Monsanto’s New GMOs Spawn Illegal Use of Toxic Herbicides

By Emily Cassidy, Research Analyst
Environmental Working Group


Farmers in Arkansas and Missouri have filed more than 100 complaints with state agriculture agencies over a toxic weed killer that is drifting from adjacent farms and damaging their crops. The herbicide is not only stunting the growth of soybeans – it’s also being used illegally.

As National Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal reported, farmers say the chemical, known as dicamba, is being illegally sprayed by neighboring farms growing genetically modified crops from seeds created and sold by Monsanto, known as Roundup Ready 2 Xtend.

This year, Monsanto reportedly sold more than 2 million acres worth of the new seeds, claiming they get rid of weeds and produce higher yields. But the seeds are meant for use with a new Monsanto herbicide the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to approve. As NPR put it, Monsanto “gave farmers a new weed-killing tool that they couldn’t legally use.”

The widespread adoption of Monsanto’s first generation of Roundup Ready crops, engineered to tolerate glyphosate, aka Roundup, has worsened weed problems on farms and created herbicide-resistant superweeds. To combat these weeds, Monsanto engineered the new seeds to grow soybeans and cotton that will withstand a chemical cocktail of glyphosate and dicamba.

Even a small amount of dicamba can cause significant damage to conventional soybeans that haven’t been engineered to resist the herbicide. Monsanto says the new glyphosate-dicamba mixture is less likely to drift onto fields growing conventional soybeans. But some farmers who invested in the new seeds are – unwittingly or knowingly – using an older, drift-prone version of dicamba on these new GMOs, which breaks federal pesticide law.

Read the full article here.


The Healthy Traditions Glyphosate-tested Program. Foods with this logo have been tested for the presence of glyphosate.

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