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Re: [SPAM]E-M:/ Superweeds

This is, of course, no surprise.  When I attended a national discussion among the various academic and state departments of ag pre-2000 the only question was not if, but when.  No state or fed agency has had the strength to put real controls on the open release of these agents.  My comment to MDA commissioners in private discussion was that GMO intrusion was going to make pesticides look like child's play.
----- Original Message -----
From: ecothinker
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 12:41 PM
Subject: [SPAM]E-M:/ Superweeds


From another list:

Of course this is happening in Iowa and Arkansas *not* in Michigan. Right?

Superweeds: ready for Roundup
by Tom Philpott
Grist, 14 August 2008

*In Arkansas, a new GMO/herbicide solution to a problem created by an old one. [A solution, that is, to a problem created by a previous GMO/herbicide combination. GMO stands for "genetically modified organism," i.e., an organism that has undergone genetic engineering, which is a process far different from traditional selective breeding or hybridization.--tm]

I've written a couple of times about the rise of "superweeds" in the
Southeast and mid-South.

In Arkansas, horseweed and Palmer amaranth now choke fields planted
with Monsanto's Roundup Ready cotton and soy -- engineered to
withstand heavy doses of Roundup, Monsanto's broad-spectrum herbicide.
Fifteen years ago, horseweed and amaranth weren't problem weeds.

Back in March, Arkansas Agricultural Extension Service officials were
pushing farmers to supplement their Roundup applications with doses of
Reflex, a broad-spectrum herbicide made by Monsanto's rival, Syngenta.

Now the agribiz-friendly extension service is hotly promoting the
wares of another Monsanto rival, Bayer Crop Sciences, Delta Farm Press
reports [see next item]. Bayer's Liberty Link soybeans, designed to
withstand doses of Bayer's broad-spectrum herbicide Ignite, will be
available next year.

The active ingredient in Ignite is glufosinate ammonium -- evidently
pretty nasty stuff. Here is the International Pesticide Action

"At sub-lethal doses, glufosinate can have significant, but not so
easily observable impacts. For example, a recent study found that low
doses of glufosinate affected central nervous system development in
young rats ... The results suggested that exposure to even low doses
of glufosinate in the infantile period in rats causes changes in the
kainic acid receptor in the brain.
According to PAN, the EPA classifies glufosinate ammonium as
"persistent" and "mobile" -- meaning it sticks around and moves easily
through soil and water."

Then there's this:

"In one study, residues of glufosinate were found in spinach,
radishes, wheat and carrots planted 120 days after glufosinate had
been applied. In sandy soils, which overlie many aquifers, glufosinate
has been found to be highly persistent due to lack of biodegradation.
Its transport through the soil was also determined to be "essentially
unretarded." Glufosinate's metabolite, MPPA-3, has been found to be
more persistent and more mobile than glufosinate [itself]."

It's hard to see what good can come of this GMO/pesticide treadmill --
unless, that is, you own shares in one of the very few companies that
dominate the GMO/agrichemical market.