Thank goodness for the satnav, because following a map isn’t my forte. When going to new places I invariably take a wrong turn and end up in an unknown location feeling lost and frustrated.  

As a species, the human race went the wrong way quite some time ago. We’re now confused and lost. Collectively, we took the wrong fork in the road back in 1974 when glyphosate was introduced to the world. You may know glyphosate by its brand name Roundup. 

The handy weedkiller (herbicide) used by many gardeners and farmers the world over. Roundup entered the agricultural landscape with a bang, offering hope for farmers who struggle with weed management.

Roundup also promised reduced crop damage and environmental benefits, giving rise to Roundup-ready crops like soybeans, cotton, and maize in 1996.

Usage of Roundup has soared in the last two decades, not least because of a practice known as “green burndown” which I explore later in this article. 

Because glyphosate is water-soluble, it can accumulate in our water, leading to questions being asked about the health risks of the herbicide. A lot of scientific research on the health risks of Roundup in the past was skewed in favour of Monsanto, the massive century-old American agrochemical company. 

Today we’re seeing glimmers of hope. In the UK, Glastonbury banned glyphosate in June 2015. Other countries like Mexico have vowed to stop using glyphosate by 2024. Germany has also said they’ll stop using glyphosate by the end of 2023.