|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
The Weed That Ate Delaware
The Weed That Ate Delaware The year 2003 will mark the end of the most significant decade of my life, in which I discovered and will continue to carry out that which I now define as my mission. My life's work has matured into a no-pay career of exposing the dangers of Monsanto's genetically engineered foods so that your children and mine can live in a safer and healthier world. I began with milk, back in 1994. If not for the controversy surrounding Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, I would never have traveled a path in which I came to understand that so-called "healthy cow's milk" naturally contains steroid and protein growth hormones, making it inappropriate for human consumption. Although adverse effects of milk consumption have become my primary area of interest, I continue to keep a watchful eye on all things "Monsanto," so that yesterday's press release (1/14/03) evolved into an issue of great consequence. At the advent of the biotechnology revolution of the 1990s, Monsanto fooled government regulators into believing that they could easily predict and control those cataclysmic delusions of humankind which nature always find a way to exploit. They said it could not happen, but it has. One new super-weed has developed an immunity to Monsanto's Roundup Ready herbicide. The name of the weed is mare's tail, and you know what's located right below the mare's tail, right? Uh, huh. The horse's ass, which is what Monsanto has acted like by dismissing unanticipated errors of biotechnology which nature exploits to forever remind us that our arrogance will not be tolerated. Mare's tail (hippuris vulgaris) is a real nuisance plant, clogging ditches and choking streams and waterways. Goats love it. So do ducks. Farmer's hate it, and therein lies an exploding problem for those who grow soybeans, cotton, and corn. The tiny seeds, some 600,000 to the pound, are easily spread by the wind and the wings of flying creatures. Creeping perennial herbs then fill shallow waters and mud flats. Monsanto issued a press and slapped Mother Nature's face. Monsanto's official comment was more propaganda than public service message, stating: "...increasing weed resistance to its popular Roundup herbicide is not a major problem and farmers should not reduce their use of the product because of fears over spreading resistance in parts of the United States." Monsanto's minor problem has bloomed into a potential catastrophe. Thirty-five square miles of Delaware's finest farmland have been overrun. The weed has spread into Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey. All in all, 781 square miles of America's soybean and cotten acreage have been swatted by mare's tail. How big an area is that? Picture a territory greater in size than half the state of Rhode Island. Not such divine Providence. Monsanto spokeswoman, Janice Armstrong, said: "We feel the situation is being taken care of." Another mare's tale.
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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