Pesticides | St. Louis Public Radio

Pesticides

Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States.
Mike Mozart |Flickr

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, is manufactured by Monsanto-Bayer. Depending on whom you talk to, it’s either a safe, highly effective herbicide, or it’s a dangerous substance linked to cancer cases from use by farmers and landscapers.

Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with author Carey Gillam, who will give a presentation Friday at Washington University titled “Monsanto Trials and Monsanto Papers.” Gillam has investigated the topic of agrochemical safety and corporate interests for more than 20 years.

Use Of Controversial Weed Killer Glyphosate Skyrockets On Midwest Fields

May 28, 2019

Farmers have been using the weed killer glyphosate – a key ingredient of the product Roundup – at soaring levels even as glyphosate has become increasingly less effective and as health concerns and lawsuits mount.

Nationwide, the use of glyphosate on crops increased from 13.9 million pounds in 1992 to 287 million pounds in 2016, according to estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Pesticides are all over, from backyard gardens to cornfields. While their use doesn’t appear to be slowing, concern over drift and the resulting effects on health is driving research — and more worries.

Those concerns are bringing pesticides to a different venue: courtrooms. 

Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon | File photo

Missouri lawmakers continue to follow reports of illegal spraying of crops in the Bootheel region.

So far, 124 complaints have been made of people using an outdated version of the herbicide dicamba. Investigators from the Missouri Department of Agriculture have been looking into the complaints over the past few months.

The Missouri Farm Bureau says roughly 60 percent of the soybeans grown in the state are sent to China.
The United Soybean Board | Flickr

Missouri agriculture officials are looking into widespread misuse of pesticides in in the Bootheel region.

Judy Grundler is division director for plant industries within the state's Department of Agriculture. She told a state House committee on Thursday that there have been 115 complaints in four counties of pollution caused by pesticides in the past month alone.

An international panel of scientists reported this week that glyphosate, the main ingredient used in Monsanto's weed killer Roundup is unlikely to cause cancer in humans.

File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis-based Monsanto lined up its experts for a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, to challenge last week’s determination by a World Health Organization committee that the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer could be dangerous to people with frequent exposure. 

Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon | File photo

A team of 17 cancer experts assembled by the World Health Organization has ruled the most commonly used herbicide a “probable carcinogen.”

Flickr/Nate Steiner

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is warning consumers about a pesticide telemarketing scam.

Farmers, gardeners and others have received phone calls from salespeople claiming to offer high quality herbicides at below market prices.

The products have turned out not to be properly registered or labeled.

An agriculture department spokesperson declined to say what exactly was in the purchased products, what company ― or companies ― are involved in the scam, or whether the fraud extends to other states.

Why Organic Food May Not Be Healthier For You

Sep 4, 2012

Yes, organics is a $29 billion industry and still growing. Something is pulling us toward those organic veggies that are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

But if you're thinking that organic produce will help you stay healthier, a new finding may come as a surprise. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds scant evidence of health benefits from organic foods.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 19, 2012 - WASHINGTON – To the dismay of some low-income Missourians, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., voted for an amendment to slash funds for food stamps and convert it to block grants for states.

Upsetting some environmentalists, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is backing an effort to reassess a pesticide rule that farmers and ranchers oppose. She also wants to require the Environmental Protection Agency’s agriculture counsel to weigh in on behalf of farmers and ranchers on proposed new rules with an impact on agriculture.

Mosquitoes in St. Louis Co. test positive for West Nile Virus

Jun 23, 2011
Mosquitoes with the West Nile virus have been found in St. Louis County for the first time this sumemer
(via Flickr/John Tann)

The Saint Louis County Health Department has found the first mosquitoes of the season carrying West Nile Virus.

Mosquitoes testing positive for the virus have been found in St. Louis Co. communities including Clayton, Florissant, Hanley Hills, Lemay, Manchester, Mehlville, Richmond Heights.

No human cases have been reported.