Grist story on ‘superweeds’ attempts to demonize biotech by describing evolution

Biotech crops, which represent almost all the corn, soy, and cotton grown in the U.S., have finally met their match. And it’s not (only) the millions of consumers demanding labels on food that contains genetically modified crops, or GMOs. As NPR reports, biotech’s super-nemesis is legions of weeds and bugs that have grown immune to the herbicides and pesticides that many of these crops require

Generally speaking, GMO crops fall into two categories: Some are designed to be resistant to pesticides like Roundup, Monsanto’s all-purpose weed killer. This allows farmers to douse fields with Roundup, killing everything but the corn, soy, or cotton (most commonly) that they’re trying to grow. Other GMO crops actually exude chemicals such as Bt, a “natural” pesticide that kills many of the most damaging bugs.

The technology may or may not be deserving of the World Food Prize but it’s certainly been a huge business success. At least it has been — until the weeds and bugs that these crops are engineered to withstand find ways to kill the crops anyway.

We at Grist have been tracking the scourge of superweeds and superbugs for years now. And whatever the merits of a debate over pros and cons of biotech, the facts on the ground suggest the underdogspests are winning.

Read the full story here: Turf war: In the battle for our crops, superweeds are winning

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Reuters analysed over 185,000 genome samples from the Global Initiative on Sharing All influenza Data (GISAID), the largest database of ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend