The trends of glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and around the world

Originally discovered by the Swiss chemist Dr. Henri Martin and subsequently mass-produced by a Monsanto chemist, Dr. John Franz, glyphosate was first used in agriculture in 1974. The use of glyphosate herbicides has had a considerable impact on the environment and public health. As such, it is essential to have precise and accurate pesticide use data concerning that impact, which helps researchers to understand and quantify the risks and benefits stemming from the use of glyphosate-based herbicides.

2/3 of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the last 10 years. The corresponding share globally is 72%.

A recent study published in Environmental Sciences Europe, “Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally,” sheds new light on glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and many other countries. With the introduction of glyphosate to the market in the mid-1990s, the use of herbicide increased ever since. Farmers use more herbicides to kill weeds without killing their crops, resulting in more genetically engineered, herbicide-tolerant crops. Humans are exposed to more glyphosate around their living area. “2/3 of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the last 10 years. The corresponding share globally is 72%.”

Glyphosate will likely remain the most widely applied pesticide worldwide for years to come, and interest will grow in quantifying its ecological and human health impacts. Accurate and accessible time-series data on glyphosate use will accelerate research progress. To learn more about trends in glyphosate herbicide use, you can read the full article here.

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