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Overuse of weed-killer makes orange trees unhealthy

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Your recent “Zap. Take that, citrus greening” article states the usual discouraging statistics: millions of boxes of oranges lost and millions of dollars spent in fruitless research. Using a laser is just another gimmick that does not address the cause of the problem. 

What is the cause of citrus greening? 

Carey Gillam’s new book, “White Wash — The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science,” gets to the root of the problem. 

Page 212: “Other researchers say they have a much simpler answer — stop using glyphosate (Roundup). Farmers commonly use it around the base of the trees and in the rows between trees to kill weeds that compete for moisture and nutrients in the soil. Over time glyphosate’s harmful effects have left orange groves unable to fight off disease … .”

On page 213: Craig Ramse, a USDA scientist, agrees about soil problems caused by glyphosate. “All animals and humans, if we have a compromised immune system, we can be more susceptible to illness or diseases. Plants are the same; they have a great immune system to be able to fight off disease, but they must have the nutrients to be healthy.” 

A Florida citrus farmer who is not using glyphosate discusses the recovery of his citrus groves on youtube: “Citrus Greening Recovery – A Florida Farmer’s Story.” His healthy groves weathered Irma with no lost fruit while the state’s losses were staggering — $761million according to USA Today on Dec. 19.

Florida without oranges? Just because we overkill weeds with poisons such as glyphosate? 


Julie K. Bjornson, Stuart
Doctor of Chiropractic and a Fellow of the American College of Functional Neurology

Excerpted from, Treasure Coast/Palm Beach Post