Tag Archives: pigweed

Mutant corn rootworm in Illinois defying Monsanto GMO corn

Mutant pigweed here, mutant rootworm there, pretty soon no Monsanto pest protection anywhere.

Carey Gillam wrote for Reuters 28 August 2013, GMO corn failing to protect fields from pest damage: report

(Reuters)—Researchers in the key corn-growing state of Illinois are finding significant damage from rootworms in farm fields planted in a rotation with a genetically modified corn that is supposed to protect the crop from the pests, according to a new report.

Evidence gathered from fields in two Illinois counties suggests that pest problems are mounting as the rootworms grow ever more resistant to efforts to fight them, including crop rotation combined with use of the biotech corn, according to the report issued by Michael Gray, a professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois.

Here’s the report, by Michael Gray in U. Illinois Bulletin, 27 August 2012, Severe Corn Rootworm Injury to Bt Hybrids in First-Year Corn Confirmed, Continue reading

Want some 2,4-D with that drifting Roundup and Paraquat?

Got enough Roundup and Paraquat drifting onto you? Want some 2,4-D with that? If not, you can send your comments to USDA now. Hey, what if we all plowed under the mutant pigweed instead of breeding more with poison soup!

Tom Philpott wrote for Mother Jones 18 July 2012, USDA Prepares To Greenlight Gnarliest GMO Soy Yet,

In early July, on the sleepy Friday after Independence Day, the USDA quietly signaled its intention to greenlight a new genetically engineered soybean seed from Dow AgroSciences. The product is designed to produce soy plants that withstand 2,4-D, a highly toxic herbicide (and, famously, the less toxic component in the notorious Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange).

Readers may remember that during an even-sleepier period—the week between Christmas and the New Year—the USDA made a similar move on Dow’s 2,4-D-ready corn.

If the USDA deregulates the two products—as it has telegraphed its intention to do—Dow will enjoy a massive profit opportunity. Every year, about half of all US farmland is planted in corn and soy. Currently, Dow’s rival Monsanto has a tight grip on weed management in corn-and-soy country. Upwards of 90 percent of soy and 70 percent of corn is engineered to withstand another herbicide called glyphosate through highly profitable Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seed lines. And after so many years of lashing so much land with the same herbicide, glyphosate-resistant superweeds are now vexing farmers and “alarming” weed-control experts throughout the midwest.

And that’s where Dow’s 2,4-D-ready corn and soy seeds come in. Dow’s novel products will be engineered to withstand glyphosate and 2,4-D, so farmers can douse their fields with both herbicides; the 2,4-D will kill the weeds that glyphosate no longer can. That’s the marketing pitch, anyway.

There’s more in the article.

It can also get into your well water, and then, according to EPA:

Continue reading

Weeds winning against Glysophate

Chuck Darwin was right! Glysophate is losing to mutant weeds.

Gus Lubin wrote in Business Insider 9 June 2011, Dramatic Proliferation Of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds Threatens U.S. Crops

Researchers at Iowa State University warn that herbicide-resistant weeds are proliferating and may jeopardize U.S. food supply.

In an article published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, weed scientist Michael Owen said the proliferation of superweed “has been fairly dramatic in the last two to three years.”

Weeds are developing resistance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, which has been used extensively since 1996.

U.S. soybean, cotton and corn production could suffer from further proliferation, according to Science News:

“Today, 98 percent of U.S. soybeans, 88 percent or so of U.S. cotton and more than 70 percent of U.S. corn come from cultivars resistant to glyphosate,” Owen reports. Reliance on these crops — and an accompanying weed-control strategy that employs glyphosate to the exclusion of other herbicides — “created the ‘perfect storm’ for weeds to evolve resistance,” Owen and Jerry Green of Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Newark, Del., argue in their new analysis.

Oh, you mean like this pigweed-infested cotton from last year? The Palmer amaranth is already just as bad this year.

It’s not like this is news. We’ve been going on about it Continue reading

Pigweed on Georgia Farm Monitor

Dr. Stanley Culpepper of UGA Tifton says 52 counties have the mutant pigweed. He says they’re looking at cover crops and deep turning. (You may know that as plowing.) He hastily adds that they’re looking at other herbicides. But he wraps up by saying we have to look at other methods than herbicides: tillage and cover crops. He frames it as diversity and integration. What it really means is spraying poisons eventually breeds weeds that refuse to be poisoned. People, of course, are not so lucky.

This is the same Dr. Culpepper whose extensive slides on this subject I reviewed last summer.

-jsq

Germans document glysophate poisoning

The promise of Roundup:
“No tilling, just seed, spray, and harvest.”
Adriana Alvarez, who lives next door to an Argentinia GM soy field, says:
“They came from this side and sprayed the entire field. Here he turns, spraying all the time.”
The farmer was wearing a mask. That’s more than no-till farmers around here do.

Interesting statistic that in Argentina soy production increased 35-fold between 1996 and 2003 while Roundup use increased 56 times. And eventually it doesn’t work at all, because it breeds resistant weeds. In Georgia it took only ten years to produce mutant pigweed that not just Roundup but not even paraquat can kill. Many farmers are realizing that it’s cheaper, more effective, and more profitable to plow the weed under in the fall and plant a winter cover crop. Even mutant weeds are not resistant to cold steel.

The documentary points out many products in German stores that include GM soy. In Argentina, it’s even worse, with increasing numbers of birth defects.

They interview Prof. Andrés Carrasco about his research on amphibians:

“The hemispheres do not separate, like you can see here. If you look closely you can see one brain. Glyphosate can cause this kind of mechanisms, for it is an enzymatic toxin.”

Monsanto refused an interview, responding in writing:

“Monsanto is convinced of the safety and usefullness of its products and its contribution to efficacious agriculture.”
As Dr. Carrasco has been known to say:
“Son hipócritas, cipayos de las corporaciones, pero tienen miedo. Saben que no pueden tapar el sol con la mano.”

“They are hypocrites, those corporate lackeys, but they are afraid. They know they can’t cover the sun with their hand.”

The documentarians interviewed Gilles-Eric Seralini in Caen, France.

“To human cells glyphosate is already toxic in a very low dose. A farmer uses a much higher dose on the field. Roundup is even more toxic than glysophate, for that is only one of the ingredients in Roundup.”
Roundup says none of this applies to humans and Roundup is safe. Seralini says:
“Transgenics are toxic for human health.”

This is the same Monsanto that made Fox rewrite 80 times about RBGH in Florida cows.

The same Monsanto that was convicted by the French Supreme Court of lying about leaving the soil clean.

The same Monsanto that was fined $2.5 million by the U.S. EPA for selling genetically modified cotton seeds without labeling them as such.

Who should you believe? A corporation repeatedly convicted of deception, or scientists who say that GM crops cause liver and kidney damage in animals, according to research using Monsanto’s own data.

The Roundup-spraying farmer said:

Roundup, mas algo! mas algo!

Roundup, more and more!

It’s time to say:
Ya basta!

Enough already!

-jsq

PS: Credits to the German TV consumer series ‘plus minus’:

Bericht
D. Flintz
M. Rauck
Kamera
J. Fenske
C. Kültür
J. Midú
Schnitt
H. Bischoff
E. Elsner
GM toxic soy in animal feed broadcast (© WDR) by Detlef Flintz and Mathias Rauck. Translation and highlighting provided by TraceConsult. Broadcast Tue, 08 Feb. 2011 | 9:50 PM.

Factory farming admits it needs collateral damage

Tom Philpott writes in Grist that Industrial Ag Once Again Demanding a Free Pass to Crap in Your Backyard:
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: Continue reading

The Biotech Bully of St. Louis is having a Bad Year

Ronnie Cummins writes in Counterpunch, Coexistence With Monsanto? Hell No!
Monsanto’s Roundup, the agro-toxic companion herbicide for millions of acres of GM soybeans, corn, cotton, alfalfa, canola, and sugar beets, is losing market share. Its overuse has spawned a new generation of superweeds that can only be killed with super-toxic herbicides such as 2,4, D and paraquat. Moreover, patented “Roundup Ready” crops require massive amounts of climate destabilizing nitrate fertilizer. Compounding Monsanto’s damage to the environment and climate, rampant Roundup use is literally killing the soil, destroying essential soil microorganisms, degrading the living soil’s ability to capture and sequester CO2, and spreading deadly plant diseases.

In just one year, Monsanto has moved from being Forbes’ “Company of the Year” to the Worst Stock of the Year. The Biotech Bully of St. Louis has become one of the most hated corporations on Earth.

All that and paraquat doesn’t work on mutant pigweed, either. The whole “no-till” fable is unravelling.

The article mentions scientific studies about bad health effects of genetically modified foods, and goes on to warn of Monsanto maneuverings through the EPA and the Gates Foundation. Then he points to the European Union as leading the way: Continue reading

Monsanto Spraying Itself

Tom Philpott asks in Grist about Why Monsanto is paying farmers to spray its rivals’ herbicides
…Monsanto has been forced into the unenviable position of having to pay farmers to spray the herbicides of rival companies.

If you tend large plantings of Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” soy or cotton, genetically engineered to withstand application of the company’s Roundup herbicide (which will kill the weeds — supposedly — but not the crops), Monsanto will cut you a $6 check for every acre on which you apply at least two other herbicides. One imagines farmers counting their cash as literally millions of acres across the South and Midwest get doused with Monsanto-subsidized poison cocktails.

The move is the latest step in the abject reversal of Monsanto’s longtime claim: that Roundup Ready technology solved the age-old problem of weeds in an ecologically benign way.

Roundup, trade name for glysophate, doesn’t work anymore because the weeds mutated: Continue reading

Monsanto Downturn

Andrew Pollack writes in the New York Times that After Growth, Fortunes Turn for Monsanto:
As recently as late December, Monsanto was named “company of the year” by Forbes magazine. Last week, the company earned a different accolade from Jim Cramer, the television stock market commentator. “This may be the worst stock of 2010,” he proclaimed.
I remember that! The month after Forbes did that, Covalence did a survey that ranked Monsanto the least ethical company in the world. Worse than Philip Morris, Chevron, or Halliburton!

About that time we discovered Monsanto Corn Causes Liver and Kidney Damage in Rats, and that Monsanto’s GM soy causes sterility and five times higher infant mortality in hamsters.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice was investigating Monsanto’s seed business. At least seven U.S. states started their own investigations, and later the U.S. EPA fined Monsanto $2.5 million for selling seeds illegally in Texas counties where they were banned.

Since then we’ve learned that Pesticides Linked to ADHD. Specifically organophosphate pesticides. Like Glysophate (RoundUp). And that indicators of pesticides, including organophosphates, are found in the urine of 95% of school children. We already knew that Glysophoate causes birth defects in humans.

Anyway, could all this bad news have some effect on Monsanto’s share price? Continue reading

Got cotton in your pigweed?

Observed driving along the road:

Mutant pigweed, Amaranthus palmeri, caused by repeated application of Roundup to cotton. Pictures by Gretchen Quarterman, Coffee County, Georgia, 2 October 2010. More in the flickr set.