Business Week on super weeds
Report Raises Alarm over 'Superweeds'
Use of herbicides such as Monsanto's Roundup is on the rise. As weeds become resistant, environmental activists blame genetically modified crops
But as more seeds with a baked-in resistance to Roundup are planted around the world, it's helping prop up sales of the herbicide. Some 80% of biotech seeds have herbicide-tolerance in them, and the vast majority of those tolerate Roundup specifically. In fact, on Feb. 12, Monsanto Executive Vice-President Brett Begemann told investors at a conference that the company would raise its 2008 earnings guidance, thanks in part to better-than-anticipated Roundup sales. In the company's first fiscal quarter, sales of Roundup and other chemicals jumped 47%. The company expects up to $1.4 billion in gross profit for the year from its chemicals business, Begemann said, which would be a 10% increase from 2007. (Monsanto forecasts $3.5 billion in gross profit from its seeds businesses, a 16% increase.)