Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » Natural Products Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #237119

Title: Effects of Glyphosate-resistant Crop Cultivation on Soil and Water Quality

item Cerdeira, Antonio
item Duke, Stephen

Submitted to: GM Crops
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2009
Publication Date: 1/10/2010
Citation: Cerdeira, A.L., Duke, S.O. 2010. Effects of Glyphosate-resistant Crop Cultivation on Soil and Water Quality. GM Crops. 1(1):16-24.

Interpretive Summary: This review describes the influence of transgenic, glyphosate-resistant crops on soil and water. The herbicide glyphosate is now used used on more than 200 million acres of these crops worldwide. The effects on soil microflora have generally been reported to be minimal. Glyphosate does not move readily through soil and is readily degraded by soil microbes. Even where glyphosate is used extensively in glyphosate-resistant crops, it rarely found in surface or ground water. Glyphosate is considered to be one of the least toxic pesticides used.

Technical Abstract: Transgenic glyphosate-resistant crops (GRCs) have been commercialized and grown extensively in the Western Hemisphere and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere. GRCs have generally become dominant in those countries where they can be grown. Potential effects of glyphosate on soil and water are minimal, compared the effects of the herbicides that are replaced when GRCs are adopted. GRCs crops promote the adoption of reduced- or no-tillage agriculture, resulting in a significant reduction in soil erosion and water contamination. Glyphosate residues are not usually detected in high levels in ground or surface water in areas where glyphosate is used extensively. On the other hand, its degradation product aminomethylphosphonate (AMPA) has higher mobility and persistence in the environment than glyphosate.