Monday, September 24, 2012

Agent Orange chemical in GM war on resistant weeds A US biotechnology company is set to introduce a controversial new genetically modified corn to help farmers fight resistant weeds. Dow Agrosciences says its new GM product is based on a chemical that was once a component of the Vietnam war defoliant, Agent Orange. It is needed they say because so called "superweeds" are now affecting up to 15 million acres of American crops. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote If we utilise the technology too extensively and rely on it too exclusively, eventually we will develop resistance” Prof Dallas Peterson Kansas State University Dow argues the new approach is safe and sustainable. For a farmer like Jeremy Leech who grows corn and soybeans near Humboldt, Nebraska, resistant weeds are a constant threat to his farm and his family. Last year he spent around $7,500 on chemical sprays to combat the threat to his crops. The herbicide failed to kill the giant ragweed that had grown on his land, strangling his soybeans and his income. Worse, the pungent pollen from the towering pests exacerbated his eight year-old daughter's asthma. READ MORE:

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