U.S. Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds - NYTimes.com
More evidence that GM / Monsanto is a short-term fix and a long-term nightmare.
"...But farmers sprayed so much Roundup that weeds quickly evolved to survive it. What we’re talking about here is Darwinian evolution in fast-forward," Mike Owen, a weed scientist at Iowa State University, said. Roundup-resistant weeds like horseweed and giant ragweed are forcing farmers to go back to more expensive techniques that they had long ago abandoned.
Mr. Anderson, the farmer, is wrestling with a particularly tenacious species of glyphosate-resistant pest called Palmer amaranth, or pigweed, whose resistant form began seriously infesting farms in western Tennessee only last year. Pigweed can grow three inches a day and reach seven feet or more, choking out crops; it is so sturdy that it can damage harvesting equipment. In an attempt to kill the pest before it becomes that big, Mr. Anderson and his neighbors are plowing their fields and mixing herbicides into the soil.
.. so if you already joined the CBAN Canadian action network - you can also look at the Trade Justice Network to take action.
Secret Text of Canada-EU Trade Deal Released: The agreement may be the largest single issue on farm-policy horizon
The Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) is already being negotiated! On May 6, 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched negotiations with Europe toward a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement that will go beyond NAFTA in ways that threaten public services and local democracy in Canada. On April 19, 2010, the Trade Justice Network leaked the draft consolidated text of the agreement to start a public debate on the effect the agreement would have on a number of public policy areas in Canada.
European companies see Canada's public services, including water treatment, transportation, energy and even health care, as ripe for privatization. Europe has already requested that GMOs be exempt from the trade agreement but the rights of farmers to save seed are under direct attack from the agreement. CETA would put powerful new tools into the hands of the biotech corporations.
The trade deal would give biotech, pharmaceutical, pesticide, seed, and grain companies powerful new tools to force farmers to buy seeds at high prices, on corporate terms. It would give corporations even more power to ultimately decide who farms and how... The trade deal would almost entirely eliminate the rights of farmers to save, reuse and sell seed.
Plant varieties can be protected as intellectual property through Plant Breeders Rights as well as patents on genes. The trade deal would give rights holders an unprecedented degree of control over seeds and farming by committing Canada to adopt UPOV'91, the draconian 1991 version of The International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties. The inclusion of UPOV'91 in the deal is completely unnecessary and is excessively harmful to Canadian farmers. Seed breeders would have the right to collect royalties on seed at any point in the food chain!
The draft of the trade deal also says that biotech corporations could seize the crops, equipment, and farms - and freeze the bank accounts - of farmers who are deemed patent infringers, like farmers who find unwanted contamination in their fields.
Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.