Since glyphosate ban, eco-friendly weed killers aren’t getting the job done
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Since glyphosate ban, eco-friendly weed killers aren’t getting the job done

Photo by The Brussels Times

The dandelions between your pavers aren’t afraid of your Roundup anymore.

In fact, since the ban on glyphosate in Belgium forced weed-killer producing companies to switch to more eco-friendly recipes, the wayward flowers poking up between your driveway stones have little to fear at all.

The majority of weed-killing products on the market today were rated “weak” or “bad,” according to results from the Belgian consumer testing company Test Aankoop, obtained by De Standaard.

“It is unfortunate that we have to put it so bluntly, and we are certainly not advocating the return of glyphosate, but these ecological herbicides hardly work, if at all,” said Simon November of Test Aankoop.

Following a ban on glyphosate in herbicides 2018, none of them now contain that chemical, which was found to be carcinogenic and harmful to nature – hence its presence in a substance designed to kill plants.

Without glyphosate allowed in the solution, producers switched to alternatives based on pelargonic acid, acetic acid, or a mixture of fatty acids.

The consumer agency tested 19 of those new products (ones like Aveve Weed-Stop, Pursol Ecological Weed Killer, and Herbistop Ultra Total Weed Killer) throughout last year on grass, clover, buttercups, daisies, moss, and plantain (plantago).

Only against dandelions did products show a marginal degree of success, but even the yellow flowers stubbornly returned.

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The producers of the weed killers that were contacted by the Dutch-language paper did not want to comment, partly because they didn’t know the details of the tests conducted, like whether or not their products were used according to the directions.

One Dutch producer did remark that the big difference between herbicides with glyphosate and those without is that many eco-products act only on the leaves and flowers of weeds, and don’t target the roots the way that ones with glyphosate did.

Ultimately, garden specialists point to weed burners, metal brushes, mulch, and ground cover as solutions to the herbicides that no longer do the trick.

In other words – we’ll all have to garden the old-fashioned way.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times