The heavy use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide appears to be causing harmful changes in soil and potentially hindering yields of the genetically modified crops that farmers are cultivating, a government scientist said on Friday.
Repeated use of the chemical glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup herbicide, impacts the root structure of plants, and 15 years of research indicates that the chemical could be causing fungal root disease, said Bob Kremer, a microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.
Kremer is among a group of scientists who have been turning up potential problems with glyphosate.
Outside researchers have also raised concerns over the years that glyphosate use may be linked to cancer, miscarriages and other health problems in people and livestock.
The company has said that its research shows glyphosate is safe for humans and the environment.
Neither the USDA nor the Environmental Protection Agency, which is reviewing the registration of glyphosate for its safety and effectiveness, have shown interest in further exploring this area of research, Kremer said Friday.