The rapid growth of Monsanto’s new GMO seeds resistant to the controversial herbicide dicamba has revived worries about the company’s stranglehold over farming during a period of industry consolidation.
Long a producer of dicamba, Monsanto last year introduced genetically-modified cotton and soybean seeds that can resist the weed killer.
The products took off, amassing more than 20 percent of US soybean fields and 50 percent of US cotton fields in just two years, according to Monsanto data.
The seeds are popular because they boost yield on farms, and some consumers also use dicamba in their fields to get rid of weeds that have become resistant to other herbicides.
However, dicamba is controversial in the US farm belt amid complaints that neighboring crops have been damaged by the herbicide.
Now some farmers say they are being forced to use the new GMO seeds to guard against dicamba.
University of Wisconsin professor Kyle Stiegert said Monsanto’s approach to dicamba is part of a larger pattern of increasing dominance by a few players.
“Monsanto has been an aggressive business entity in dominating the seeds industry for some time now,” said Stiegert, who teaches agricultural and applied economics. “I would see the dicamba situation as just another step in that direction.”
Read full, original post: Latest Monsanto GMO seeds raises worries of monopoly