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The Bugs That Ate Monsanto

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Millions Against Monsanto page.
Now that 94 percent of the soy and 70 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. are genetically modified, Monsanto -- one of the companies that dominates the GMO seed market  -- might look to some like it's winning. But if we look a little closer, I'd say they're holding on by a thread.

Their current success is due in large part to brilliant marketing. The company's approach was both compelling -- their products were sold as the key to making large-scale farming far simpler and more predictable -- and aggressive: Monsanto made it virtually impossible for most farmers to find conventional seeds for sale in most parts of the country.

Despite promises of improved productivity, enhanced nutritional content, or extreme weather tolerance -- none of which has ever come to market -- Monsanto has only ever produced seeds with two genetically modified traits: either herbicide tolerance or pesticide production. And even those traits never lived up to the marketing hype.

But it now appears that the core traits themselves are failing. Over the last several years, so-called "superweeds" have grown resistant to the herbicide RoundUp, the companion product that's made Monsanto's herbicide-tolerant (aka RoundUp-Ready) corn, soy, and alfalfa so popular. Those crops were supposed to be the only plants that could withstand being sprayed by the chemical. Oops.


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