EcoWatch recently released a piece titled “3 Major Problems With Monsanto’s New GMO Soybeans” by Lorraine Chow. Monsanto’s Xtend soybeans are genetically altered to withstand both glyphosate and an existing herbicide called dicamba. Chow identifies the following problems with the Xtend soybeans:
- It’s illegal to use dicamba on GMO soy
- Dicamba has a drift problem
- The vicious superweed cycle
From the EcoWatch article:
Even though dicamba has been around for decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet approved dicamba’s over-the-top use on genetically engineered soybeans. However, as NPR reported, even though Monsanto has given growers clear instructions not to use the herbicide on the crops, farmers are (illegally) using it anyway. Officials estimate that 200,000 acres in Arkansas, the Missouri Bootheel and Tennessee have been affected.
As NPR described about Arkansas soy growers:
Farmers in this part of the country are struggling to control a weed called Palmer amaranth, also known as pigweed. Many of the weedkillers they’ve used in the past don’t work anymore. Weed expert Bob Scott says they’re desperate for new tools. “If we didn’t need this so bad, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Scott said.