Killing weeds is as easy as picking up a bottle of Monsanto’s Roundup at your local store—any store; it’s the most popular herbicide in the world.
Just spritz and the pesky plants are gone.
The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, which can be found in over seven hundred fifty products sold in the United States alone. These products have all been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as safe when used as directed.
But a 2015 study by King’s College in London is the latest to prove that glyphosate is not “safe” by all standards:
“Gene disturbances associated with the chronic administration of ultra-low dose Roundup reflect a liver and kidney lipotoxic condition and increased cellular growth that may be linked with regeneration in response to toxic effects causing damage to tissues. Observed alterations in gene expression were consistent with fibrosis, necrosis, phospholipidosis, mitochondrial membrane dysfunction and ischemia, which correlate with and thus confirm observations of pathology made at an anatomical, histological and biochemical level…Our results suggest that chronic exposure to a GBH in an established laboratory animal toxicity model system at an ultra-low, environmental dose can result in liver and kidney damage with potential significant health implications for animal and human populations.” (1).
This means that even the smallest traces of the chemical-roughly the amount that you ingest every day from conventional food or the amount you’re exposed to through clothing, hygiene products, or even just from a daily walk through a city park treated with Roundup- is enough to disturb your DNA.
The Increasing Weight of Evidence
Hundreds of glyphosate studies have revealed its toxicity, affecting varied parts of mammalian bodies—including humans’. Incidences of skin tumors, rhinitis, leukemia, testicular cancer, and neurological deterioration have been documented.
In 2012, it was found that glyphosate, when mixed with the surfactant POEA (polyoxyethylene amine) found in Roundup, became even more toxic—four hundred fifty times more toxic. DNA in fish was altered after just twenty-four hours of exposure to a heavily diluted solution. An earlier study of POEA found it deadly to human embryonic, placental, and umbilical cord cells (2).
Roundup isn’t just used on weeds that grow in sidewalk cracks, it’s used in commercially-farmed food. The poisons invade the genes of the plants that we’re eating, killing the necessary bacteria in our digestive system and causing illness and disease.
Inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact with glyphosate and other ingredients in commercial and consumer herbicides have been linked to autism. One researcher at MIT predicted, “At today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic”, partially because of exposure to these toxic substances.
Worst of all, the chemicals don’t stay on the plants you want to kill.
They seep into groundwater, are blown by the wind, and evaporate into the air. One spritz to a dandelion in the driveway can end up on the tomatoes in your backyard.
So before you stop at the store to buy Roundup or a similar weed killer, consider spritzing these homemade non-toxic herbicides instead.
Non-Toxic Weed Killer
- Organic raw apple cider vinegar
- Fill a spray bottle with ACV.
- Spray directly onto weeds, preferably on a sunny day. The acetic acid of the vinegar will cause them to wilt and die (it’ll take a few days). For best results, spray every day until the weeds are dried and dead.
Note that vinegar is non-discriminatory—if the spray gets on your pansies, they will meet the same end as the weeds.
For more aggressive weeds, you may try the following recipe. The Epsom salts will cause the unwanted plant to burn and dry out. Soap is the surfactant, holding the other ingredients in place on the undesirable greens until they meet their demise.
- 1 Gallon ACV
- 2 cups Epsom salts
- 1/4 cup non-toxic dish soap
- In a bucket, stir Epsom salts into vinegar until dissolved.
- Add dish soap and gently stir to mix.
- Slowly fill a spray bottle with the solution and spray directly onto weeds to coat. Apply on sunny days to help the solution stick on and kill those weeds!