Target: Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Daniel Esty
Goal: Stop the planned use of dangerous herbicide at Connecticut reservoir
As one of the most frequently used broad-spectrum herbicides, glyphosate is most commonly associated with the home-use product known as Roundup. Regardless of form glyphosate has proven extremely effective at killing unwanted vegetation, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with commercial crops. This product was introduced in the 1970s by a corporation rapidly gaining in infamy known as Monsato. It was touted by Monsato as a chemical that “more closely approximates to a perfect herbicide than any other.” It also furthered the company’s interest as it soon after introduced genetically modified crops designed to be resistant to glyphosate, a commercial conflict of interest that somehow slid past any real scrutiny.
Unfortunately, this product is not the near-perfect agricultural miracle that Monsato touts it to be. The combination of glyphosate salts in conjunction with frequently occurring additives such as surfactants (items that help the herbicide seep into the ground) work to increase the toxicity to a far greater level than would be any of these chemicals alone. It also has been known to impact the soil itself where sprayed, reacting to beneficial bacteria to create a poor-quality soil that denies plants of necessary nutrients. As a product utilized on crops this can simply be a commercial concern (as long as the nutrients are conveniently replaced by a Monsato-sold chemical fertilizer); however, in a natural ecosystem this has the potential to devastate.
The Lower Moodus Reservoir would be one such natural ecosystem that should not be subjected to such a potentially damaging herbicide. Despite this, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has approved the use of glyphosate on this reservoir. This cannot be allowed to happen; the Lower Moodus Reservoir must not be polluted with toxic chemicals simply to attempt to impede weed growth.
Dear Commissioner Esty,
Chemical solutions always carry with them an inherent risk. Be they pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides, by using artificial chemicals in the process of removing some undesirable object from the environment, the potential for harm will always increase. Even chemicals marketed as extremely safe such as glyphosate carry with them the potential for harm.
Glyphosate, most commonly associated with the herbicide Roundup, is an herbicide that was first marketed in the 1970’s by the Monsato Corporation. It was touted upon its release as a chemical that “more closely approximates to a perfect herbicide than any other” due to its effectiveness against broadleaf weeds and undesirable grasses. The desirability of this product was further increased by Monsato producing “roundup ready” strains of genetically modified seed to sell alongside its weed-killing agent. This has continued despite the product itself proving to deviate considerably from that “approximating-perfect” label.
The concerns regarding glyphosate are varied and numerous. Included among them is the increase in toxicity that occurs by combining glyphosate salts with other chemicals such as surfactants (items that break up the surface tension of the liquid so that the chemical better absorbs). These chemicals have proven far more harmful together than each has the capacity for individually. In addition, glyphosate has also shown to react with the soil itself where sprayed, killing beneficial bacteria to create a poor quality soil that denies plants of necessary nutrients.
These concerns should be enough to give pause to any consideration for the product’s use. When used for agricultural purposes the soil is at least augmented with fertilizer, however when applied within a natural environment such as the Lower Moodus Reservoir there is no such means for replacing the stripped-away nutrients. If this chemical were to be sprayed along the reservoir, as is intended to occur later this month, it could cause irreparable harm to the reservoir and the surrounding ecosystem. It is for this reason that glyphosate cannot be used to remove unwanted vegetation from in and around the Lower Moodus Reservoir.
[Your Name Here]