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Glyphosate

From Academic Kids

fr:Glyphosate Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine, C3H8NO5P) is used as a non-selective herbicide to kill weeds, especially perennials. Numerous Studies have shown that it an endocrine disruptor and can cause reproductive damage in mammals.

It kills plants by inhibiting their ability to make aromatic amino acids, which is an interesting target since only plants and microorganisms have this metabolic pathway. Glyphosate is the primary ingredient in Monsanto's popular herbicide Roundup. Many crops have been genetically engineered to be resistant to it.

In 1991, soybeans, a plant naturally very susceptible to nearly all herbicides existing at the time, were genetically modified to tolerate the herbicide. This greatly improved the ability to control weeds in soybean fields since glyphosate could be sprayed on fields without hurting the crop. As of 2004, glyphosate is used on 80% of U.S. soybean fields to eliminate weeds.

Glyphosate is an aminophosphonic analogue of the natural amino acid glycine and the name is a contraction of glycine, phospho-, and -ate: Missing image
Glyphosate.GIF
Chemical structure of glyphosate

It was first sold by Monsanto under the tradename Roundup but is no longer under patent so is now marketed under various names.

Glyphosate is one of a number of herbicides used by the United States government to spray Colombian coca fields through Plan Colombia. Its health effects, effects on legal crops, and effectiveness in fighting the war on drugs have been disputed widely.

External Links

Study Showing Glyphosate to Be Dangerous (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2005/7728/7728.html) Website of the SynBioC research group, working on different types of aminophosphonates (http://www.synbioc.ugent.be)

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