Environmental scientists warned about the problem of herbicide-resistant weed creation even before Monsanto's "herbicide tolerant" GMO crops were approved. Of course, Monsanto denied these early warnings.
And in fact, while Monsanto was telling farmers not to worry about resistant weeds, they were already preparing to profit from farmers' weed troubles. In 2001, Monsanto received a patent on mixing herbicides with Roundup for use on RR fields with resistant weeds.
According to Generation Green:
"Weed scientists now say that superweeds from GMO crops infest over 11 million acres of US farmland -- nearly five times more acreage than just three years ago -- at a cost to US farmers of $1 billion a year ... But superweeds do create new opportunities for the pesticide companies that make GMO crops.
Given Monsanto's history, it makes you wonder if superweeds are just an unexpected problem from GMOs, or was creating the problem the plan all along?"
Forbes magazine also recently admitted their mistake in naming Monsanto company of the year in 2009. They released an article stating they were "wrong on Monsanto … really wrong," citing not only the problems with resistant superweeds but also investigations over antitrust issues and a potential flop in an expensive new variety of GM corn seed.
Since 1996, when GM crops were first introduced, at least nine species of U.S. weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's blockbuster Roundup herbicide.
But all these years, Monsanto has been downplaying the problem of weed resistance, stating that Roundup Ready crops were not likely to lead to resistance and even, as Generation Green reported, advising against crop rotation or using other chemicals, which would help prevent resistance, calling it an "unnecessary expense."
Instead, Monsanto urged farmers to simply use more Roundup on their crops to kill those pesky resistant weeds, even though studies suggest that using even 10 times the recommended amount of Roundup would not kill resistant weeds.
Superweeds are Growing Fast
Resistant weeds now cover about 11 million acres of farmland, up fivefold from just three years ago, according to Penn State weed scientist David Mortensen. And the problem is only slated to get worse if drastic changes are not made in the massive use of Roundup herbicide across the United States.
In case you're not familiar with Roundup, Roundup Ready soybean, cotton and corn crops are the world's largest group of genetically modified crops.
This particular variety of GM crops became so popular because it allows farmers to spray Monsanto's Roundup herbicide directly onto their fields without harming the crops. Ordinarily, if you were to spray Roundup, or any other glyphosate-based herbicide, onto a plant, it would die.
As you might imagine, the use of Roundup herbicide has increased dramatically since the GM Roundup Ready crops were introduced, and now the repeated exposures have given Mother Nature all she needs to stage her comeback.
Weeds have evolved so that they're resistant to Roundup, and as a result, farmers are applying even more herbicides to crops. This is, in fact, the National Research Council's advice to farmers who are facing issues with superweeds:
"In particular, farmers who grow GE herbicide-resistant crops should not rely exclusively on glyphosate and need to incorporate a range of weed management practices, including using other herbicide mixes."
So as Monsanto continues to claim that their GM crops – which account for 80-90 percent of some U.S. crops -- offer benefits like lower production costs, higher yields and declines in insecticide use, this is far from the reality.
Faced with increasing numbers of resistant weeds, farmers planting Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops are using more pesticides, creating more pollution and spending more money and time to tend to their crops than they were before the superweeds started.
Forbes Takes Back Monsanto Company of the Year Award
In one of the most awful jokes of all time, last December Forbes declared Monsanto "company of the year" -- for reasons that truly boggle the mind. Anyone who has studied the devastating effects of the unrestrained release of genetically modified crops into the environment will see the insanity in declaring Monsanto "Company of the Year."
Well, it took close to a year, but Forbes finally realized their judgment was fatally flawed and have released a new article stating they were "wrong on Monsanto … really wrong."
What caused them to retract their winning testimony? The slew of hard-to-ignore flops, investigations and environmental disasters that have been plaguing this evil company in recent months.
- Monsanto's newest genetically modified (GM) product, SmartStax corn, provides no greater yields than older products, despite being more expensive
- Weeds are growing resistant to Monsanto's Roundup
- The Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations
Already, shares of Monsanto's stock have fallen 42 percent since January, and earnings for the fiscal year are expected to be well under projections. I can only hope that this downtrend will continue, as these newest revelations are only the latest continuation of Monsanto's evil past.
More Reasons to Boycott Monsanto
Monsanto is top on my hit list of evil corporations. Why? Here is just a short list of the many improprieties and outright crimes they have committed:
- Suing small farmers for patent infringement after Monsanto's GM seeds spread wildly into surrounding farmers' fields, contaminating their conventional crops
- Secretly discharging PCB-laden toxic waste into an Alabama creek, and dumping millions of pounds of PCBs into open-pit landfills for decades after PCBs were banned in the US for being a possible carcinogen.
- Being found guilty of bribery to bypass Indonesian law requiring an environmental assessment review for its genetically engineered cotton.
- Last year, the supreme court of France found Monsanto guilty of falsely advertising its herbicide Roundup as "biodegradable" and "environmentally friendly." Scientific evaluation discovered that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, is acutely toxic to fish and birds and can kill beneficial insects and soil organisms that maintain ecological balance. Additionally, the surfactant ingredient in Roundup is more acutely toxic than glyphosate itself, and the combination of the two is even more toxic.
- In 2007, the South African Advertising Standards Authority also found Monsanto guilty of lying when advertising that "no negative reactions to Genetically Modified food have been reported."
- According to one EPA scientist, Monsanto doctored studies and covered-up dioxin contamination of a wide range of its products. She concluded that the company's behaviour constituted "a long pattern of fraud."
- In 1999, the New York Times exposed that Monsanto's PR firm, Burson Marsteller, had paid fake "pro-GMO" food demonstrators to counteract a group of anti-biotech protesters outside a Washington, DC FDA meeting.
Can Monsanto Censor Information Shared about Them on Facebook?
In addition to the list of improprieties just mentioned, it appears as though their corporate power also extends to the ability to censor private online sharing of information.
Readers of this newsletter as well as my IT personnel have reported that it's impossible to post my recent article about Monsanto onto Facebook. Numerous people have tried, and everyone gets an error message of one form or another. Meanwhile, other articles can be posted without such problems.
This doesn't surprise me, as Monsanto lawyers used to contact me on a regular basis about articles I'd written. So, although it is pure speculation, it's quite likely that Facebook has flagged that article as "spam" and therefore will not allow sharing, and most likely this is due to complaints or threats from Monsanto's attorneys.
The following video also does a great job of showing just how ruthless Monsanto is in their efforts to ensure the truth remains hidden from public view.
Want to Join Me in Giving Monsanto the Boot?
If the stock market is any indication of overall public opinion, Monsanto appears to be falling out of favor, and fast. This could be the beginning of the end for Monsanto … if we can continue to drive the momentum that's forming against the creation and proliferation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Remember, Monsanto is the world leader in GMO technology, and while several European countries have banned GM corn and other GM crops, the United States has allowed the technology to overwhelm much of commercial farming.
As of right now, about 85 percent of the corn grown in the United States is genetically engineered to either produce an insecticide, or to survive the application of herbicide. And about 91-93 percent of all soybeans are genetically engineered to survive massive doses of Roundup herbicide.
Also, according to the Institute for Responsible Technology, about 76 percent of cotton, 75 percent of canola and more than 50 percent of Hawaiian papaya grown in the United States are genetically modified as well.
The Institute for Responsible Technology has also compiled these other sources of GM foods to watch out for, including:
- Zucchini and yellow squash (small amount)
- Dairy products from cows injected with rBGH
- Food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet®) and rennet used to make hard cheeses
- Meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed
- Honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen.
- Tobacco (Quest® brand)
You and your family are already eating these foods, and the United States has, in many ways, already taken steps that cannot be undone.
Herbicide-resistant weeds are now popping up all over the United States, and only time will tell how widespread and difficult to control they will ultimately become.
So what can you do?
By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto's GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.
Most people want to avoid GMOs but it is virtually impossible to do so, since the government prevents GMO labeling.
However, Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, has compiled a resource for you to avoid the government block of information -- the free Non-GMO Shopping Guide. You can also print out the Non-GMO Shopping Guide and give it to your friends and family.
By making your shopping choices according to this guide, you can help ensure that Monsanto will fall further and further from public favor, until one day perhaps they will disappear from the radar entirely.
Set Your DVR's!
Last but not least, GMO expert Jeffrey Smith will appear on the Dr. Oz Show on Tuesday, December 7, to discuss the health dangers of genetically modified (GM) foods. This is an episode you won't want to miss!
This rare event will also feature Dr. Michael Hansen, a concerned Consumers Union scientist, and Dr. Pamela Ronald, a pro-GM scientist who promotes the genetic engineering of organic foods too.
Please share this widely with your family, friends and associates!
The issue of genetically modified foods will be covered during the first 15 minute segment of the show. You can check your local listing for the time and station here.