There is one small field on Michael Sullivan’s farm, near the town of Burdette, Ark., that he wishes he could hide from public view.
The field is a disaster. There are soybeans in there, but you could easily overlook them. The field has been overrun by monsters: ferocious-looking plants called pigweeds, as tall as people and bursting with seeds that will come back to haunt any crops that Sullivan tries to grow here for years to come.
“I’m embarrassed to say that we farm that field,” Sullivan says. “We sprayed it numerous times, and it didn’t kill it.”
Monarch butterflies are in trouble. These popular insects, which have captured the public imagination with their several-thousand mile migrations, have been steadily disappearing for the past 20 years. Now, Monsanto says it wants to help turn the tide. Can the seed and pesticide giant seen by many as responsible for the monarchs’ decline make a difference for these pollinators? Or will its next batch of genetically engineered (GE) crops make matters worse?
Critics of genetically modified crops marched Saturday in front of the World Food Prize building to viagra for women online protest the controversial awarding of this year’s prize to laureates who have devised ways to put foreign genes into a plant’s DNA.
The March Against Monsanto was the kick-off to a week of Occupy World Food Prize events coinciding with the annual Iowa award, often called the Nobel Prize of Agriculture, founded by Dr. Normal Borlaug.
One of this year’s three laureates is the chief technology officer at Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company. Monsanto, which produces genetically modified corn, soybean and other seeds, is at the center of the controversy over genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
Biotech giant Monsanto said on Wednesday it will viagra now pay $930 million to buy The Climate Corporation, a Silicon Valley startup specializing in weather analytics and risk management. Big data, normally associated with consumer-facing sectors, seemingly couldn’t be further away from Monsanto’s often controversial core business of genetically modified seeds. So what gives?
Nearly two decades after their mid-’90s debut in US farm fields, GMO seeds are looking less and less promising. Do the industry’s products ramp up crop yields? The Union of Concerned Scientists looked at that question in detail for a 2009 study. Short answer: marginally, if at all. Do they lead to reduced pesticide use? No; in fact, the opposite. And why would they, when the handful of companies that dominate GMO seeds—Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow—are also among the globe’s largest pesticide makers?
This week, the Supreme Court will take up a classic David-and-Goliath case. On one side, there’s a 75-year-old farmer in Indiana named Vernon Hugh Bowman; on the other, the agribusiness giant Monsanto. The farmer is fighting the long reach of Monsanto’s patents on seeds — but he’s up against more than just Monsanto. The biotech and computer software industries are taking Monsanto’s side.