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‘Superweed’ explosion threatens Monsanto heartlands

DoubleDanger sent this link through Twitter. It looks like Monsanto’s efforts are rewarding them in a similar manner to overuse of antibiotics creating superbugs.

The gospel of high-tech genetically modified (GM) crops is not sounding quite so sweet in the land of the converted. A new pest, the evil pigweed, is hitting headlines and chomping its way across Sun Belt states, threatening to transform cotton and soybean plots into weed battlefields.

In late 2004, “superweeds” that resisted Monsanto’s iconic “Roundup” herbicide, popped up in GM crops in the county of Macon, Georgia. Monsanto, the US multinational biotech corporation, is the world’s leading producer of Roundup, as well as genetically engineered seeds. Company figures show that nine out of 10 US farmers produce Roundup Ready seeds for their soybean crops.

Superweeds have since alarmingly appeared in other parts of Georgia, as well as South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, according to media reports. Roundup contains the active ingredient glyphosate, which is the most used herbicide in the USA.

How has this happened? Farmers over-relied on Monsanto’s revolutionary and controversial combination of a single “round up” herbicide and a high-tech seed with a built-in resistance to glyphosate, scientists say.

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One Response to ‘Superweed’ explosion threatens Monsanto heartlands

  1. Nancy Bond April 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    Sounds much like purple loosestrife here in Nova Scotia. (http://tinyurl.com/cjkc7d) It has become a huge problem.

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