sábado, mayo 08, 2010

Invasion of the Superweeds - Debate in the New York Times


pigweedHoward F. Schwartz/bugwood.org Palmer amaranth, or pigweed, is a particularly tenacious Roundup-resistant pest that has been known to damage harvesting equipment.

American farmers’ broad use of the weedkiller glyphosphate — particularly Roundup, which was originally made by Monsanto — has led to the rapid growth in recent years of herbicide-resistant weeds. To fight them, farmers are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing.

What should farmers do about these superweeds? What does the problem mean for agriculture in the U.S.? Will it temper American agriculture’s enthusiasm for genetically modified crops that are engineered to survive spraying with Roundup?

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