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Organic Consumers Association

US Farmers Flood Fields with Dangerous Poison to Fight Monsanto Superweeds

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

You're a farmer. Season after season, you watch your fields being taken over by Monsanto superweeds, which are resistant to the herbicide Roundup.

What are you going to do? You're locked in. You're buying your GMO seeds from Monsanto, and the food crops that grow from those seeds are supposed to be resistant to Monsanto's Roundup, so that's what you spray on your crops.

But the weeds aren't resistant. They spread and they grow taller. They're taking over.

So you, along with many, many other US farmers, go to a strategy called "burndown," which is just as bad as it sounds. You use something a lot stronger than Roundup to kill those weeds: Paraquat, for example, which has been banned in 32 countries.

You drench your fields with it in the fall. You kill anything growing. And you drench the fields again in the spring, before you plant. Then, just as you're going to plant, you hit the fields a third time with the poison.

This is in addition to all the sprayings with Roundup, which is toxic, too.

Then you harvest the crops and you sell them. And consumers eat the food along with all the poison.

Tom Philpot, writing in Mother Jones (Feb.6), reports the alarming stats on the superweed takeover of US farmland. As of 2012, almost 50% of US farms had superweeds. In 2011, it was 34%. In Georgia, it's now 92%.

The total acreage of US farmland with resistant superweeds jumped by 51% in 2012. In 2011, it was a 25% increase. That upward- percentage escalation is called a nightmare.


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