Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup

Wishful thinking. That’s why Monsanto unleashed crops and pesticides that are both poisonous to humans. Wishful thinking. Also known as greed.

Daniel Charles wrote for The Salt 11 March 2012, Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup,

First, the company had been selling Roundup for years without any problems. Second, and perhaps most important, the company’s scientists had just spent more than a decade, and many millions of dollars, trying to create the Roundup-resistant plants that they desperately wanted — soybeans and cotton and corn. It had been incredibly difficult. When I interviewed former Monsanto scientists for my book on biotech crops, one of them called it the company’s “Manhattan Project.”

Considering how hard it had been to create those crops, “the thinking was, it would be really difficult for weeds to become tolerant” to Roundup, says Rick Cole, who is now responsible for Monsanto’s efforts to deal with the problem of resistant weeds.

So they thought small scale would be the same as saturating 90+% of every corn, soybean, peanut, and cotton field in the U.S. and numerous other countries with virulent poisons. Because they wanted the money.


2 thoughts on “Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup

  1. Barbara Stratton

    John – I used Roundup in my yard last year, but could not use it in my horse pasture because I had nowhere to keep Picasso the two days necessary for it to be “safe” for him. The weeds took over, especially the dog fennels which grew over my head. (Yes I know I’m only 5 ft, but still that’s high for weeds.) The neighbor who usually mows my pasture was very busy so I never asked him to mow. I was amazed at how big they got. I guess dog fennels like horse manure. When fall came I spent about 12 hours, 2 hours a day for six days cutting them down with a machete because they were all so thick. I don’t want to deal with that again. What do you use for weeds? I read on a garden blog that sprayed vinegar will kill everything. I tried a little by my steps & it did work, but I’m not sure if it is practical for large areas or how long it will keep the weeds from growing back. If I can’t find an alternative I will have to use Roundup because I can’t deal with the ugly or the back breaking, snake infested work to clear the pasture. If you are going to share the dangers, please share the fix.

  2. jsqrisk

    Oh, hi Barbara. Sorry I took so long responding; I was hoeing dog fennel out
    from under the electric fence.
    I thought you liked Picasso? Why would you believe two days was enough for it to be safe for him? The instructions for CRP planting of longleaf pine say wait at least a year after any cotton or corn with pesticides have been planted, and the main pesticide used on those is Roundup.
    As you say, mowing will knock dog fennels back. That’s the first thing I do on a larger area. To get rid of them, we harrow and plant rye over the winter.
    For small areas, we pull them up, which is easy when it’s very dry (as it has been a lot lately) or very wet (like right after the tornado rain). Or when that doesn’t work, a hoe or shovel does.

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