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Wall Street Journal: GM crops accelerating the use of tox
        Here's an exposť from high profile media.  Genetically manipulated (GM) crops are not only keeping us on the pesticide treadmill - they are accelerating it!!
        (So much for the agricultural biotech industry PR line that GM crops would reduce the use of pesticides.)
                -  laurel hopwood, sierra club genetic engineering action team chair


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704025304575284390777746822.html
Wall Street Journal
June 4, 2010
By Scott Kilman
                Superweed outbreak triggers arms race
EDITED

Hardy superweeds immune to the Farm Belt's most effective weedkiller are invading fields, prompting a counterattack from agribusiness that could leave farmers using greater amounts of harsh old-line herbicides.

The flagging weedkiller is Monsanto's Roundup, used on GM corn, soybean and cotton plants.
Dow, DuPont, Bayer, BASF, and Syngenta  are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to develop GM soybean, corn and cotton plants that can survive a dousing by their herbicides, many decades old.

Some of the old pesticides-in particular, those called 2,4-D and dicamba-have a history of posing more risks for the environment than the chemical in Roundup.  That's partly because they have more of a tendency to drift on the wind onto neighboring farms or wild vegetation. Roundup tends to adhere better to the ground.

Ron Holthouse grows GM cotton and soybeans, but after 10 years of use on his land, Roundup no longer controls pigweed, which ran rampant in his fields last year.  The weed, which can grow six feet high on a stalk like a baseball bat, is tough enough to damage delicate parts of his cotton-picking equipment. For the first time in years, Mr. Holthouse used an older, highly poisonous weedkiller called paraquat.

Chemical companies are tight-lipped about their development of crops that can tolerate the spraying of herbicides other than Roundup.
Dow manufactures 2,4-D, a powerful herbicide.  Within the next few years, Dow hopes to sell seeds for corn, soybeans and cotton that will be unaffected if farmers spray 2,4-D on their fields.

Some winery owners are concerned that such efforts will renew farmer demand for 2,4-D, to which grapes are highly sensitive if the herbicide drifts from a farm sprayer onto vines.  "A neighbor could take me out in one night." said winery owner Neal Newsom.

The Natural Resources Defense Council petitioned the EPA in 2008 to ban 2,4-D, citing research that suggests it disrupts hormones in trout, rodents and sheep.
Monsanto is developing a dicamba-tolerant soybean.
 
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