- Genetic Modification, Pollution and Corn Ethanol
Genetic Modification, Pollution and Corn Ethanol
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The most popular herbicide in the U.S.is glysophate, which is marketed through several different agribusinesses. Glysophate is called RoundUp by Monsanto. Monsanto is among many agri-giants that have actually genetically engineered corn to be resistant to various herbicides and pests. Monsanto’s product, called RoundUp Ready Corn, can be blanketed in the herbicide but survive, allowing farmers to spray over the entire field, rather than having to make targeted applications, increasing the risk of runoff into our water supplies.
Glysophate and other herbicides have been linked to all sorts of health issues, from cancer to hormone disruption. They have also been linked to the worldwide decline in frog populations.
Using the RoundUp Ready system has also created superweeds, which are resistant to the herbicide. Superweeds require even higher use of RoundUp and other herbicides to erradicate. Not only that, but this rampant use of RoundUp has shown to be detrimental to the soil.
Despite claims from agribusinesses that genetically modified crops require less inputs, a 2008 Friends of the Earth International study found that herbicide use has actually increased exponentially since genetically modified crops were introduced.
These chemicals are applied by airplane or tractor, and when it rains, are washed off the fields and into our water supplies. This leads to water pollution. Fertilizer runoff creates toxic algae blooms that end up killing aquatic life, called dead zones. Pesticide and herbicide runoff kill and sicken aquatic life. Those of us not working directly with these chemicals are none-the-less exposed to them through our drinking water and through food consumption.