GMO crops and their “superweeds”

From The Atlantic:

Infographic via The Atlantic

“After a decade of intensive genetically modified plant cultivation, weeds have emerged that are resistant to the most popular herbicide.

I was a member of the FDA Food Advisory Committee when the agency approved production of genetically modified foods in the early 1990s.

At the time, critics repeatedly warned that widespread planting of GM crops modified to resist Monsanto’s weed-killer, Roundup, were highly likely to select for “superweeds” that could withstand treatment with Roundup.

I wrote about this problem in Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety. I added this update to the 2010 edition:

Late in 2004, weeds resistant to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup began appearing in GM plantings in Georgia and soon spread to other Southern states. By 2009, more than one hundred thousand acres in Georgia were infested with Roundup-resistant pigweed. Planters were advised to apply multiple herbicides, thereby defeating the point of Roundup: to reduce chemical applications.

Today, the idea that planting of GM crops is “widespread” is an understatement.

So, according to Reuters, is Roundup resistance….

Read more in The Atlantic.

And from Genna Reid, on Grist.org:

Notes from the Superweed Summit

Last week, the National Academy of Sciences hosted a summit to discuss “superweeds,” or the widespread problem of herbicide-resistant weeds currently afflicting millions of farm acres across the United States.

Superweeds — the “weeds that man can no longer kill!” — have been in the news for several years. All across the Midwest and Southeast farmers have been photographed and filmed standing in fields surrounded by the giant plants. They bemoan the cost of pesticides and point to industrial rows of crops that don’t have a chance when up against feisty weeds that grow up to three inches a day.

Superweeds have been especially likely to appear alongside genetically engineered (GE) crops, which are engineered to withstand large amounts of pesticide and herbicide use. And these weeds show no sign of going away any time soon.

That’s why scientists and researchers from land-grant universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and representatives from several industry and trade groups met at last week’s summit to strategize about the problem….”

2 Comments

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2 responses to “GMO crops and their “superweeds”

  1. nedlud

    As usual, the article suggests ‘organic agriculture’ as the solution. Unfortunately, organic agriculture is now under the complete control/regulation of the STATE. As such, organic agriculture is no longer either ‘organic’ or ‘agriculture’, being instead another LIE and another means to maintain state–ie., aggressive, repressive and immoral, centralized authoritarian–control.

    We are now poised in the US (no doubt Canada too) to have drones ‘take us out’ (ie., kill us), if we as people–FARMERS-don’t do just as we are told. This is addtion to the regular military and police force, I repeat, f-o-r-c-e.

    (Fred Kirschemann, mentioned in the article, happens to be another person I contacted personally in regard to my problems with Organic Valley. I am still waiting to hear from him.)

    Y’all have a nice day.

    nedlud

  2. Pingback: The 5 Most Blatantly Corrupt Industries in the World . . . And What YOU Can Do About It « Political Vel Craft

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