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The other glyphosate ‘resistance’

Who are the Canadian activists who are pushing for a glyphosate ban, and why are they so convinced they’re right?

In the September issue of Country Guide I wrote about the Avaaz movement’s effort to ban glyphosate in “The Target is Glyphosate“. As I reported then, if you haven’t heard of Avaaz, you should go to its website today. The prestigious Guardian newspaper says Avaaz (whose name means “voice” in several European languages) is the world’s most powerful online network of environmental activists.

In just five years, Avaaz has amassed a membership of almost 44 million people, and it is still growing. Thousands of dedicated volunteers are overseen by core teams on six continents, and one of their key objectives is to force glyphosate off the market.

Reader reaction to my initial column ranged from a real fear that glyphosate is in danger to a sort of dismissal that such a ban could ever happen here.

Unfortunately, it is already happening in countries around the world, and the list keeps get longer… and closer to our agriculture. Sri Lanka has already banned the use of glyphosate, and El Salvador and Malta have passed laws banning glyphosate, although those laws have not yet come into effect. Bermuda has banned the import of glyphosate, and Colombia has outlawed the use of glyphosate for eradication of illegal coca plantations grown for cocaine production.

The Netherlands has already banned the use of glyphosate for home garden use, and France has passed legislation to ban home and garden use of glyphosate by 2022. As well, Brazil’s government is currently debating a ban on glyphosate.

Importantly, activists in those countries are getting inspiration from Canada.

The Pesticide Action Network in the U.K. has published an extensive list of regions globally which have banned glyphosate, and its list includes “Canada — eight of 10 Canadian provinces have in place some form of restriction on the use of non-essential cosmetic pesticides including glyphosate. These cannot be used in public areas or by the public out of doors.”

The list gets a lot longer when you consider the many Canadian municipalities that have enacted bylaws banning pesticides for cosmetic use (which in many cases includes glyphosate). The Pesticide Free B.C. website provides links to 40 communities in that province alone which have banned pesticide use.

To find out why there can be strong support for such bans, I emailed and talked with a number of activists.

The activists

I simply wanted to know who are the activists, the environmentalists, and the Canadian Avaaz members who support a glyphosate ban in Canada, and why are they so convinced that they are in the right when they argue that glyphosate use should be discontinued?

Priscilla Judd of Lumby, B.C. is likely the type of person most farmers picture when asked who they think wants a ban on glyphosate. She is a self-described activist and supports a number of environmental and social causes.

Judd also signed the “Independent Scientists Manifesto on Glyphosate” which calls for: “… governments at all levels to ban the spraying of glyphosate herbicides. As professionals who have read the literature of glyphosate herbicides and their effects we have concluded that they are causing irreparable harm.”

Judd also describes herself as: “survivor of a pesticide violation.” She is not only opposed to the use of glyphosate, she opposes the use of all pesticides. “Organic is the future. We have to go organic; it is sustainable!”

But Judd is especially opposed to glyphosate. In our interview, she talks of maps she has found on the Internet showing the vast area of North America which grows GMO crops, and she firmly believes that glyphosate kills everything including beneficial soil microbes, leaving the soil dead.

Judd has participated in the March against Monsanto, she has been active in the creation of a GMO-free zone around her community, and she blogs about the dangers of conventional agricultural practices.

She is also a singer/songwriter who profits from promoting and selling her anti-GMO and anti-Monsanto songs and CDs online.

As another example, Peter Subda of Courtney, B.C. has supported a number of Avaaz initiatives including the call for banning glyphosate. He has a master’s degree in electronic engineering and is an organic farmer. He says “glyphosate is a horrible substance and should not be used by farmers and homeowners. They do not know how much damage it does.”

Subda also believes glyphosate is a much more persistent chemical than Monsanto claims. He cites lectures that he has attended by Dr. Thierry Vrain as well as information he has read online.

“People have lived for millennia in harmony with the environment, so why do we need to screw around with something that does so much harm?” he asked me. “We are driving ourselves into extinction.”

Robert Abell of Kanata, Ont. also signed the Monsanto Manifesto. He is at the other end of the spectrum, with a PhD in science education and background in chemistry.

Abell says he has carefully studied 50 to 60 papers that raise issues about the safety of glyphosate, and he can quickly recite reports saying glyphosate remains in the environment longer (up to seven years in soils and oceans) than industry and government want us to believe.

Abell talks of documented health problems in places like Sri Lanka and Ecuador where populations that have been exposed to glyphosate have much higher rates of some diseases.

Abell says he “simply does not trust mainstream research.” He feels the peer-review process is broken, and that regulatory oversight by government has been compromised by industry interests.

“Glyphosate destroys the land. It degrades the soil,” he believes, and he also sees dangers in the development of glyphosate resistance in plants.

Mostly he is concerned about the increase in chronic disease that correlates closely with the increase in glyphosate usage. He points out that glyphosate is an antibacterial agent and therefore is likely to have an impact on the bacteria in the human gut. He feels this could have profound effects on health.

In the middle, meanwhile, are those like Joe Kiceniuk who spent over 20 years as a toxicologist in Nova Scotia. Kiceniuk signed the call for a glyphosate ban because he feels it is no longer being used appropriately. He is dead against the use of glyphosate as a desiccant in food crops. In fact he says he is opposed to any use of glyphosate in the human food chain.

Kiceniuk says 80 per cent of our health-care budget is now spent on the treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases like heart attacks, cancer, and diabetes. He feels sublethal exposure to pesticides is part of the reason for such health problems. He points out that glyphosate residue is now found in everything.

“I am not opposed to the proper use of glyphosate outside the human food chain. Farmers must read the instructions and know what they are doing when applying any pesticide. They have to realize this is dangerous stuff. It must be kept out of the food chain.”

Resisting the glyphosate ban

The question is, what are Canada’s farm groups doing to save glyphosate? Here is what I found out:

CropLife Canada is “the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science technologies, including pest control products and plant biotechnology” in Canada. President and CEO Ted Menzies described the push for a ban on glyphosate as a “blind attack.” He said that proponents calling for a glyphosate ban have not talked with farmers about the benefits glyphosate provides. “Glyphosate is an amazing tool which allows farmers to grow more food. It has minimal toxicity, and there is nothing better or safer for farmers to use.”

The primary strategy taken by CropLife Canada is to reach out to grower groups and organizations, saying, “We urge farmers to share their story, to tell how the use of glyphosate has enabled zero tillage and resulted in improved soils, and how there would be millions more acres under the plow without glyphosate.”

Menzies says CropLife Canada provides farmers with training in using Twitter and social media sites to tell their personal stories. He suggests farmers “don’t dwell on the negative.”

Instead, he says, farmers should explain how you share the goals of the public, and that you want to farm sustainably and produce healthy food, which is why you use glyphosate. “Tell your story,” he says. “Be proud of what you do.”

Ron Bonnett, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture feels there is a real risk of municipal glyphosate bans, and even at the provincial level. He explains that pesticide approval and registration at the federal level is very much evidence based, and the PMRA does a good job at ensuring pesticides are effective and safe. However, decisions at lower levels of government are often based on opinions rather than hard evidence.

Bonnett says agriculture needs to build public trust. “We need to start to tell the story of how today’s pesticides are better than the older products they have replaced. That story is not getting out.”

Yet Bonnett says it is very difficult for agriculture to tell its story in the face of misinformation that activists can spread with a short tweet or Facebook post.

As another example, James Battershill, general manager of Keystone Agricultural Producers in Manitoba, says farmers must inform the public about glyphosate, how it is used, and the benefits it provides.

Battershill says we must make sure the public knows that if glyphosate isn’t protected, farmers will have to use more pesticides not less.

Farmers also need to explain that the adoption of zero tillage only happened because of pesticides like glyphosate, he says, and that without glyphosate tillage would again be required, resulting in erosion and soil degradation.

As well, the public needs to be told that the risks from glyphosate are not what they are being made out to be by those seeking to ban its use, Battershill says: “Glyphosate provides benefits both for farmers and the general public.”

Norm Hall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan says APAS has not taken any action against the potential banning of glyphosate at this time. However, he added: “Farmers need every tool… we will do everything in our power to fight against a ban of glyphosate or any other tool in our tool box.”

Yet possibly the most interesting reply came from Shannon Scofield, executive director of the Agricultural Federation of Alberta. The AFA immediately put the issue to its board, which issued the following statement:

“We (AFA) feel that Avaaz, and other activist groups like it, do pose a serious threat to the modern agriculture practices that many Canadian farmers have adopted. However, the bigger threat may be that oftentimes consumers are turning to biased and incorrect information sources as a basis for their food choices, rather than sound, scientific evidence. Recently, we have seen examples of this in many different sectors of the industry, from the marketing of hormone-free meat as a healthier food choice to the vilification of GMOs.”

“Canadian farmers rely heavily on export markets,” AFA’s board also said. “Glyphosate bans in any of the countries that we currently do business with could drastically change how we operate.

“This is our livelihood,” the AFA board said. “We cannot allow organizations like Avaaz to be the loudest.”


Glyphosate and sustainable agriculture

I must clarify a statement I made in “The Target is Glyphosate” in the September issue of Country Guide. Poor wording created the impression that I believe glyphosate is used in organic production. This is not the case.

Kate Storey, Manitoba Organic Alliance president correctly pointed out “Glyphosate is not a Permitted Substance in organics and is not permitted for use in organics.”

In the article, I had meant to refer to growers who have both conventional and organic production systems, but I did not make this clear. A dual-system producer can use glyphosate in their conventional crops, but not in areas certified organic.

I apologize for this error and for any issues it has created.

The ‘Risk-Monger’

Dr. David Zaruk is an environmental health risk research analyst at the Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, Brussels, and he blogs under the pseudonym “The Risk-Monger.”

In March of this year, Zaruk listed 10 reasons why glyphosate is a good herbicide (expanded versions of each of these points can be found in his blog post at risk-monger.com).

His 10 reasons for defending glyphosate include:

  1. Controlling invasive weeds leads to better agricultural yields.
  2. Better yields = less land in production = more meadows and biodiversity.
  3. Extremely low toxicity levels compared to (organic) alternatives.
  4. Allows for no- or low-till farming — better for soil management.
  5. Reduces CO2 emissions (compared to organic).
  6. Glyphosate saves lives.
  7. It is much more affordable and effective than other options.
  8. Glyphosate is off patent so no single company is profiting heavily from it.
  9. Glyphosate-resistant crops allow for more ecological weed management practices.
  10. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that glyphosate is safe for humans.

Similarly, Dr. Steve Savage is an agricultural scientist out of California who blogs under “Applied Mythology.” In his March 15, 2015 post “Why Organic Can’t Fulfill Our Food Supply Ideals” Savage says: “But increasingly, the “natural” constraints of organic are making it difficult or even impossible for organic farmers to implement what we now know to be best for us, best for the environment, or best for the food supply.”

Even the “Father of Organic Gardening” in Texas, Malcolm Beck wrote in 2001: “Nature could approve of glyphosate if used properly in some conditions.” In the published article he argued that the tillage that organic producers rely on is an unsustainable farming practice.

plantanswers.com/roundup.htm

(Note from Gerald Pilger: As a producer, I applaud the market that organic has created and is profiting from. However I am troubled by both organic growers and conventional growers attacking the agronomic practices and tools each use to create equally safe and nutritious food for the public. If only everyone would market their production in an honest way; explaining truthfully the virtues of the food they are producing rather than seeking market share by denigrating production methods of other farmers. In a hungry world there is certainly room for both farming methods!)

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Comments

  • Kate

    When it comes to a discussion about glyphosate, Organics is the innocent bystander who gets unwillingly dragged in by both sides. Some consumers see organics as the hero who will save them from the pesticides they fear. Some in conventional agriculture sees us as the villan who threatens their business as usual. The organic farmers which I know do not want anything to do with this pesticide versus consumer fight.
    The organic farmers I know are just farmers like any other and we are doing our best to improve our yields of a special crop to meet market demands. We need production tips to refine our technique. We don’t need to get dragged into the pesticide versus consumer arguement.

    • Rob Legroulx

      I so agree

    • Sheryl McCumsey

      The organic farmers I know care about the land on a completely different level and do this because they care more about that than the average farmer. I know many of them.

  • Richard

    When one side is talking danger and the other is talking how it helps farmers, they are talking apples and oranges.

    Want people to understand? Put things in context. Glyphosate is safer than vinegar, or say vinegar is more toxic than glyphosate. Ordinary people don’t have a reference point for farmer talk and you talk past them.

    And it’s not about organically vs conventional like the other person noted. It’s about maintaining access to pest control products that have been extensively researched and shown to be safe in our normal consumption patterns. Organic use pesticides too. But no one other than a farmer understands what that means !

    • Sheryl McCumsey

      Glyphosate is not safer than vinegar. Do you understand that this is also the “active ingredient” in a formulation that has additives like surfactants? So even if you believe yourself those surfactants dramatically increase toxicity. Monsanto is even aware of how this is damaging soil microbes and is now selling pro-biotics for the soil. People like you keep repeating the same mantra which is not science based but industry based propaganda.

      • Peter Olins

        Surfactants disrupt the lipid membranes of viruses, bacteria and animal cells. That’s one of the main reasons humans use soap. Do you fear soap?

        I’d love to learn more about “damaging soil microbes”: can you point me to some literature?

        • Sheryl McCumsey

          It would take a lot to educate you and knowing your background I doubt you have a real interest in understanding. This doesn’t have to do with fear this has to do with education. Historically the toxicity of this is not done on the formulation but on one ingredient. This is about science. You need to know what a soil microbe is before you can discuss what the patent for glyphosate states it does. Most people understand that drug combinations can kill- certain ingredients mixed together in a laboratory can be inert or they can be explosive. Making comparisons like fearing soap is simply ignorant.

          • Peter Olins

            Hi Sheryl, I would be the first to admit that I have a lot to learn, so you’ll need to go into more depth about your concerns.

            One of the most exciting glyphosate patents relates to its activity on the malaria parasite, but so far this has not been developed into a useful therapy.

            Glyphosate also has activity against another protozoan, a microbe responsible for eye infection. Again, it’s too soon to know whether this could be developed as a drug.

            I have no doubt that glyphosate affects some soil microbes under real-life conditions, either inhibiting or stimulating their growth. This topic has been discussed here:

            http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/35795/PDF

            While this has the potential for reducing crop yields, I’m not aware that this problem has been observed. Do you have any more information?

            My mention of “soap” was referencing the work of the Seralini group, who found that cultured animal cells were more sensitive to the surfactant than the glyphosate in Roundup herbicide.

            Of greater concern, the surfactant POEA also has the potential to affect a variety of aquatic animals: http://bit.ly/2re8175

            Of course, this is also a risk for the other surfactants commonly used in agriculture, including herbicides and insecticides permitted for use in “organic” agriculture.

            Personally, I’m not concerned about the human health effects of traces of surfactants in our diet: in fact, the liver produces large amounts of bile acids which aid in the uptake of fats.

            Finally, a variety of surfactants are also present in large amounts in a typical Western diet.

          • Sheryl McCumsey

            Again, I feel it is a waste of time discussing this with you due to your connections to this industry and your way of twisting information including what is on the patent. Listed on this patent are many other organisms you seem to have missed- you can google for studies done on the pathogenic species which are more resistant and normal gut flora that is more sensitive to it for starters. I have already said that a formulation needs to be tested not just ingredients by themselves. Drug interactions
            are an example of why testing formulations are important- referencing to organic is something industry does to try to infer that organic is just as bad as conventional farming which is a joke in my opinion. One has to spend the time to actually look at what each industry is allowed to do to make real critical comparisons. Water is also in a number of products- deflection is a tactic used regularly by the chemical industry.

          • Peter Olins

            Sheryl, you are going to have to be more specific if you are honestly interested in delving more deeply into these topics. You have mentioned your interest in ‘”science” a number of times, and I would be glad to share the relevant information that I am aware of. Perhaps we can both learn something from the exchange. For example, exactly which patent are you referring to, and what is your question/concern?

          • Verna Lang

            I think she is reading the patent for use of glyphosate as an antimicrobial. Here is good response from a Monsanto scientist about why the patent was written as it was and how useless it would prove in its present formula as an antibacterial agent. https://gmoanswers.com/ask/why-did-monsanto-patent-glyphosate-antibiotic-also-medical-establishment-has-been-preaching

          • Duncan DeBunkerman

            GMO Answers is a notorious biotech chemical industry astroturf site run by the Ketchum PR firm. Peter Olins is listed and pictured as one of the Ketchum “go to” PR assets.

          • Verna Lang

            It sounds like you want to muzzle the free speech of anyone who disagrees with you. Whatever happened to the concept of “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

          • Peaceful Warrior

            You apparently think open transparency is muzzling free speech. I wonder why you feel s threatened when people are told the truth.

            Duncan has truthfully exposed the truth about Peter and the astroturf GMO answers site.

          • Verna Lang

            I posted a link to an explanation from Dan Goldstein, Senior Science Fellow and Lead, Medical Sciences and Outreach, Monsanto Company. You and/or your mental clone went off on a rant about GMO answers and Peter Olin and that no one should read GMO Answers. And you wonder why people laugh at you when you talk about transparency and freedom of speech.

          • Peaceful Warrior

            Yes we all know that you posted the Monsanto PR line. The spokesperson is not important, but the consequences of the agenda are many.

          • Duncan DeBunkerman

            Exposing a site as a notorious industry astroturf site is not muzzling free speech.

            Your intellectual dishonesty and proneness is exposed here too.

          • Verna Lang

            “GMO Answers is funded by the members of The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto Company and Syngenta.” That is the declaration directly from their site, which seems pretty open to me. You made an accusation that being listed as an independent expert on GMO answers, along with many other academics, farmers and agricultural communicators as well as those who declared their industry affiliation, somehow makes Peter Olins guilty of something. I searched and couldn’t find that he had actually answered any question on that page yet. And here you are making accusations based on literally nothing. Sounds like tactics taken from the McCarthy witch trials and ironically, communist guilt by accusation trials. Mao was pretty keen on using that tactic against intellectuals in China. All in order to stifle thought and free expression of opposing viewpoints.

          • Duncan DeBunkerman

            Yes. It confirms the fact that is is an industry astroturf site that is run by the Ketchum PR firm and that Peter is listed as one of their “go to” PR operatives. Just as I said it was.

            The rest of your hysterical indignation is your problem not mine.

          • Verna Lang

            No, it only confirms that it is sponsored by the industries listed. No Ketchum listed. It does not mean that Peter is an operative instead of one of their dozens and dozens of independent experts. So far, they have “gone-to” him for nothing. Unless you are reading through a conspiracy theory filter on your screen, of course, there is no evidence of your accusations.

          • Duncan DeBunkerman

            Just because it isn’t listed doesn’t mean that Ketchum doesn’t run the site.

            It has been reported in the press many times. Your industry doesn’t like to let people know the kind of propaganda they are being subjected to when they click on this dodgy industry controlled propaganda site.

          • Verna Lang

            My industry? Up to you to prove that I have ever worked for any industry. I haven’t. Bring on a forensic accountant. An extensive audit will prove that you are making things up. Stop making baseless accusations instead of rational arguments.

          • Duncan DeBunkerman

            You are working for your industry right now, Verna. Don’t start getting coy with the facts at this late point in the game. We can all see that you are an industry shill.

          • Verna Lang

            Coy with the facts? I’m surprised that you even know how to spell the word facts. You are far more acquainted with whatever pops into your imagination. Your shill argument is only slightly above the level of a kindergartener who runs out of “Did, too!” in an argument and resorts to the “And you’re a poopyhead!.” Even his peers find that argument pathetic.

          • Duncan DeBunkerman

            Look, Verna. You tried to deflect from the fact that Ketchum PR firm is paid to run the notorious astroturf site GMO Answers for the biotech chemical industry. Ketchum is the source of much of the propaganda on the planet. They are the people who wrote the articles Kevin Folta signed off on that said Folta was the author. They have no moral scruples and it looks like that has rubbed off on you.

            You are a sad case, Verna. No intellectual honesty.

    • Rob Bright

      I’m sorry, but vinegar has not been classified as a ‘probable human carcinogen.’ Nor does vinegar cause non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. You are clearly misinformed about the safety research done on glyphosate. The only research that suggests it is safe is the research done by its manufacturers, pro-industry groups who regurgitate this biased research, and people who have been duped into believing industry pseudoscience.

      Glyphosate was first patented as a chelator (meaning it binds to metal ions, including the trace minerals humans need for optimal health.) Thus, those trace minerals are tied up by glyphosate making them no longer biologically available to us.

      Glyphosate is also patented as an antibiotic, so it kills bacteria — including beneficial soil bacteria, and the healthy bacteria in our gut that help us with digestion and are vital to a healthy immune system.

      Please do a little research before regurgitating antiscience, industry spin.

  • Rob Bright

    What a disgusting, antiscience, piece of agrochemical industry propaganda!!! This authour has no clue about the toxicity of glyphosate and merely regurgitates the reckless, industry talking points about its supposed safety.

    The IARC, (the World Health Organisation’s cancer research division) has classified glyphosate as a “known animal carcinogen” and a “probable human carcinogen.” It is know to cause non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and has been linked to many other serious health problems.

    This kind of “journalism” is dangerous and irresponsible. In fact, it is not journalism at all, but merely marketing and propaganda for industry. SHAME ON THIS WRITER for his reckless, antiscience, gibberish!

  • Wally

    These activists are modern day heroes.

    Monsanto’s own scientists told them Roundup/glyphosate caused cancer over 35 years ago. Instead of disclosing that fact, they colluded with the EPA who approved glyphosate over the objections of their own staff scientists and called the science “inconvenient” and hid the science away from other scientists, the courts, and the people as a trade secret while at the same time telling us it was safe.

    Both the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization have declared glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen.

    A recent peer review scientific study posted on the Nature website shows that Roundup causes fatty liver disease a concentrations over 430,000 times lower that the contamination allowed in the food supply.

    Monsanto’s 1981 glyphosate study in rats by Lankas & Hogan shows that Glyphosate causes malignant LYMPHOMA .. . Glyphosate induced Malignant Lymphoma particularly in the female rats. These malignant lymphomas were found ONLY in the treated animals and found in fourteen different types of tissue. The controls animals did not have any lymphomas.

    Monsanto study with 240 rats in their 2-year feeding trial concluded in 1990, which is called “Stout and Ruecker” in the literature. The data from this are revealed in the 1991 EPA memo and in Greim (2015) and clearly show cause for concern which was swept under the rug in the 1991 memo. Three EPA toxicologists also did not concur with the conclusions and did not sign the memo.

    The cancers related to transgenic organisms and glyphosate mainly increase cancers that were far more rare. Cancer of thyroid, pancreas, liver, blader, stomach and esophagus are all up since introduction of transgenics and rise in glyphosate application by 17 fold.

    Table 3. Pearson’s coefficients between disease and glyphosate applications (N=21
    encompassing 1990-2010), except autism (N=16; autism data only available for 1995-2010).
    Disease Coefficient, R R 2 × 100 Probability, p
    Thyroid cancer (incidence) 0.988 97.6 =7.6E-9
    Liver cancer (incidence) 0.960 92.1 =4.6E-8
    Bladder cancer (deaths) 0.981 96.2 =4.7E-9
    Pancreatic cancer (incidence) 0.918 84.2 =4.6E-7
    Kidney cancer (incidence) 0.973 94.8 =2.0E-8
    Table 4. Pearson’s coefficients between disease and the percentage of US corn and soy crops
    that are GE (N=15 encompassing 1996-2010; GE crops were first planted in 1995).
    Disease Coefficient, R R 2 × 100 Probability, p
    Thyroid cancer (incidence) 0.938 87.9 =2.2E-5
    Liver cancer (incidence) 0.911 82.9 =5.4E-5
    Bladder cancer (incidence) 0.945 89.3 =7.1E-6
    Pancreatic cancer (incidence) 0.841 70.7 =4.0E-4
    Kidney cancer (incidence) 0.940 88.4 =2.0E-5
    Myeloid leukaemia (deaths) 0.889 79.0 =5.4E-5
    Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America

    ISSN 1177-4258

    Glyphosate is a potent endocrine disruptor that has no safe dose. It causes DNA breaks and irreversible cellular death. It mimics glycine in the body. It causes rapid aging, multiple diseases, and early death.

    Glyphosate should be banned from the planet. It is the perfect slow kill agent of genocide.