I used to live on a small lake (or, arguably, a large pond) that was choking in lily pads.  It seems that one of the neighbors, back in the 40’s, had decided to beautify her back yard by planting some lily pads in the lake.  The lily pads liked it there so much that, every summer for fifty years, there were a few more lily pads. By the time that we moved in in 2000, you could barely navigate through the south end of the lake in a canoe because of all the lily pads.

I suppose that if we let the situation continue, the entire lake would be filled with lily pads by 2050.

So when the newly-formed “Friend of The Lake” organization formed, one of their first challenges was what to do about the lily pads. There were a couple of options: they could hire some divers to pull the pads out by their roots, or they could spray Aquamaster, which is described as an aquatic version of Roundup, on it.  They decided to spray. All the claims were that it was harmless, and that we just wouldn’t be able to swim in the lake for a couple of days.

Now, I wasn’t using Roundup or fertilizer on my lawn because I didn’t want that stuff to seep into the lake.  My lawn was a mass of weeds, except for one time when I replaced the lawn with grass.  For one summer, I had a beautiful, grassy lawn.  I really enjoyed it, but I still wouldn’t spray so the weeds came back.

I don’t think I am a radical environmentalist.  I think its common sense to not use chemicals near a lake.  Well, maybe I was wrong about Roundup.

So I decided to do some research for the group, and I read all about Roundup on the web.  There a some sites that claim that Roundup is causing all sorts of  illnesses, but these seemed to be sort of fringie type sites. Even so, it didn’t seem so safe to me.

I wrote to the Friends of the Lake and stated my concerns.  I thought it would be safer to hire divers to pull out the lily pads.  Perhaps other people agreed with me?  I did not hear from one person. No –that’s not quite right.  One woman wrote to me privately to say that she agreed with me but didn’t want to raise a fuss so please to keep her name out of it.  Thanks, Lady.  They sprayed Roundsup on the lake repeatedly year after year, and now the lake is almost lily pad free and much clearer than it was.  I think the roundup must be also killing the algae that used to form from the fertilizer run-off.  “With Friends like these, who needs enemies of the Lake” must be congratulating themselves.

Meanwhile, in my research of Roundup, I read that Monsanto is developing a Roundup-resistant variety of wheat (they call it Roundup Ready Wheat).  This is so that they can spray the wheat crop with Roundup and kill only the weeds.  Then, we get to eat the wheat! Never mind the lake – they are planning to feed the stuff to us!  So I thought it must be safe – the EPA won’t approve an unsafe chemical for our food, right? (I also secretly thought I would start eating organic wheat only.)

Yesterday a Facebook friend posted a link to an article that said the EPA just passed a law stating that they are allowing us to 30 times more Roundup than we did last year. In 2012, we were allowed to eat 2 oz. Now, we can eat up to 60oz of Roundup a year.

The head of the EPA is an ex-Monsanto exec.  I’m going to join Greenpeace and see what I can do to help this fight.

Yikes – more scary facts – this link is a little out of date (the march date has passed) but still a good roundup (ha ha) of Monsanto facts.