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Pesticide Use Proliferating With GMO Crops, Study Warns

October 6, 2012

Monsanto’s combination of genetically modified seed and Roundup herbicide was supposed to ensure that crops across America grew tall while weeds were laid low. Some 15 years later, most of the corn, soybeans and cotton cultivated in the U.S. stems from these Roundup Ready seeds. But a growing number of these crop acres are also reluctant hosts of Roundup-resistant “superweeds.” Repeated application of the herbicide has literally weeded out the weak weeds and given the rare resistant weeds the opportunity to take over. The situation, according to a report published last Friday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe, has driven growers to use larger quantities of Roundup, more often and in conjunction with a broader arsenal of other weed-killing chemicals.

Overall, the new study estimates that the engineering of crops immune to the same chemical compound that poisons weeds, and of crops capable of producing their own insecticides, has resulted in an additional 404 million pounds of toxic pesticides doused on U.S. fields between 1996 — when genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were first introduced as farm crops — and 2011. That’s about a 7 percent increase.

via Pesticide Use Proliferating With GMO Crops, Study Warns.

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