New pathogen promoted by common herbicide, Roundup
ISIS Report 09/01/12
USDA Scientist Reveals All
Glyphosate Hazards to Crops, Soils, Animals, and Consumers
Don Huber painted a devastating picture of glyphosate and GM crops at UK
Parliament Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji
In less than an hour, Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University and
USDA senior scientist (see Box) delivered to the UK Houses of Parliament a
damning indictment of glyphosate agriculture as a most serious threat to the
environment, livestock, and human health .
Don Huber, Emeritus Professor at Purdue University and senior scientist on
USDA�s National Plant Disease Recovery System, has been a plant physiologist and
pathologist for over 40 years. His academic career began with 8 years as a
cereal pathologist at the University of Idaho, and the next 35 years at Purdue
University where he specialised in soil-borne disease control, physiology of
disease, and microbial ecology. For the past 20 years, he has conducted
extensive research into the effects of glyphosate on crops, in response to the
increase in crop diseases on glyphosate-applied fields.
Since his letter to the US Secretary of State Tom Vilsak was leaked in February
2011, there has been a great deal of controversy over what Huber described as a
pathogen "new to science" and abundant in glyphosate-tolerant GM crops (see 
Emergency! Pathogen New to Science Found in Roundup Ready GM Crops?, SiS 50). As
he concluded in the letter: "We are now seeing an unprecedented trend of
increasing plant and animal diseases and disorders. This pathogen may be
instrumental to understanding and solving this problem".
His talk linked glyphosate to reduced nutrient availability in plants,
increasing plant diseases, the emergence of a new pathogen, animal illness and
possible effects on human health (see [3, 4] Glyphosate Tolerant Crops Bring
Death and Disease, Scientists Reveal Glyphosate Poisons Crops and Soil, SiS 47).
Pathogen new to science
The conversion of US agriculture to monochemical herbicide practice has resulted
in the extensive use of glyphosate herbicides. Coincidentally, farmers have been
witnessing deterioration in the health of corn, soybean, wheat and other crops,
and epidemics of diseases in small grain crops. All are associated with the
extensive use of glyphosate, which has increased further since the introduction
of glyphosate-tolerant, Roundup Ready (RR) crops.
Glyphosate immobilises nutrients required to maintain plant health and
resistance to disease. This weakening of the plants defence could explain the
infestation of GM crops with the new pathogen, which has now been observed in
horse, sheep, pigs, cows, chicken, multiple animal tissues including
reproductive parts (semen, amniotic fluid), manure, soil, eggs, milk, as well as
the common fungal pathogen that is currently infesting RR crops, Fusarium solani
fsp glycines mycelium. All are coming into contact with glyphosate either
through direct exposure or consumption through animal feed. It is also highly
abundant in crops suffering from plant Goss� wilt and sudden death syndrome.
The pathogen can be cultured in the lab, and has been isolated from livestock
foetal tissue, replicated in the lab and re-introduced back into the animals. It
appears to be very common and may well be interacting with the effects of
glyphosate on both plants and animals, exacerbating disease and causing
reproductive failure in livestock (see below). Although great expectations have
been placed on Huber to publish his findings, he insists that before this can be
done, further resources are necessary to be able to characterise the �entity�
and identify what type of species it is, including sequencing of its genome.
This is a slow process and once complete, it is his intention to publish the
work in a peer-reviewed journal.
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