The USDA's recent decision to approve Roundup Ready alfalfa renewed a debate about the safety of genetically modified crops and the use of glyphosate in the environment.

This is not a a new controversy, but many statements released in recent weeks by groups opposed to the use of genetically modified (GM) crops have claimed that glyphosate use and Roundup Ready technology will be disastrous and that glyphosate has damaged crop production by decreasing nutrient availability to plants, reducing nutrient content of food and livestock feed, and increasing plant susceptibility to disease (Zerbe, 2011).

There also are claims that glyphosate is contributing to an increase in more than 40 plant diseases that may also affect human and animal health (Smith, 2011, Zerbe, 2011).

However, evidence to support these claims has neither been presented to nor evaluated by the scientific community.

For more, see: Glyphosate's Impact on Field Crop Production and Disease Development