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Hi everyone, Gretchen Demmin here.
At the last meeting there were some discussions that began regarding the use of glyphosate in the truffier. I expressed my concerns about its use and was asked to share my research and concerns with the group and so i will place it here in the forum.
I have always used chemicals as sparingly as possible in all of my gardening. And so when some people advocated for using glyphosate in the truffier i wanted to learn more about this chemical and what it could be doing to our soils in which the mycelium lives and if there could be damages to the trees that i was trying to grow. as a laboratory safety professional the first place that i went to look for information was the Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS. You should be able to find this for any chemical compound that is commercially available. in this document the chemical is identified as an herbicide and it provides all of the handling conditions but also states that it is toxic to fish. I asked my self. If it is toxic to fish “what else might it be toxic for?” so i did a little digging to find out how this chemical kills. Wikipedia provided help with this. It inhibits an enzyme in plants (EPSPS) that allows plants to synthesize the 3 amino acids, (think of these as the building blocks of all proteins) tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine. There are two forms of this enzyme found in nature. EPSPS 1 is found in plants, fungi and most bacteria.
EPSPS 2 is found in glyphosate resistant bacteria and is the gene that is put in GMO plants to make them “ROUND-UP ready”. (GMO whole new discussion) But I was concerned that the same enzyme that is impacted in plants found in fungi as well. The chemical is sprayed on the leaves and then actively transported to the roots, where it ensures that the whole plant dies from its inability to synthesize these building blocks. IN 2003, Monsanto received a patent for the use of glyphosate as an antiparasitic. Since the company demonstrated that it does kill parasitic worms as well as plants I became concerned about what other impacts it might have on soil microbes. There was an additional study showing that it changed the endophytic bacteria in plant hosts (more evidence that it is killing bacteria) and a study that showed earthworms did not enter areas where the chemical had been used.
So it seems that there are far more potential effects on things other than just plants. And this is just the information available for glyphosate alone. Many times it is combined with other chemicals to make it longer lasting or better adhering and can remain in the soil in those “extended duration” formulas for as long as 197 days.
So for all of these reasons I decided that I could tolerate the weeds in between the trees. all references can be found cited in the wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate
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