Uh oh. in the new york times yesterday there was a big article about how just how big the roundup resistant weed thing has become. There’s a scary map that shows all of the states with levels of resistance reported–and they made it more frightening by making it a timelapse map–so you can see the spread of resistance.
The article seemed a bit agri-biz friendly–talking about how farmers were able to do low till when roundup worked, –low till is better for the soil–(prevents erosion and pesticide runoff)–but now they’re back to needing to till AND to apply more and different pesticides. Sheesh.
Talk about creating a market for your product. First they make the roundup–then they need to create crops that can resist it. According to the story–Roundup Ready crops account for about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton grown in the United States. YIKES! And THEN, the farmers used so much roundup that it no longer works. Sigh.
Here’s the interesting clincher–Monsanto stands to lose sales of its seeds and its pesticide. There’s an awful lot of money at stake here! So according to the story, they’re concerned enough about the problem that it is taking the extraordinary step of subsidizing cotton farmers’ purchases of competing herbicides to supplement Roundup.
So now we have weird GM and patented seeds, and 2x the pesticide, AND more runoff and insane mega weeds. Science, making our lives better? Big business can be trusted to regulate themselves?
Foodpolitics covered the story and talked about how Monsanto had denied that resistance would become a problem until recently. She also described the process of how glyphosate develops a mutation that allows for resistance. I don’t really entirely understand but maybe you will explain it to me!
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