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Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.


Roundup Weedkiller in the News, and in Court

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: Keith Goetzman, agriculture, food, genetic engineering, Roundup, Roundup Ready, Monsanto, Supreme Court, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society, Center for Biological Diversity, New York Times, Center for Food Safety,

Tractor with herbicide tanksSo many American farmers are spraying Roundup weedkiller on their fields that they may be effectively creating a monster, the New York Times reports:

The superweed revolution appears to threaten what the Times calls the “Roundup revolution” in which many farmers combine Roundup and genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops. These crops stand up to the weedkiller while most of the surrounding weeds perish—or that’s the idea, anyway. Some farmers told the paper that they’re spraying more herbicide and giving up minimum-till farming, which reduces erosion and chemical runoff.

It’s notable that just last week, Roundup maker Monsanto was defending itself at the Supreme Court in a case that involved the weedkiller’s environmental effects. On April 27, SustainableBusiness.com reported:

Presciently, the threat of the Roundup-resistant weeds covered in the New York Times came up in an amicus brief filed in the case by the Defenders of Wildlife, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Center for Biological Diversity:

Source: New York Times, SustainableBusiness.com, The Center for Food Safety

Image by John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org, licensed under Creative Commons.