Commentary: If nothing else works, call them superweeds

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When it comes to activists’ so called news reporting, the word “superweed” is thrown around constantly to scare the public into believing that a weed resistant to glyphosate herbicide means that these weeds and hybrids of these weeds are going to engulf the world.

And the message is that using another herbicide to control these glyphosate-resistant weeds will only mean weeds that they will be impossible to control without applying a truckload of herbicides per acre.

A scare-the-devil-out-of-the-public article was posted on Wired.com under Wired Science this week. The posting was by Brandon Keim. The Web site is known for providing a forum for activist opinions. Quotes used appear to be slanted to reinforce the writer’s negative point of view of pesticide use and biotechnology. That negative view is obvious by use of the superweed reference throughout the article.

As all of us involved in agriculture know, there always is someone with a Ph.D. who will support the non-conventional thinking and earn a name for themselves being contrary to the 99.9 percent supportive of modern science.

Here is the gist of the article that Keim raised as a question in his posting. “If glyphosate-drenched Roundup Ready fields were evolutionary crucibles that favored the emergence of new, glyphosate-resistant weed strains that threaten multi-billion-dollar damage, what might new herbicide regimes create?”

Keim’s major point for writing the article appears to be one more attack against the registration of the Enlist Weed Control System by Dow AgroSciences, which is both biotech crops resistant to 2,4-D herbicide and the company’s completely new formulation of 2,4-D that has eliminated negative characteristics with major reductions of volatilization and drift potential.

Keim’s writing definitely shows his opinion that 365,000 people who filed their name against the government approval of the Enlist system during the public comment period are right and the science community supporting registration is wrong to support such biotech advances.

You can read the whole Wired.com article by clicking here


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