Well That’s Just Super: Monsanto To Partner With DuPont to Create A Super-Herbicide–To Combat Super-Weeds Its Own Roundup Has Created
You know what they say, if at first you don’t succeed, spray, spray again.
Or something like that. At any rate that seems to be the philosophy of the brainiacs at Monsanto. The agri-chem giant has announced a partnership in which it will work with rival DuPont to create a super-herbicide that will be able to fight against so-called “super-weeds” that have developed a resistance to Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup.
By now, surely we’re all familiar with Roundup. Its the ubiquitous weed-killer that has been sprayed by the ton across the U.S. and increasingly the globe, in backyards, on crops and increasingly on so-called wildlands, the chemical glyphosate–Roundup’s main ingredient–has been indiscriminately battling weeds and invasive species.
And, as is the way with things like this, the weeds have fought back. The law of entropy would seem to dictate that, especially for chemical one-upsmanship, the center cannot hold. Just as water flows downhill, breeds of so-called “superweeds” have developed that are resistant to Roundup–unsurprising, given how much of the stuff is used.
What is also unsurprising is that the manufacturers of the stuff don’t see this as a problem: they see it as an opportunity.
Teaming up with DuPont, Monsanto plans to sell an even more powerful, dicamba-based herbicide throughout the U.S. and Canada. To be licensed by Monsanto and sold as DuPont FeXapan herbicide, the companies plan to battle weeds that have become more and more resistant to glyphosate.
“For several years, DuPont has been testing a solutions-based approach to optimizing weed control using this novel soybean trait and dicamba formulation technology,” said Tim Glenn, president of DuPont’s Crop Protection division. “We are seeing excellent results in improved control of weed populations, including those resistant to a number of herbicide modes of action. This advance will help farmers manage weed competition while improving crop safety as they work to increase production to meet global food demand.”
If you feel as though you might get cancer simply from reading that chirpy press release, you’re not alone.
More likely thought is contracting cancer from dicamba, the main ingredient in the new herbicide. The chemical has been shown to cause serious health risks, including neurological toxicity, reproductive issues, and increased cancer risk.
There’s only one direction to go once you start down the path of chemical plant treatments for insects and weeds, and it leads to more and stronger chemicals. Here’s hoping lawmakers and regulators can be pried out from under the (very wealthy) thumb of the agri-chem industry, or we might all be looking at a very bleak, chemical-laden future indeed.
Oh, and next time someone tries to tell you that GMO crops are safe, suggest they look into what gets sprayed ON those crops, with abandon. They might change their tune.