By Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, cross-posted from PAN's website
superweeds and new generations of superbugs.
These superpests have evolved as the direct — and inevitable —
consequence of Monsanto’s aggressive promotion of its genetically
engineered “RoundUp-Ready” and insecticidal seed packages over the past
I’d like to be able to say that help is on the horizon, and that USDA
is preparing to launch a full-scale effort to enable farmers to
transition off the failing pesticide-GE treadmill once and for all — onto cleaner, greener methods of farming more suited to the 21st century. But alas, the reverse is true.
At this moment, USDA is on the verge of approving Dow Chemical's new 2,4-D resistant corn, the first in a pipeline of “next generation” herbicide-tolerant crops that the Big 6 pesticide/biotech companies — including Dow, Monsanto and BASF — are planning to bring to market over the next couple of years. This is industry’s response: more of the same. Except that the next generation is even worse: crops designed to be used with higher volumes of older and deadlier weedkillers.
Weed scientists are calling this chemical arms race a losing battle with evolution. And farmers too are up in arms; already 2,000 outraged farmers and food companies have joined the burgeoning new Save Our Crops Coalition to protest these unwanted products.
Growth engine of the pesticide industry
Simply put, 2,4-D resistant corn is a bad idea.
It will drive a massive increase in pesticide use, placing the burden
of increased costs and health risks on farmers and local communities.
The big winners will be the pesticide/biotech companies. They stand to
benefit from the sustained increase in herbicide sales that will
coincide with the widespread adoption of these new herbicide-tolerant GE
Imagine if we could have stopped Roundup Ready in its tracks 15 years
ago. American agriculture now stands at another, equally important
crossroads. Do we speed up the GE-powered pesticide treadmill, or do we
transition off of it?
Take Action » We have just one more week
to tell USDA that we want off the GE-pesticide treadmill. The dangerous
and antiquated herbicide 2,4-D shouldn’t be on the market, and we
certainly should not be giving Dow license to profit from driving up its
use by introducing 2,4-D resistant corn.
This was originally posted on Rodale Voices