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U.S. EPA reaffirms that glyphosate does not cause cancer

U.S. EPA reaffirms that glyphosate does not cause cancer

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday it finished a regulatory review that found glyphosate, the most widely used weed killer in the United States, is not a carcinogen.   The conclusion reaffirms the agency’s stance on glyphosate, the key ingredient in Bayer AG’s Roundup, despite judgments by U.S. juries that have found that use of the weedkiller was responsible for plaintiffs’ cancer in some trials. “EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen,” the agency said in a statement. The EPA judgment could help bolster the case for Bayer as it faces thousands more lawsuits from Roundup users who allege it caused their cancer. Bayer, which bought Roundup maker Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, welcomed the findings. The company has maintained glyphosate and Roundup are safe and not carcinogenic. Farmers spray glyphosate on fields of soybeans and other crops. Roundup is also used on lawns, golf courses and elsewhere. “Glyphosate-based herbicides are one of the most thoroughly studied products of their kind, which is a major reason why farmers around the world continue to rely on these products,” said Liam Condon, Bayer’s global president for crop science. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer arm classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Bayer said last Friday it reached an agreement with plaintiffs’ lawyers to postpone a Missouri jury trial over allegations Roundup causes cancer to provide time for negotiations to settle the litigation. Three consecutive juries previously found Bayer liable for causing cancer...
Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Soil Makes Your Brain Happy

Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Soil Makes Your Brain Happy

   Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain as prozac, without the negative side effects and potential for chemical dependency and withdrawal. It turns out getting in the garden and getting dirty is a natural antidepressant due to unique microbes in healthy organic soil. Working and playing in soil can actually make you happier and healthier. What gardeners and farmers have talked about for millennia is now verifiable by science. Feeling like your garden or farm is your happy place is no coincidence! The soil microbe mycobacterium vaccae has been found to mirror the effect on neurons in the brain that drugs like Prozac can provide, but without side effects. The way it works is the “happy” microbes in soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which leads to the production of more serotonin. This bacterium is found in healthy soil and when humans are exposed to it, the microbe stimulates serotonin production. Serotonin makes us feel relaxed and happier. Conversely, lack of serotonin has been linked to depression, anxiety, OCD, and bipolar disorders. Some studies on cancer patients have demonstrated better quality of life and less stress when patients were given mycobacterium vaccae. Scientists also tested the microbe via injection and ingestion on rats and compared results to a control group. They found that cognitive ability, lower stress, and better concentration were notable benefits that lasted 3 weeks time. Mycobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil are also being investigated for improving cognitive function, Crohn’s disease, and even rheumatoid arthritis. Farmers and gardeners come in contact with this bacterium by having topical contact with it, inhaling...
3 Lawn Care Essentials to Add to Your iCalendar Schedule This Spring.

3 Lawn Care Essentials to Add to Your iCalendar Schedule This Spring.

When the weather begins to transition to the warmer Spring setting, it is time to start thinking about your lawn rejuvenation responsibilities.  You may be searching the internet for things like “Spring Lawn Care Schedule” or “Spring Landscaping Ideas”. This is the most important time to take care of your lawn, as it will determine the health of your grass and gardens for the whole Summer. So what are some the most popular lawn care procedures performed during Spring?     Spring Cleanup One of the most important things to do during Spring a complete cleanup of leftover leaves and accumulated debris from the lawn and garden beds. Falling leaves and snow cover create a layer that will prevent sun and water penetration during the important growing season.  Also cleaning out garden beds will be an important step in preparing them for mulching, planting, and weeding.     Soil Dethatching Thatch is a layer or organic, and non-organic, material that builds up on the top layer of your soil.  This layer can be beneficial when kept in check.  As it builds up however, it can suffocate soil and grass roots.  Removal of thatch can be done with a rake or powered machines.  The removed material can be disposed off or mulched and reused as organic fertilizer.  Dethatching should be done yearly in Spring before the first mowing occurs.     Pre-Emergent Weed Control By far the most difficult thing to do in a lawn is to fight weeds in Summer once they have established. The time to prevent weed emergence is before seeds germinate.  Most annual weeds, such as...
Spring Yard Prep: Experts Weigh in on Getting Your Yard Summer-Ready

Spring Yard Prep: Experts Weigh in on Getting Your Yard Summer-Ready

   With summer right around the corner, we’re looking forward to warm weather, backyard BBQs, and afternoons spent relaxing on the patio with a great book. But it’s hard to relax if your outdoor space isn’t properly prepared. You may have gotten away with neglecting your yard all winter, but with sunny days ahead of us, it’s time to get on your spring yard prep and give it the attention it deserves. From lawn care basics to landscaping and aesthetics, there’s a lot that goes into creating a beautiful outdoor space for you and your guests to enjoy this summer. To better understand what you actually need to do this spring to prepare your yard, we asked lawn experts and landscapers for their best tips, tricks, and advice on maintaining a beautiful and healthy yard.   You should be raking your lawn in the spring It’s just as important to rake your lawn in the spring as it is in the fall. Bolton Lawn Care says, “If you didn’t clean up leaves from your lawn in the fall, it’s imperative to clean them up in the spring. Leaves, if left on the lawn, will kill any grass you try to grow, and are a breeding ground for pests and lawn funguses.”    Since “grass is king for summertime gatherings,” as Green Team says, you’ll want to begin your spring yard prep by raking thoroughly to remove any thatch build up and to identify any potential areas of your lawn that may need special attention or treatments, such as overseeding.  Lawn mowing tips: mowing your lawn just right Mowing...
How to Repair an Ugly Lawn. Landscape Renovation Ideas.

How to Repair an Ugly Lawn. Landscape Renovation Ideas.

   Are you fed up with looking at huge brown patches in your yard?  Has Crabgrass created its on zip code on your property? Many homeowners spend countless hours, and dollars, attempting to achieve that green lawn like their neighbors.  Many of these attempts fall short due to not focusing on the key elements needed for grass to thrive and out-compete pests and weather conditions.  So if you seeded your lawn last Spring with no luck, or you applied some box store product and weren’t impressed, this post will help guide you through which steps to take next this year.   Start With The Soil Many times lawn repair efforts are targeted at grass and chemicals, forgetting about the most important factor for lawn growth; your soil. Poor soil will prevent root growth, stunt seed germination, and allow weeds and fungus to out compete even the best grass varieties.  The following are common soil problems and how to fix them.. Compaction – Tight soil structure prevents the movement of roots during growth periods.  It also prevents proper water drainage, which is a breeding ground for fungus.  Regular aeration will help with moderate compaction. Some highly compacted areas will need to be amended with topsoil or organic matter, like Humus. pH Levels – the acidity level of soil determines which type of plant will survive and how well it can deter unwanted pests. Proper soil pH levels should be between 6.5-7.  Acidic pH levels are common and can be corrected with heavy lime application.  An alkaloid lawn can be adjusted using Sulfur. Thatch – Thatch is an organic, and in-organic, layer...