• 10 OCT 11
    • 1

    Super Weeds: Coming soon to a GMO field near you?

    Although this is off-topic for this list it is relevant to the issue of corporate control of science – in this case the development of GMO crops – Monsanto’s and other biotechnology companies’ claimed solution to solving the problem of feeding the world’s increasing population (and conveniently take over control of the world’s food supply). In Australia there is a big push to introduce GMO crops as well.

    However, Australians are well aware of the immense environmental and biodiversity damage the introduction of Hawaiian cane toads into Queensland in 1935 did. This was thought at the time to be a good way to control the native cane beetle. However the toads, freed of their Hawaiian control predators, soon found there were far better things to eat besides cane beetles. These toads now number around 200 million, are still spreading across the continent and are evolving to better adapt to the harsh Australian climate. They are effectively super toads! Link. Will the cane toad soon be joined by GMO superweeds in the spread across the countryside? Perhaps so if the biotecs have their way.

    From the CheScience list:

    Analysis: Super weeds pose growing threat to US crops
    (Reuters) – Farmer Mark Nelson bends down and yanks a four-foot-tall weed from his northeast Kansas soybean field. The “waterhemp” towers above his beans, sucking up the soil moisture and nutrients his beans need to grow well and reducing the ultimate yield. As he crumples the flowering end of the weed in his hand, Nelson grimaces.

    “When we harvest this field, these waterhemp seeds will spread all over kingdom come,” he said.
    Nelson’s struggle to control crop-choking weeds is being repeated all over America’s farmland. An estimated 11 million acres are infested with “super weeds,” some of which grow several inches in a day and defy even multiple dousings of the world’s top-selling herbicide, Roundup, whose active ingredient is glyphosate….

    More Monsanto corn is hit by pest.
    A University of Illinois plant researcher says he has discovered more evidence that a genetically engineered corn is suffering damage from a pest it is designed to repel.

    The discovery could mean bad news for Creve Couer-based Monsanto, which produces the product and has learned recently of growing evidence that ‘superbugs” are becoming resistant to its corn.

    “We need to take this seriously,” said Mike Gray, an entomologist with the university who was asked by farmers to survey fields where corn plants were suffering from ‘severe corn rootworm injury.”

    Last month, researchers from Iowa State University published a study…

    Herbicide-resistant superweeds overpowering crops.
    Farming costs, food prices and agricultural pollution may rise as a result of nature’s strike back against a biotechnology that has revolutionized modern farming. “Superweeds” resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, have infested millions of hectares of cropland through much of the U.S. and areas of southwestern Ontario.

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