So now the Monsanto Company thinks its bad reputation with the public is primarily an air time problem. As the agribusiness giant’s Chief Technology Officer (and recent World Food Prize winner) Robert Fraley told Politico recently, Monsanto has been “absolutely riveted and focused on giving technology and tools to farmers to improve their productivity and yield and we haven’t spent nearly the time we have needed to on talking to consumers and talking to social media.”
This is a company that spends, on average, $100 million per year on advertising. Read more
A new article in the respected journal BioScience raises important concerns about the harmful influence of genetically engineered herbicide resistant crops on sustainable weed control. As many others have also noted, the excessive reliance on glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup, has resulted in the emergence and spread of many harmful weeds that can no longer be controlled by glyphosate. These weeds now infest millions of acres of farmland the U.S., resulting in greater herbicide use.
But the new article goes well beyond most previous work by providing insight into the state of weed control for major crops in the U.S., and how the current use of engineered herbicide resistant crops is driving agriculture toward reduced sustainability. Read more
A new report out today, Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Thirteen Years [pdf] authored by Dr. Charles Benbrook, chief scientist at The Organic Center, reveals that the use of genetically modified (GM) corn, soy and cotton crops has increased the amount of pesticides used in the past 13 years by 318 million pounds.
This information comes to light as the industry struggles to position itself as providing environmental benefit through use of bt technology — insecticide producing seeds — savings from which are diminished in light of a six times greater herbicide usage. Read more