What’s Next?

There’s a wrap-around advertisement from Monsanto on the cover of the October edition of Successful Farming magazine.  The text of it reads:

What’s next in weed control technology?  Roundup Ready 2  XTend Soybeans.  An advanced soybean product with tolerance to dicamba and glyphosate.  Xtend your control.

(in small print at the bottom) Pending regulatory approvals. Not available for sale or commercial planting.  

I’ve blogged often about how the use of Roundup (glyphosate) on genetically modified crops has led to the emergence of glyphosate-resistant “superweeds.”  Nature is amazingly resilient like that.

This hasn’t hurt Monsanto’s profits, however.  Now they can sell more glyphosate than ever, as farmers who have become dependent upon it now have to apply it in heavier and more frequent applications.  And of course it creates a market for new products, like “Roundup Ready 2 XTend Soybeans,” genetically engineered to be resistant to dicamba as well as glyphosate, thus generating even more herbicide sales.  And as soon as the weeds outmaneuver this poison cocktail (which should only take a couple of years) that will open the door for Monsanto to sell triple-stacked GMO seeds and even more herbicides.

Pending regulatory approvals, of course.


26 comments on “What’s Next?

  1. Jeff says:

    Capitalism at its finest.


  2. Reblogged this on Living and Lovin and commented:


  3. El Guapo says:

    I’d feel good about that last line, if regulatory approval didn’t seem to generally be a sham.


    • El Guapo says:

      Last line, not last night.



      • Bill says:

        I learned from Jeff that I have the ability to edit comments. I’ve used that power (with which I could do much mischief) to fix the typo. I don’t think they’d be spending so much money marketing the stuff if they had any doubt about it being approved.


      • Jeff says:

        When you “own” the regulatory apparatus (the great achievement of the so-called “Progressive Era”), why doubt that approvals will be forthcoming?


  4. And this is the way of many corporations with many products … xanax, used to “control” anxiety, leads to increased anxiety … this is how the consumer gets hooked on product after product …


    • Bill says:

      Yep. And nature abhors monocultures. The problems caused by overuse of chemicals and the mutations resulting from natural adaption to them are even worse and more frightening in the case of the antibiotic resistant bacteria being created on industrial farms.


  5. Tina Schell says:

    UGH – I’m glad I’m not a kid these days – maybe this kind of stuff will be outlawed before they’re all contaminated.


  6. jubilare says:

    yuck. Stupid and dangerous.


  7. Lynda says:

    I have no words!


    • Bill says:

      The stuff is everywhere. Chances are there are GMO soybeans being grown all around your farm. And 99% of it ends up being fed to animals in CAFOs, then fed back to humans.


  8. EllaDee says:

    I already am aware of the GMO state of play in the US and as I read your words, I fear for us all… it’s like one of those mad scientist films being played out. Only this is real, and they’re playing for money not just world domination.
    We’re relatively unaffected in Australia “the only genetically modified food crops produced in Australia are canola and cotton, but a variety of other GM foods can be imported and used as an ingredient in packaged foods. Foods where GM ingredients are highly refined do not need to be labelled as containing GM products.”
    I avoid foods with emulsfiers and thickeners “Soy lecithin (additive 322) is used as an emulsifier in spreads, cakes and confectionery.” And do my due diligence about when buying meat “Soybean meal is often used in stockfeed, particularly for pigs and poultry and in supplements for dairy cattle.”
    GM corn, potatoes and beet sugar can be used in processed foods. Which I don’t buy.
    Some people approve because science is good, yes… right.
    But most people, including some who approve, are uniformed. Also there are the don’t-care’s, and there’s-nothing-we-can-do-about-it’s.
    And then, there’s us – the tribe, the guerilla fighters who arm ourselves with information & shopping bags use of buying power at farmers markets etc.
    I fear it’s not enough, and the question What’s Next?, scares the hell out of me. I feel we are fighting for our lives, or we as a consumer group, informed or otherwise, will be wiped out. I can’t quite bring myself to use the G word but I thought it.


    • Bill says:

      I still love your image of us as guerrilla fighters. I like to think of it as resistance to empire.

      It is people like you, who take the time to become informed and who respond in the way they buy food, that give hope. We could always just homestead and say to hell with everybody else. But as long as they’re a chance to add to our ranks, I want to keep trying to do that.

      We raised our pigs this year on non-GMO, soy-free feed. It costs more and some people won’t want to pay more for pork raised that way. But even here, where the food movement is next to nonexistent, it has sold well.

      I share this quote from Wendell Berry often, but it seems fitting again:

      “You are tilting at windmills,” I will be told. “It is a hard world, hostile to the values that you stand for. You will never enlist enough people to bring about such a change.” People who talk that way are eager to despair, knowing how easy despair is. The change I am talking about appeals to me precisely because it need not wait upon “other people.” Anybody who wants to do so can begin it in himself and in his household as soon as he is ready–by becoming answerable to at least some of his own needs, by acquiring skills and tools, by learning what his real needs are, by refusing the glamorous and the frivolous. When a person learns to act on his best hopes he enfranchises and validates them as no government or public policy ever will. And by his action the possibility that other people will do the same is made a likelihood.

      But I must concede that there is also a sense in which I am tilting at windmills. While we have been preoccupied by various ideological menaces, we have been invaded and nearly overrun by windmills. They are drawing the nourishment from our soil and the lifeblood out of our veins. Let us tilt against the windmills. Though we have not conquered them, if we do not keep going at them they will surely conquer us.


  9. Leigh says:

    The worrisome part is their fine print “pending regulatory approvals.” They are obviously extremely confident that they will get those approvals. And of course they will, since Monsanto folks have been appointed to key positions in the FDA and USDA in recent years.

    I read somewhere that when a farmer signs a contract with Monsanto, they agree to buying and applying the herbicides according to a strict schedule. Really sad is that these farmers are actually clueless about GMOs and what’s going on. My husband is an over the road trucker and talks to a lot of them and that’s the story over and over.

    We look at things like corn, potatoes, and sugar beets, but actually, almost all of our food flavorings and additives are genetically modified. rBGH, fed to dairy cattle is GM’d, hence all commercial dairy products.

    Independent research is turning in terrifying consequences what this stuff does, but where is the peoples’ advocate? We appear to have been sold out.


    • Bill says:

      Monsanto has been doing showing demo plots of these soybeans around the country to get farmers excited about using them. They’ve rolled out the advertising and marketing as if the product is already on the market. They have zero fear of non-approval as far as I can tell.

      Over 70% of processed food includes GMO ingredients and the American diet is now 90% processed food. They’re nearly impossible to escape. And to think, GMOs were virtually non-existent as recently as 1996. This has completely taken over agriculture in a few short period of time. We’re starting now to see the consequences of that.


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