By Dr. Mercola
Robert Kremer, Phd., co-author of the book Principles in Weed Management, is a certified soil scientist and professor of Soil Microbiology at the University of Missouri. He recently retired from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), where he worked as a microbiologist for 32 years.
He’s conducted research since 1997 on genetically engineered (GE) crops, and in this interview he reveals how GE crops and glyphosate impact soil ecology and biology.
Roundup Causes Buildup of Pathogens on Root Systems
Prior to the advent of genetically engineered (GE) crops, his research projects were focused on plant and microorganism interactions in the soil.
It was well-known that one of the secondary mechanisms of actions of glyphosate was that it tended to cause the plant to become infected with opportunistic soil pathogens.
When the first transgenic plants came out around 1996, Kremer’s team decided to investigate whether the use of glyphosate on genetically engineered (GE) soybeans might attract certain soil pathogens like Fusarium.
While often considered as a pathogen, several species in the Fusarium genus can be beneficial in the environment, as they mediate decomposition of organic substances in the soil.
Other species are opportunistic, and if the conditions are just right on a plant, they will attack the plant and become pathogenic (infectious) under those circumstances.
What they found was that after application of Roundup (the active ingredient of which is glyphosate), there was always a buildup of soilborne Fusarium on soybean and corn root systems during the season.
“When you see that amount of Fusarium building up on a root system, you would suspect there would be a potential for disease development under ideal conditions,” Kremer says.
“As it turns out with soybean and corn, we identified four or five major species. We found actual disease-causing pathogenic species in only
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