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Genetically modified crops - February issue

David Kendra dkendra at mr.net
Sun Feb 7 10:34:54 EST 1999


Nick Maclaren wrote:

> >Sorry Nick, but you are miss informed.  The intention and the actual utility of
> >herbicide resistance technology is to use less herbicides.  Additionally Wayne is
> >correct that newer herbicide chemistries are much safer than older ones.  Roundup is
> >one of the safest herbicide that has ever been commercialized.  Also, can you please
> >provide evidence to support your claim that Roundup (a) persists in in the crop and
> >(b) harms other organisms or persists elsewhere.   Your post sounds like there is
> >data available that I am unaware of.  Thanks.
>
> Are you quite sure?  I know that your statement corresponds to the
> political sales pitch, but I saw one quote from an advertising leaflet
> that said precisely what I said (in different words.)  Remember that
> the WHOLE point of this particular technique is to enable plants to
> be sprayed with herbicide while they are growing, which is not a
> practical option at present (in general.)  I think that my source of
> the quote was Nature.

May I inquire which company's advertising leaflet suggested using increased levels of
herbicides?    I am unfamilar with this claim.  Farmers that I work with typically want
to apply as little herbicide as possible because the additional cost directly impacts
their profitability.  I also question your comment  "Remember that  the WHOLE point of
this particular technique is to enable plants to be sprayed with herbicide while they are
growing, which is not a practical option at present (in general.)"  - Who says this is
not a practical option at present?  The Nature article?  Can you please cite volume and
issue number, I must have missed that claim.

> I did not claim that glyphosate persists in the crop - I said that there
> is little evidence to show that it DOESN'T.

Have you done a thorough literature search to check this claim? I suspect that
information was required for registering the transgenic technology and may be included in
the technology packet that Monsanto submitted to the USDA and EPA.  Just a thought.

> Until these new practices
> were introduced, glyphosate was effectively not used on any food crop

> It is heavily used for keeping the ground clear around shrubs and

> trees, for clearing ground preparatory to planting, and so on - but
> NOT on the leaves of growing crops.  The new techniques are being
> foisted on us without even the most elementary checking for expected
> problems (let alone unexpected ones.)

Again, are you certain of this or are your claims just hearsay?  Did you ever read any of
Monsanto's documents supporting their patent applications?

> On the matter of 'elsewhere', there was a flame war on some UK group
> a year or so back, with some people claiming that it did not persist
> and others claiming that it did.  One of the latter provided an actual
> reference, which I looked up, and it does seem that glyphosate persists
> in aquatic sediments for a period of at least years.  Hence run-off is
> a very serious problem.

I missed that reference, can you please repost it.  Thanks.

Best regards,
Dave Kendra





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