Slate | By Ted Williams
Here’s why protecting the proper, responsible uses of glyphosate matters so much (and should matter to the very organizations that want the herbicide off the market): A total ban on all glyphosate use would be an unmitigated disaster for fish and wildlife. Glyphosate is the most effective tool, often the only tool, wildland and aquatic managers have for restoring fish and wildlife habitats destroyed by alien plants. Even when they spray glyphosate, they use minuscule amounts and frequently they merely inject it into individual plants or paint it onto cut stems.
“Sure, it’s always better to use no-toxic alternatives, if they’re practicable,” says Dan Ashe, who directed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under Barack Obama. “Often, however, they’re simply not. For instance, it would have been possible to hand-pull the head-high invasive verbesina from the ground at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, but it would have taken time and personnel that were simply not available. Use of herbicides like Roundup can accelerate the work, creating urgently needed nesting space for thousands of albatrosses.”