Thursday, June 14, 2012

‘Agent Orange corn’ thrills farmers, worries critics

Sharyl Attkisson, CBS News
SEAFORD, Delaware (CBS News) – There is a controversy in the food industry over so-called “Agent Orange corn.”

The genetically modified vegetable is protected from a herbicide that kills so-called super weeds, but is linked to the notorious “Agent Orange” used in Vietnam.

Many farmers are thrilled with the corn, but many critics think it will lead to more use of toxic chemicals.

Seventy-two-year-old Irvin Handy has been farming in Delaware his whole life. And that’s meant a lifelong battle to kill enemy weeds, without killing his corn and soy crops. Handy has a consultant who advises him on an ever-changing chemical arsenal to keep the weeds at bay.

“Yeah, they’ve been terrible this year. They’ve been the worst I’ve ever seen this year,” said Handy.

But like a lot of farmers, Handy has seen an incredible uptick in super weeds that just won’t die since they are resistant to the chemical herbicides that used to work on them, like Roundup.

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