So what is glyphosate? Simply put, it’s a weed killer, but you can read up on its chemical composition and how it works here. It’s widely considered a once-in-a-lifetime invention because it kills weeds right down to the roots so they don’t grow back. The molecule was discovered in 1950, but only became popular among farmers and gardeners from the 1970s, when introduced by Monsanto as the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup®. Since the patent expired in 2000, some 40 other companies have included it in over 300 herbicides currently registered for use on croplands in Europe.
Although glyphosate is mainly used in the cultivation of arable crops, it proves useful for many gardeners and in non-agricultural contexts such as managing weed growth on railway tracks and verges or the control of invasive weed species, such as Japanese Knotweed, an aggressive invasive weed which threatens the survival of many native plants.
Though glyphosate has been used by farmers for decades, more recently some people have begun seeking to ban some uses of the substance. Regulators say there are no sound reasons for any such ban, basing their assessment on glyphosate’s history of safe use in thousands of pages of peer-reviewed studies. Our confidence in our products is always based on science. We hope this series of three articles will help you understand our approach better.