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Is glyphosate safe?

Last year I treated an area of bindweed with glyphosate - the nexy day I found a perfectly normal looking young blackbird, no wounds or signs of illness, dead about half  metre away.  Could the glyphosate have killed it?

Secondly, a gardener I know told me that glyphosate can leach from the roots of the target plant and kill others whose roots are nearby in the soil.  Does anyone know if there is any truth in this?


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    No and no

    There is no way a glyphosate treated bindweed would kill a bird of any sort unless it drunk it -which is not at all likely

    Secondly your gardener is uninformed- it works thought the leaves and becomes inactive on reaching the soil-if it did leach thought the soil there would be a lot of dead plants out there

    I will repeat what I have said before, plant chemicals- if used in accordance with the instructions- are safe for use in this country

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,386

    Glyphosate is absorbed by the leaves and works its way down to kill the plants from the roots up.  This process takes up to two weeks and repeated applications may be needed on particularly stubborn plants such as bindweed and thistles.

    As Geoff says, it becomes inert on contact with the soil and will only kill plants whose foliage has been sprayed or painted with it.  

    However, European studies in several countries have shown that it does leach out of soil into nearby water courses and this can affect aquatic plants and thus habitats.  Great care must be taken when using it near water courses.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Glyphosate is licensed for use in water courses under specific conditions.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,386

    Not for long me thinks.   I know scientists who've worked on some of the studies and another who works for Monsanto and all reckon the EU will ban it sooner or later.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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