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Environmental Politics
Escalating the weed wars
Escalating the weed wars

When crops were first introduced that had been engineered to withstand the herbicide glyphosate — better known by the trade name Roundup — the agricultural industry said it would confer a terrific environmental advantage. Glyphosate is a relatively benign herbicide, after all, and the industry claimed it would be able to use less of it to get rid of weeds, without harming the corn or soy. At first, farmers did spray less glyphosate. But resistant versions of the weeds soon cropped up. That meant heavier, repeated spraying, which in turn meant more resistant weeds. No problem, agribusiness said. We'll just make new crops genetically engineered to resist other herbicides....

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