Twenty-one weed species around the world are now resistant to glyphosate, up from zero in 1996 — the year Monsanto started marketing its genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops.
Glyphosate, now the world’s bestselling weed killer and the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is emerging as one of the most dangerous Monsanto products to date, in part because super weeds are emerging at an alarming rate.
A briefing by GM Freeze noted that in the United States, the worst-affected country (which is not surprising since the U.S. also leads the world in GM crop acreage), 13 resistant weed species cover more than 11 million acres, mostly those planted with Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soy, corn and cotton crops.
The weeds are not only making Monsanto’s promises that their GM crops would reduce pesticide use completely laughable — since farmers are being forced to use multiple, and more, pesticides to keep weeds in their GM crops under control — but also are turning out to be a very big thorn in Monsanto’s proverbial side; one that ironically might turn out to threaten the very GM crops that created them.
As GM Freeze reported, one investment company is now advising its clients to sell Monsanto shares because of the company’s problems with weed resistance, which are arguably set to snowball even further out of control in the very near future. Monsanto’s competitors, biotech giants like Dow and Bayer CropScience, are chomping at the bit to take over where Monsanto has failed, and already have released GM seeds with tolerance to multiple herbicides designed to be used on their own or in rotation with Roundup Ready crops in a last-ditch attempt to delay resistance from developing.
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