Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Monsanto's Roundup starting to show problems

Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at 10:08 AM
View 11 comments
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  • Let's look a little closer at the works you have chosen:

    "We will need stronger herbicides to beat the newcomers and then stronger and stronger and.... where does it end?"

    "stronger and stronger"? Relative to what? You attempt your own "spin" by using the words "stronger" to intimate "more toxic". Truth is it could be more OR less toxic. All we know for sure is it must be DIFFERENT.

    Your words again:

    It is amazing to me how things can be "spun" to say about anything you want about a subject. IN all fairness, my words as well, so it is ever important that people read and learn about topics that concern the environment, politics, humanity, etc."

    Yep, you just proved yourself correct here!

    -- Posted by scottwaters on Tue, May 4, 2010, at 3:52 PM
  • So your point is that I am correct about spin?

    Balance is why I gave Monsanto's website. I am hoping people will read and decide for themselves.

    What did you decide?

    Stronger does not necessarily mean more toxic, but the reporter seemed to think so. "To fight them, Mr. Anderson and farmers throughout the East, Midwest and South are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides". I do not know what he bases that statement on, but I presume he is getting it from the farmers. Maybe not, but.... the reader can decide.

    Stronger could mean developing more bio-engineered plants from patented seeds, to which the corporations own the patent. Heirloom seeds that do not need anyone to regenerate could be endangered. What will feed the world if the company goes out of business and the heirloom plants are gone?

    Apparently there are more of these plants in our system than many of us (or at least I) thought. "Roundup Ready crops account for about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton grown in the United States." is a scary thought to me.

    Researchers have found that crops modified to resist or kill damaging insects are also causing deadly mutations that are killing beneficial insects like pollinators.

    I have no investment in agriculture or agricultural companies, but I do in the future of my family. I am concerned and I do not apologize for that.

    As you duly noted, I admit to putting spin on my own words, so again, what is your evaluation on the subject, not me?

    Why are you passionate about the subject?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, May 4, 2010, at 9:44 PM
  • Steve, thank you for your insight. Honey bee decline alone is reason for intense investigation into these subjects. It does make one wonder why anyone would blindly defend these practices and products. A strong money trail seems to be a motivational indictment of most defenders of these companies and their potentially dangerous interferences with nature.

    I personally would like to know when I am consuming genetically modified plant or animal materials, yet the corporations and their allies, the government, have determined that it is none of my business. Unbelievable!

    -- Posted by dmcg on Wed, May 5, 2010, at 9:07 AM
  • I am surprised and dismayed how prevalent it is.

    I truly hope that scottwaters comes back on this issue. I would not mind reading educated opinions on the subject.

    I knew I might offend some farmers who are using this or similar products, but I am used to that from having been an officer of the only organic certifying organization in the state of Tennessee some years ago. TN does not have such an agency anymore since they were put out of business by organic becoming recognized by the Federal Government.

    They made it expensive and agonizing to be a certifying agency and now only a few out-of-state groups are doing it. We were all volunteer and did not charge enough to keep a full-time person. Our interest was in trying to help TN farmers verify their sustainable/organic methods for those who needed the paperwork, like grocery stores.

    If scottwaters does not come back to discuss the topic, I can only presume he was surfing the net for comments about Monsanto or Roundup and then trying to nullify any arguments. We can only assume why someone would spend time doing that. I would rather have a reasonable discussion.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, May 5, 2010, at 9:06 PM
  • I applaud your interest in educated discussion. My biggest concern was and has been the rush to utilize these technologies on such a vast scale. It seems there has been no consideration to their overall effects; rather, they have been promoted as safe, regardless of potentially negative consequences to the food chain.

    This isn't trivial, it essentially goes to the quality of life on this planet. Proponents decry hunger, but at what cost?

    -- Posted by dmcg on Thu, May 6, 2010, at 8:26 AM
  • Wasn't the Round Up crops touted as using LESS chemicals in crop production?

    -- Posted by Chef Boy R.D. on Thu, May 6, 2010, at 8:37 AM
  • The Roundup Ready crops were supposed to only need Roundup to kill the weeds. Now that the weeds have picked up the "Roundup Ready" attributes, other methods will be required. Farmers have a choice of using "other " chemicals to kill back the weeds or use more mechanical methods, such as tilling, weeding or burning.

    Burning is a natural method nature has used since the beginning. Tilling increases the chances of soil erosion if not done properly or s natural disaster such as our recent floods, drought and wind. Mechanical weeding is time consuming, and uses more fossil fuels (in most cases).

    What it means is that "corporate farmers" may not be able to farm thousands of acres, even tens of thousands of acres, which may not be all that bad. It may have to break back down to small, more manageable farms and bring back the family farmer from the "endangered species" ranks.

    That is a who;e different discussion though.

    The resistance to Roundup is not good for Monsanto either, but the real danger, as dmcg pointed out, is that many of these new developments are rushed into production with little or no research into the long term affects. The only ones doing the testing are the same people who have financial gain to bring it to market, so .....

    When they genetically modify plants to resist insects or disease, they do not know what this might transmute to down the road. Farmers who try to use this seed in the second generation, have to pay the seed company for their patent rights and what if it is a total failure? Could our food source be threatened or even eliminated? No one really knows.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, May 6, 2010, at 9:05 AM
  • This is all very interesting, please bare with me here though.I recently read an article about Monsanto selling a form of Roundup that would unknown to the user effect the soil it is used on in a way that would for at least the next 2 years only grow seed that had been treated and supplied by Monsanto, and that if the product were to blow over to other wild vegetation it could prevent it from reproducing also. I do not know how reliable the story was or even if I understood it correctly. I did find it very scary that this could possibly be done.

    I have also read some where that companies are producing seeds that grow plants for only one season they produce sterile seeds that prevent growers from using them for future crops making it necessary to buy seeds from them each year.

    I do not know where I read these things or how true they are, perhaps you have information on it. I would love to hear more if you do.

    -- Posted by KaiteJones on Thu, May 6, 2010, at 11:30 PM
  • One of the first things I noticed when I moved to this area was that most of the people on the church prayer lists were suffering from cancer.

    One of the other things I noticed was a very liberal use of chemicals like Round-Up.

    Coincidence? I think not.

    -- Posted by cats4me on Fri, May 7, 2010, at 2:50 AM
  • I have no doubt that much of our cancer and nerve issues are caused by humanity. To what degree and what is causing it is such a diverse picture that it is hard to pinpoint. Of course I have my opinions but as I mentioned above, most of the research money is on the "other" side and they are not going to spend it on proving the sustainable argument.

    Katie, here is an article on Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO. These are the seeds that go sterile and require buying from the originator. They also can move to other crops or plants. http://attra.ncat.org/intern_handbook/pdf/transgenics.pdf#xml=http://search.ncat...

    I have not heard of the possible new pre-emergent but these types of products are used on both sides of the standard and sustainable methods, however, what is used is very different. Corn gluten is used as a pre-emergent which is natural product that works only for that one time. Even vinegar is now being used to spray plants at seed production time to "burn-back" the tips of plants. The high acidity of vinegar is what accomplished this, but again, its' affects are very short lived.

    There is a seed that has been bred to withstand existing Roundup applications. I presume it is a GMO product and yes, it can move to other plants, such as weeds.

    Spray application of any type of insecticide or herbicide is always a concern. I used to certify a cotton grower in Tennessee who lost hundreds of acres in certified land because her neighbor sprayed with a non-approved product on a windy day. We had to take that land out of the certification program for 3 years.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 7, 2010, at 7:35 AM
  • Thank you Steve.

    -- Posted by KaiteJones on Fri, May 7, 2010, at 9:36 AM
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