Monsanto's Pesticide Breeding Giant Superweeds

The discovery of a pesticide-resistant weed that can grow up to 10 feet tall has cotton farmers in the Southern U.S. worried. "It is potentially the worst threat since the boll weevil," said Alan York, a weed scientist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The boll weevil destroyed cotton crops in the early 1900s and caused farmers to switch to alternatives such as peanuts, until the beetle was eradicated in some states 70 years later. Now a new adversary has arrived: a pesticide- Resistant pigweed, known as Palmer amaranth, which has been confirmed in 10 North Carolina counties, four Georgia counties and is suspected in Tennessee, South Carolina and Arkansas. In Georgia, amaranth literally took over some fields and the cotton had to be cut down, rather than harvested. Scientist blame the pesticide resistance on the overuse of Monsanto's Roundup (glyphosate). "This is something we do look at very seriously," said Monsanto representative Michelle Starke.

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