RoundUp has been the most popular herbicide across the globe for decades. However, after a number of high profile court cases in the US, local councils in Australia are starting to ban Glyphosate over fears the product may not be safe. So, let’s take a look at what the controversy surrounding RoundUp is all about and whether there are any alternatives.
What Is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in over 500 herbicides, including RoundUp. It is extremely effective at controlling aggressive weeds and is popular amongst farmers because it reduces the need to plough or till the soil.
However, as of May, 2019 there have been three successful cases against Monsanto (the producer of RoundUp), with huge payouts awarded to claimants who say that they contracted cancer after using RoundUp
Is RoundUp Safe?
Most scientific testing of Glyphosate suggests that it is safe to use, although one study uncovered evidence that it is not Glyphosate in isolation that is toxic to human cells, but rather the different formulations found in weed killing products. It is important to remember that to date, those who claim their cancers have been caused by RoundUp were using it in a commercial capacity over an extended period.
Alternatives to RoundUp
Fortunately there are some natural alternatives to RoundUp that produce similar results on small weeds in your backyard. These include:
- Homemade salt and vinegar formulas
- Organic weed killers
- Pulling weeds by hand
- Covering areas with black plastic
Read more about organic weed control methods including which one is best suited to your garden. According to AustralianFarmers, there isn’t a comparable product available or approved for use in Australia by commercial operators.