Tag Archives: Herbicides

Biotech giants promoting dangerous pesticides?

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1122020/monsanto_bayer_and_dow_face_trial_for_systematic_human_rights_abuses.htmlThe world’s major agrochemical companies, Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont and BASF, will face a public tribunal in early December accused of systematic human rights violations. Continue reading
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Canadian GM canola escapes into wild: study

Superweeds have become a major problem with GE farming, especially with canola where superweeds are being found in fields, along roads and railway tracks. These weeds are genetically engineered and resistant to herbicides. See the latest study from the University of Kansas at:

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/technology/Canadian+canola+escapes+into+wild+study/5509691/story.html

Independent Study on Roundup Effects: Vancouver Island

This post about birth defects and Round Up (the herbicide used on GE crops) was sent by an organic farmer on Vancouver Island. It’s an interesting piece because it is written by a group of well respected scientists who have brought together a lot of information on Round Up. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, just look at the summary. Anyone would have to think twice about spraying Round Up after reading this.

http://farmandranchfreedom.org/sff/RoundupandBirthDefects.pdf

Who Is To Blame For The Superweed Invasion?

From Non-GMO’s guest blogger Deniza Gertsberg, author of the GMO Journal.

A fundamental change occurred when the first genetically engineered crops went commercial in 1996. Farmers who planted GE crops that were altered to withstand continued application of herbicide glyphosate began to rely on a single system for weed management — the use of glyphosate, sold under brand name Roundup and manufactured by Monsanto.   As Dr. David A. Mortensen of the Pennsylvania State University noted in his testimony before the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on July 28, 2010, “[i]n evolutionary terms, widespread and persistent glyphosate use without diversity in weed control practices is a strong selection pressure for weeds able to survive glyphosate.” (”Mortensen Testimony”). In other words, get ready for the invasion of superweeds.

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New weed strategies needed, scientists say

Washington, D.C. – The spread of weeds resistant to Roundup herbicide is bringing new scrutiny to the government’s regulation of biotech crops.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, a longtime critic of the biotech industry, said the U.S. Agriculture Department has been too quick to approve new varieties of herbicide-tolerant crops and other biotech products.

“Now, more than ever, farmers need to have a Department of Agriculture that takes care to preserve and protect the farming environment for generations to come,” Kucinich said during a House hearing he chaired Wednesday on the spread of Roundup-resistant weeds.

One weed scientist, David Mortensen at Penn State University, said the government should restrict the use of herbicide-tolerant crops and impose a tax on biotech seeds to fund research and education programs.

The resistant weeds cannot be killed by the sole use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, which has become broadly popular with farmers with the advent more than a decade ago of soybeans, cotton, corn and other crops that are immune to the chemical. The weeds now infest about 11 million acres, a fivefold increase in three years, Mortensen said.

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Legal setback for Monsanto in Argentine soy dispute

LUXEMBOURG, March 9 (Reuters)

U.S. biotech giant Monsanto’s (MON.N) EU patent on its Roundup Ready soybean seeds should not extend to cover imports of processed soybean meal into the 27-nation bloc, an adviser to Europe’s top court said.

The opinion from Advocate General Paolo Mengozzi must still be confirmed by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a final ruling. But it is a setback for Monsanto in its legal battle to secure royalty payments on the use of its seeds.

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More on the risks of using pesticides

You may ask why I am posting issues on pesticides. You may ask what they have to do with GMO’s?

Everything.

GMO crops use pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides) and because there is a resistance being created in weeds to these chemicals, all forms of pesticides are being manufactured in stronger batches. It’s a cycle that will be very difficult to break now. We are in it. This is the tipping point. It is up to every individual to come to some understanding of what the real issue is here. It’s not about the chemicals. It’s about control. Read on:

By DR. IAN SIMPSON
The Western Star

My letter last week about cosmetic use of pesticides has promoted some discussion both in The Western Star printed edition and its web edition.

I would like to reply to Tuesday’s letter from Lorne Hepworth of CropLife Canada.
He states “we can rest assured that before any pesticide is sold in Canada it undergoes comprehensive scientific review and risk assessment by Health Canada.”

Health Canada has created PMRA — the Pesticide Management and Regulatory Agency — which is the responsible body for reviewing all the studies submitted. But there are problems:

  • Underfunding — in 2002, $8 million of the funding was from the pesticide industry.
  • PMRA does not conduct its own in-house laboratory work. It reviews the research provided — most of it from industry sources and most of it not published in peer reviewed literature.
  • The industry requests PMRA to treat the material as “proprietary.” So this science remains hidden.
  • PMRA relies mainly on U.S.A. studies (80 per cent of the studies reviewed in the early part of the decade.)
  • Health Canada has a track record of approving pesticides, only to later phase them out due to health and environmental concerns. Examples: DDT, Eldrin, Diazinon, Dursan, Mecoprop.
  • PMRA  does not evaluate other chemicals in the formulation, so- called “inerts,” or the breakdown products.

Mr. Hepworth goes on to say “As for benefits … well maintained public and private spaces make for happier  healthier communities.” Happier I will not debate, but healthier? This I will argue is nonsense. In the comments on the web page, DB from NL worries at the use of the word “linked” when commenting on the link between pesticide exposure and different diseases. DB would like hard numbers and quantification.

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