blunt essays with sharp points

About Roundup: Part 1, Preface and Introduction

by Scrvpvlvs
Nov 2, 2010 7:04 AM–Permit me to introduce you to Roundup, a chemical product invented by Monsanto Corporation. Roundup needs no introduction to you; Roundup has come in contact with you before, whether you knew it or not.


You are reading the first of a series of columns about Roundup, in which I introduce you to the product and why I think it is worth writing about. In later columns, I present the benefits and hazards of using it. The last column will pull together my conclusions and advice. I begin this project not knowing what my conclusions and advice will be, so I am quite curious myself! But I will take my time and try to get everything right, so we will just have to be patient and wait and see together.

A bottle of Roundup turned up during housecleaning not long ago, and our question was, what should we do with it? Answering this question is what these articles are really about. At the end, I hope I know whether it is best to turn it in to the local Environmental Collection Center, give it to a friend, or use it on my lawn and driveway. Even if by then we have already turned it in, at least I will know what I should have done! Anyway, that question is the scrupulus behind this project. So now let’s get started.


Roundup was invented by Monsanto Corporation to control the growth of plants. Inside the bottle or the barrel, the product is a liquid mixture of two substances. One is glycine phosphonate, known as glyphosate, a chemical that blocks plant growth. The other is a liquid detergent which helps the glyphosate spread out and soak quickly into the leaves.

In my country, the United States, we apply about 100 million pounds of glyphosate to the land every year, more than any other herbicide (plant killing chemical). We apply it on crop lands, lawns, and gardens to kill or slow the growth of plants.

100 million pounds is more than any other chemical we use in the United States to control plant growth. It is three-fourths of a cup for each person. It is 1 rounded tablespoon for every city block (that is, if we divided all of the land into city blocks and applied an equal amount to every block).

This is why I say Roundup needs no introduction to you. It has come into contact with you before, whether you knew it or not.

Please let me know your thoughts about the project, so that I can approach it from more points of view. And watch for the next column in the series!

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