Tag Archives: Roundup Ready

What’s wrong with GMOs?

IMG_5733What’s wrong with GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in food production? While many GMO critics say they pose health hazards, I find that argument unconvincing. Instead, I am concerned about:

  1. the tie between GMO crops and overuse of pesticides and fertilizer, each of which has serious environmental consequences;
  2. the contribution of seed companies and GMOs to the increasing industrialization of agriculture, which I believe harms the land, farmers and consumers;
  3. GMO genetic drift, which contributes to contamination of crops of neighboring farmers and, even more seriously, may contribute to the development of superweeds.

I support GMO labeling for the same reason that I support other labeling, such as country of origin labeling for meat and vegetables or rBGH labeling for dairy products. I think more information is a positive good, and that consumers should be allowed to make their own choices. For example, while I see no human health hazards in drinking milk produced by cows treated with rBGH, I see very high health hazards to the cows — and a detriment to dairy farming in general. For those reasons, I choose not to buy dairy products unless they are rBGH-free, and I support labeling because it gives me an option to choose. Continue reading


Filed under agriculture, environment, food and farming

EPA approves another superchemical for superweeds


In October 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the registration of Enlist Duo, a new herbicide to fight superweeds resistant to other weedkillers. The chemical combines glyphosate, originally developed and marketed by Monsanto as Roundup, with the older, more toxic 2,4-D, one of the ingredients in Agent Orange. The approval applies to six states, and the EPA is accepting public comment until Dec. 15 to register the pesticide in 10 additional states. The registration, which came a month after the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved new corn and soybean seeds genetically engineered to resist both herbicides, is subject to a six-year limit and some monitoring requirements. Continue reading

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Filed under agriculture, environment, food and farming