Dicamba And Monsanto’s War On Weeds (And On Everybody): How The Agri-Chem Giant’s Next-Gen GMO Soy Is The Terrifying New Nuclear Option
If you know anything at all about Monsanto, you know the company has a history of inventing products, then doing just enough–in-house testing, and hiring of friendly outside researchers, making political payouts, and doing some regulatory arm-twisting–to get its products to market, without worrying too much about long-term consequences. They always have the taxpayers to clean up after them, after all, and by the time it reaches that point, they will have already made their billions of dollars, so who cares what fallout is left behind, right?
This pattern has held true throughout the company’s hundred-plus year history, and they are sticking to the playbook when it comes to rolling out their next generation GMO soy product, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans.
As always, they promise farmers higher crop yields. But what’s really new about this product is that, in order to fight against “superweeds” that have evolved a resistance to glyphosate–no surprise, considering that Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing Roundup has been sprayed to the tune of billions of pounds over the U.S. over the past two decades–the scientists at Monsanto have engineered a soy plant that is also resistant to another herbicide, dicamba.
But there are a few sticking points for farmers considering taking this war on superweeds that they helped to create to the next level:
• Dicamba is illegal for use on GMO soy – Dicamba has existed for decades, yet the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to approve its use on genetically engineered soy. No matter for the gang at Monsanto; they are confident they will gain approval eventually–and rightly so, given the general obsequiousness of the EPA and other regulatory agencies. What’s more, some farmers have already begun using dicamba in Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri. It’s not hard to imagine sine near-future Monsanto lawyer pleading to grandfather in dicamba for use on soy since those are the “facts on the ground,” so to speak.
• Dicamba likes to drift – The herbicide is easily picked up by the wind and deposited on neighboring fields or native plants. The problem here is that only the genetically modified crops can withstand the harsh chemical; it leaves non-GMO soy with warped, distorted leaves. Studies have already shown that, even with the clandestine use of dicamba by only a handful of farmers, drift has affected thousands of acres. Worse still, farmers who have thus far resisted the siren call of Monsanto’s latest GMO soy seed might end up having no choice but to succumb–the alternative being losing their non-GMO crop to the ravages of the dicamba drift.
• The superweed cycle won’t end here – The superweed phenomena that is forcing some farmers to choose GMO or die, was foreseen, was predictable, and it was preventable. But not if Monsanto was to maximize its profits. So the entirety of U.S. soy farming could well be subject to the greed and short-sightedness. There are already dicamba-resistant weeds being found in Nebraska and Kansas.
When will people see that the monster that is Monsanto must be stopped before there is no other option for growing food anywhere in the world?