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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 Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A year ago, things seemed bad for New Jersey’s oyster growers — restaurants shut down during the pandemic, hampering the oyster market, and sending farmers into a tailspin. But now, sales are back and better than ever. Scott Lennox, a founder of the Barnegat Oyster Collective, told the New York […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Maine’s wild blueberries may be in trouble. Scientists at the University of Maine have found that the state’s blueberry fields are warming at a much faster rate than the rest of New England. This could dry out the soil, threatening the beloved berries and the farmers who grow them. […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Indoor farms have become increasingly attractive to investors as ways to solve pandemic-induced disruptions to the harvesting, shipping, and sale of food. Vertical farms grow produce indoors in layers or vertical apparatuses inside warehouses or shipping containers. Artificial light, temperature control, and minimal soil use could make indoor farming […]
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