Industrial ag is admitting that it needs to trash its neighbors and the surrounding landscape to thrive. And it wants us to believe that there are no alternatives.His first example is Farm Bureau’s reaction to new EPA restraints on chicken farm factories around Chesapeake Bay, then he gets to Monsanto:
The “get out of our way, world” message is also being sounded loud and clear by the genetically modified (GM) seed industry, particularly in the case of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa. The industry is demanding that the USDA allow unrestricted planting of the alfalfa, which mainly serves as feed for cows. Alfalfa represents a lucrative opportunity for Monsanto, because it’s a massive crop, covering about 20 million acres, about 7 percent of U.S. cropland.Monsanto: still pushing a doomed pesticide cocktail. Maybe someday we’ll catch up with west Africa and stop poisoning ourselves.
Yet there are a couple of glaring problems. Alfalfa is a prolific pollinator, meaning that GM alfalfa can easily cross-breed with non-GM alfalfa. If organic producers find their crop contaminated with GM material, they risk losing their organic certification and, likely, their livelihoods. The organic dairy industry, which relies on a steady supply of organic alfalfa, would also be imperiled.
The second problem is so-called “superweeds” — weeds that develop resistance to Roundup, Monsanto’s flagship herbicide. Such weeds are already rampant in the South, where Monsanto’s Roundup Ready cotton holds sway, and are moving into the Corn Belt, which is blanketed by the tens of millions of acres with the agrichemical giant’s corn and soy seeds. The rise of superweeds is unleashing a virtual monsoon of dodgy poison cocktails onto affected farmland.