The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

Attack of the Monsanto Super Insects | Mother Jones

[Agribusiness behemoth and Frankenfood’s doctor] Monsanto focused its technology on three widely planted, highly  subsidized crops: corn, soy, and cotton. Large-scale farmers of these  commodities, always operating on razor-thin profit margins, lunged at  the chance to streamline their operations by essentially outsourcing  their pest management to Monsanto. And so Monsanto’s high-tech crops  essentially took over the corn/soy- and cotton-growing regions of the  country.
[…] Dumping a single  herbicide onto millions of acres of farmland has, predictably enough,  given rise to weeds resistant to that herbicide. Such “superweeds” are  now galloping through cotton and corn country,  forcing farmers to resort to highly toxic herbicide cocktails and even  hand-weeding. More than 11 million acres are infested with  Roundup-resistant weeds, up from 2.4 million acres in 2007, reckons Penn State University weed expert David Mortensen.
And now insects are developing resistance to Monsanto’s insecticide-infused crops, reports the Wall Street Journal. Fields planted in Monsanto’s Bt corn in some areas of the Midwest are  showing damage from the corn rootworm—the very species targeted by  Monsanto’s engineered trait. An Iowa State University scientist has  conclusively identified Bt-resistant root worms in four Iowa fields, the  Journal reports.
[…]
Just as Roundup-resistant superweeds  rapidly bloomed into a major problem after first appearing in the  mid-2000s, Bt-resistant superinsects may be just getting started.  Colleen Scherer, managing editor of the industrial-ag trade magazine Ag Professional,  put it like this: “There is no ‘putting the genie back in the bottle,’  and resistance in these areas is a problem that won’t go away.”
So  what does all of this mean for Monsanto? If its main attraction for  farmers—the promise of easy pest management—is turning to dust in a  quite public way, should we expect the company be on the verge of  getting crushed under the weight of its failures?
[…] Monsanto claims it has the answer to the trouble it’s  cooking up on corn, soy, and cotton fields: more patent-protected GM  technology. It has managed to shove US farmers on a kind of accelerating  treadmill: the need to apply ever more, and ever more novel, high-tech  responses to keep up with ever-evolving pests. And while farmers run  ever faster to stay in place, Monsanto just keeps coming up with highly  profitable “solutions” to the problems it has generated.

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Attack of the Monsanto Super Insects | Mother Jones

[Agribusiness behemoth and Frankenfood’s doctor] Monsanto focused its technology on three widely planted, highly subsidized crops: corn, soy, and cotton. Large-scale farmers of these commodities, always operating on razor-thin profit margins, lunged at the chance to streamline their operations by essentially outsourcing their pest management to Monsanto. And so Monsanto’s high-tech crops essentially took over the corn/soy- and cotton-growing regions of the country.

[…] Dumping a single herbicide onto millions of acres of farmland has, predictably enough, given rise to weeds resistant to that herbicide. Such “superweeds” are now galloping through cotton and corn country, forcing farmers to resort to highly toxic herbicide cocktails and even hand-weeding. More than 11 million acres are infested with Roundup-resistant weeds, up from 2.4 million acres in 2007, reckons Penn State University weed expert David Mortensen.

And now insects are developing resistance to Monsanto’s insecticide-infused crops, reports the Wall Street Journal. Fields planted in Monsanto’s Bt corn in some areas of the Midwest are showing damage from the corn rootworm—the very species targeted by Monsanto’s engineered trait. An Iowa State University scientist has conclusively identified Bt-resistant root worms in four Iowa fields, the Journal reports.

[…]

Just as Roundup-resistant superweeds rapidly bloomed into a major problem after first appearing in the mid-2000s, Bt-resistant superinsects may be just getting started. Colleen Scherer, managing editor of the industrial-ag trade magazine Ag Professional, put it like this: “There is no ‘putting the genie back in the bottle,’ and resistance in these areas is a problem that won’t go away.”

So what does all of this mean for Monsanto? If its main attraction for farmers—the promise of easy pest management—is turning to dust in a quite public way, should we expect the company be on the verge of getting crushed under the weight of its failures?

[…] Monsanto claims it has the answer to the trouble it’s cooking up on corn, soy, and cotton fields: more patent-protected GM technology. It has managed to shove US farmers on a kind of accelerating treadmill: the need to apply ever more, and ever more novel, high-tech responses to keep up with ever-evolving pests. And while farmers run ever faster to stay in place, Monsanto just keeps coming up with highly profitable “solutions” to the problems it has generated.

image source