Biotech Giants Are Bankrolling a GMO Free-for-All

By Tom Philpott

The so-called "Big Six" agrichemical companies—Monsanto, Syngenta,  Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Bayer, and Pioneer (DuPont)—are sitting pretty.  Together, they control nearly 70 percent of the global pesticide market,  and essentially the entire market for genetically modified seeds. Prices of the crops they focus on—corn, soy, cotton, etc.—are  soaring, pushed up by severe drought in key growing regions. Higher crop prices  typically translate to increased pesticide sales as farmers have  more money to spend on agrichemicals and more incentive to maximize yield.

The companies operate globally—and have gained a stronghold in that emerging center of industrial agricultu...—but  the biotech-friendly US is their profit center. They've got a big chunk  of US agriculture pretty well sewn up—their GMO seeds dominate our  corn, soy and cotton crops, which account for more than 53 percent of US farmland,  and have won approval for GMO alfalfa (hay), which accounts for another  19 percent. The vast annual US corn crop—which accounts for 40 percent  of the globe's corn most years—is a particular bonanza, not just for GMO  seeds but also a stunning amount of insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides.

But two things could mess up the Big 6 here in the US: 1) any delay  in the regulatory process for a new generation of seeds engineered for  resistance to multiple herbicides; and 2) any major move to require  labeling of foods containing GMOs, a requirement already in play in many other countries—including the European Union, China, Japan, and South Korea—and one for which the US public has expressed overwhelming support. Unsurprisingly,  the Big 6 are investing millions of their vast profits into forestalling  both of those menaces.

Speedy deregulation of the new-generation herbicide-tolerant crops is   important for a simple reason: Monsanto's blockbuster Roundup Ready   technology—featuring corn, soy, cotton, sugar beet, and alfalfa (hay)   seeds engineered to resist Monsanto's Roundup herbicide—is failing.   Roundup-resistant superweeds are galloping out of control   throughout big-farm country. The industry's only solution to the   problem is to roll out seeds resistant to multiple herbicides at once,   adding old, toxic ones like 2,4-D and dicamba to the Roundup mix.   (Roundup itself, now the most widely used herbicide in the US by a wide   margin, has long enjoyed a reputation as mostly harmless chemical, but   that status has been quietly crumbling in scientific circles.)

Continue: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/08/biotech-gmo-deregul...

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Comment by Less Prone on September 5, 2012 at 10:43am

As the occult writings of the banking cult leaders define the rest of the human beings as animals, or worse, it is quite logical that they feed us pesticides and other poisons. Should we say homicides? The word is already taken to another use...

Comment by Less Prone on August 15, 2012 at 12:05pm

All GMO must be labelled, and if not, nothing prevents producers of genetically uncorrupted food to label it GMO-FREE.

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