Fancy New Poison Damages 3.6 Million Acres of Soybeans

Aldous Slack

Aldous Slack

Aldous Slack is a pseudonym for a paranoid, anxious, musician, occultist, and traveling part-time writer. He likes sufi poetry and most gardens of earthly delight.
Aldous Slack

In an unsurprising turn of events for anyone who has come to expect this sort of thing from large agriculture companies, a new herbicide developed by Monsanto called dicamba has, get this, killed a bunch of plants. It turns out when you spray this stuff over the tops of your crops, as the EPA has allowed, it very often travels over to your neighbor’s farm. There it finds an herbicide’s dream; farms that just so happens not to be using Monsanto’s dicamba tolerant soybeans. Any conventional soybean farming near farms using dicamba would be at risk of damage, as well as farms using soybeans that are only tolerant of glyphosate, Monsanto’s old product. Companies making herbicides and herbicide resistant plants have managed to protect their own product while literally killing some competition. Win win for the big guys.

According to the New York Times, “Reuben Baris, the acting chief of the herbicides branch of the E.P.A., said that 2,708 complaints had been reported to state agriculture officials about dicamba crop damage as of mid-October. They came from 25 of the 34 states where the “over the top” application is approved for use. The largest number of complaints were filed in Arkansas, where there were 986 incidents, and Missouri, which had 310.”

Dicamba use has started because ‘weeds’ have grown resistant to glyphosate, a quality I wish to acquire. This news comes at the same time as Propublica has reported “A former lobbyist for the pesticide industry now leads the deregulatory team at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Visitor logs show old ties remain strong.” In other words, a former pesticide lobbyist is in charge of removing regulations in the Department of Agriculture. That should make sure this issue is fairly resolved to the benefit of all parties involved I’m sure.

Also in case you are thinking ‘I don’t care soybeans are for vegetarians’, note soy beans are used in all kinds of non-soy things like almond milk, infant formula, and tortillas. Should end well. Either way read the full story here.