herbacide drift

csricciJuly 7, 2006

Hey all,

We have recently suffered herbacide drift on some of our tomato plants - The Romas and the beefsteaks have hardly any damage if at all, but our supersonics have a fair amount on the tops of the plants (so do our pepper plants). My question is this - how will this effect the fruit?

We do not use any fertilizers or chemicals in our garden - we use organic soil/manure and beneficial insects etc. Although I know we can't avoid every environmental toxin like the stuff that may already be in the soil, we do our best. So now will our tomatoes have traces of the herbacide in the fruit or is it just the leaves that are effected? Fortunately we have had a lot of heavy rain so hopefully whatever got on the leaves has been washed off.

I've read up on the web about round-up and how it's not considered very toxic, binds to the soil etc., but I can't seem to find the answer to my particular question. Thanks for any info you have!

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torquill(z9/sunset15 CA)

One page I found states that glyphosate residues are stable in plant tissue for approximately one year, but I'm unable to find any other references to that number. I'm also finding several pages that list the pre-harvest interval as 32 days for Roundup.

I sincerely doubt that you'll be able to harvest any fruit within a month of a significant brush with Roundup -- the plants usually take some time to recover. The residue will be in the fruit, though, and may be there until the end of the year.

On the one hand, I haven't been able to find any information on the toxicity of glyphosate residue in produce when eaten by humans... on the other hand, the odds are that you already have such residue in conventionally-grown produce, many things made with grains or soybeans, and even in beer. I suppose that any trace amount you may pick up from your own plants, by the time they've outgrown the damage enough to produce, could probably be compared to that you'd get from any other store-bought conventional food.

There isn't much information out there, sadly -- the tests are expensive, and very few groups have the money and interest to fund studies. Even those of us who are careful still get exposed to chemicals we don't want, where we don't even know how harmful they may be. All you can do is find what information there is and use your best judgement.

--Alison
who is far too familiar with the situation of running into unwanted chemicals, despite careful living.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 10:09PM
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