbicides in the Midwest” project has launched Parts I, II, and III of the “Lowdown on Roundup.” Our timelines cover –

  • The discovery and commercialization of glyphosate-based herbicides,
  • The complex and often tortured regulatory history of glyphosate in the U.S., and
  • Trends in the use of glyphosate (Roundup) herbicide in the U.S. and globally.

Each timeline covers key aspects of the 40+ year history of glyphosate in just a matter of minutes. Throughout each, links are provided to key sources and historical documents, including several that are hard to find.

Stay tuned for similar timelines on the other key herbicides – dicamba and 2,4-D — associated with newly approved, GE corn and soybean varieties that are resistant to multiple herbicides, as explained in Section 3B: Next Gen GE-HR Crops.

This website’s section on herbicide timelines includes a user’s guide for those not familiar with prezis. It also explains that the project is making our herbicide prezis available for access and/or download in multiple formats, in order to encourage widespread use and dissemination.

We are also offering them to reporters, and were pleased to see Part II featured in the July 25, 2017 story by Stephanie Strom in the New York Times entitled <“Traces of Controversial Herbicide Are Found in Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.”

Part II covers the regulatory history of glyphosate. It points out that all the key decisions and regulatory actions necessary to open the door for the sharp rise in glyphosate use starting in 1996 – the year the first Roundup Ready, genetically engineered crops were sold commercially – occurred in the 1980s and early in the decade of the 1990s.

Check out why an early-1980s Section 18 emergency exemption request from the State of Oklahoma to apply glyphosate to wheat via a rope-wick applicator opened up a major can of worms over whether glyphosate is, or is not a possible human carcinogen, and led to a critical EPA decision that made it possible for the agency to grant the dozens of much-higher tolerances needed to cover glyphosate residues in foods made from GE, Roundup Ready corn, soybeans, and canola.

Soon, we will post Part IV of the “Lowdown on Roundup.” It covers the many environmental impacts and concerns arising in the wake of glyphosate’s journey from a minor herbicide in the 1970s, to a modestly important one in the 1980s through late 1990s, and to the mid-2000s, when glyphosate became the most heavily applied pesticide in history, both in the U.S. and globally.

Feel free to share ideas for future prezis and ways to make our herbicide timelines more accessible, interesting, and educational.



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