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Why This Matters: Just last month, we reported that Bayer would pay almost $11 billion– one of the largest settlements in US civil litigation— to those who claimed the weedkiller Roundup caused them to develop cancer. While public health and environmental activists lauded the recent win, the fact that Bayer is likely to get approval for this new crop, which would be resistant to the active chemical in Roundup, suggests that the losses in court had and will continue to have little impact on the company’s trajectory. Just because these herbicides won’t “harm” GE corn does not mean they won’t harm humans and other organisms.
A New Kind of Corn?
The corn in question, according to the petition submitted the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, would be “genetically engineered for dicamba, glufosinate, quizalofop, and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid tolerance with tissue-specific glyphosate tolerance.” As Bill Freese, a policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, told Civil Eats, a crop resistant to at least five herbicides is “certainly a record.” However, according to Held, it is “not a surprising next step for the industry, which has been increasingly introducing multi-herbicide-resistant varieties.”
Bayer wants to introduce a corn resistant to so many different herbicides because many weeds have developed a resistance to certain herbicides. By engineering a crop resistant to multiple herbicides, Bayer believes they can ensure more effective eradication of weeds without harming the crops. A spokesperson told Civil Eats that “Bayer is committed to and stands fully behind our Roundup and XtendiMax herbicides. We are proud of our role in bringing solutions to help growers safely, successfully, and sustainably protect their crops from weeds.”
By Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer An ongoing study in Detroit on the potential to recondition soils in urban areas to enable locally-grown agriculture is producing promising results, Brian Allnutt reported in Civil Eats. The study out of Michigan State University-Detroit’s Partnership for Food Learning and Innovation, is working to find the “quickest, cheapest, and […]
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer This past weekend’s weather was hot in Iowa and Illinois. But it likely felt even hotter, due to “another episode of corn-catalyzed extreme humidity,” Matthew Cappucci reported in The Washington Post. “Corn sweat,” or the water released into the atmosphere by crops like corn as a cooling mechanism, helped […]
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