Yes folks, the company that brought you genetically modified seed crops and whose lawyers would make Apple tremble has outdone itself.
Weeds are a common problem, we all hate them and suffer through the yearly joy of cleaning them out of our gardens and lawns. As much a pain in the ass as they might be it is nothing compared to what is coming all thanks to Monsanto and its so-called miraculous weed-killer, Round-up.
It seems that the people who study weeds, and yes there are such people, have made a rather disturbing discovery. There is an increasing occurrence of what they are calling “super-weeds”; which turns out to mean weeds that have become not only resistant to Monsanto’s Round-up but also other herbicides.
This is from a study that was published recently in Weed Science.
“The herbicide resistance issue is becoming serious,” said journal editor, William K. Vencill, in a recent statement. “It is spreading out beyond where weed scientists have seen it before.” More than 11 million acres, up from just 2.4 million in 2007, are now infested with Roundup-resistant varieties. The herbicide, a relatively low-impact chemical since it biodegrades quickly, has ranked among the most popular for farmers since Monsanto introduced its genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops that are unaffected by the chemical, accounting for about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton grown in the United States.
What males this even more worrisome is the types of weeds that are turning up to be resistant and the damage that they can do.
Even more worrisome is the steep (and unabated) climb in the number of weeds resistant to multiple types of herbicides. Super-strains of plants like pigweed–which grows three inches a day and is tough enough to damage farm machinery–have emerged, which may dramatically reduce the options for farmers to control them. The alternatives are usually more dangerous chemicals or plowing and mulching fields, undermining many of the environmental benefits biotech crops are supposed to offer. It’s “the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen,” claims Andrew Wargo III, president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts
via Fast Company
So how about some new more powerful herbicides?
Well they are but they are proving to have even more dangers associated with them much like DuPont’s new herbicide Imprelis which has been potentially linked in the death of spruces, eastern white pine, and other trees in Norway.