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posted by martyb on Monday August 01 2016, @08:27PM   Printer-friendly
from the unintended-consequences dept.

The early release of a variety of soybeans resistant to the herbicide dicamba has led to criminal spraying and the death of normal soybean crops:

Dicamba has been around for decades, and it is notorious for a couple of things: It vaporizes quickly and blows with the wind. And it's especially toxic to soybeans, even at ridiculously low concentrations. Damage from drifting pesticides isn't unfamiliar to farmers. But the reason for this year's plague of dicamba damage is unprecedented. "I've never seen anything like this before," says Bob Scott, a weed specialist from the University of Arkansas. "This is a unique situation that Monsanto created."

The story starts with Monsanto because the St. Louis-based biotech giant launched, this year, an updated version of its herbicide-tolerant soybean seeds. This new version, which Monsanto calls "Xtend," isn't just engineered to tolerate sprays of glyphosate, aka Roundup. It's also immune to dicamba.

Monsanto created dicamba-resistant soybeans (and cotton) in an effort to stay a step ahead of the weeds. The strategy of planting Roundup-resistant crops and spraying Roundup to kill weeds isn't working so well anymore, because weeds have evolved resistance to glyphosate. Adding genes for dicamba resistance, so the thinking went, would give farmers the option of spraying dicamba as well, which would clear out the weeds that survive glyphosate. There was just one hitch in the plan. A very big hitch, as it turned out. The Environmental Protection Agency has not yet approved the new dicamba weedkiller that Monsanto created for farmers to spray on its new dicamba-resistant crops. That new formulation of dicamba, according to Monsanto, has been formulated so that it won't vaporize as easily, and won't be as likely to harm neighboring crops. If the EPA approves the new weedkiller, it may impose restrictions on how and when the chemical may be used.

But, Monsanto went ahead and started selling its dicamba-resistant soybeans before this herbicide was approved. It gave farmers a new weed-killing tool that they couldn't legally use.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Monsanto No More 52 comments

Monsanto, a brand name activists love to hate, will disappear as Bayer takes over:

These days Monsanto is shorthand for, as NPR's Dan Charles has put it, "lots of things that some people love to hate": Genetically modified crops, which Monsanto invented. Seed patents, which Monsanto has fought to defend. Herbicides such as Monsanto's Roundup, which protesters have sharply criticized for its possible health risks. Big agriculture in general, of which Monsanto was the reviled figurehead.

And soon Monsanto will be no more. Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant and pesticide powerhouse, announced in 2016 it would be buying Monsanto in an all-cash deal for more than $60 billion. Now, as the merger approaches, Bayer has confirmed what many suspected: In the merger, the politically charged name "Monsanto" will be disappearing. The combined company will be known simply as Bayer, while product names will remain the same. The move is not exactly a surprise — it makes sense that Bayer might want to weed out some of the intense negative associations associated with the Monsanto brand. In a way, it's an indication of how successful anti-Monsanto protesters have been in shaping public perception.

In the company's latest statement, Bayer implicitly acknowledged how hostile debates over genetically modified crops and other agricultural products have become. "We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground," the chairman of Bayer's board of management, Werner Baumann, said in the statement. "Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It's the only way to build bridges."

Also at Reuters.

Previously: Bayer AG Offers to Buy Monsanto
Bayer Purchases Monsanto for Around $66 Billion

Roundup: Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93M to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens
RoundUp Glyphosate Found to Cause Kidney Failure and Elude Tests
Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate
Use of Dicamba-Resistant Monsanto Crops Leads to Soybean Death
GMO Grass That 'Escaped' Defies Eradication, Divides Grass Seed Industry
Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage


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  • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday August 01 2016, @08:46PM

    by mhajicek (51) on Monday August 01 2016, @08:46PM (#382813)

    Tasers release color coded confetti, and I know it's possible to make nanoscopic barcode flakes. Would it make sense to label batches of industrial chemicals in this or another way? In theory then the soil could be analyzed to see where the chemicals came from.

    --
    The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @08:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @08:51PM (#382816)

      Do we really need more nano waste in the environment? It's bad enough these crooks are taking control of our food supply but now we want them to dump yet more possibly harmful waste into the atmosphere?

      Instead of trying to justify this insanity, we need to stop it. I'm tired of living in a world ran by the elite for their own benefit while the rest of us have to eat and breath this shit.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:17AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:17AM (#382920)

        I'm tired of living in a world ran by the elite for their own benefit while the rest of us have to eat and breath this shit.

        Well, unless they actually get Elysium built, there going to be living and eating in this shit too. Point in fact, I live 20 miles away from a multi-billionaire from Intel in the same little sleepy Northern California town. We have a homeless population that now numbers in the thousands. There are 40-50 at any one moment surrounding the same grocery stores that the billionaire and I go to. Those walking paths and beautiful hiking paths in the parks we used to go to are now overrun with homeless people. This is extreme fire risk weather, and homeless people are freezing that unless they start fires, so...... we get to put out fires now in the creeks and outdoor places that are camping grounds. Parking spaces are vigorously defended now, as there are fleets of people living in their cars looking for a place to just sleep for an hour or two.

        We now live, eat, breathe, and sleep with homeless tucked into dark places around us. There's gentrification, and there is hellification. The billionaire benefits from the former, but suffers just as much as the rest of us in the latter.

        Unless they leave for space, there going to die by fire down here with the rest of us. We'll take em' with us, and they can find out if the millions they've spent on those "zombie-proof" bunkers were worth it.

    • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Monday August 01 2016, @09:04PM

      by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 01 2016, @09:04PM (#382825)

      Since the chemicals are illegal anyway it is unlikely the mfr and supply chain would add any legally required markers.

      If Monsanto ever gets its dicamba spray approved, it might well add such a marker but that will just mean if it turns up on your land killing your soybeans, Monsanto will sue you for patent violation...

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Monday August 01 2016, @09:10PM

      by VLM (445) on Monday August 01 2016, @09:10PM (#382826)

      Isotope labeling? Carbon average is 12.0107 and C12 and C13 are stable. Its the C14 thats unstable and used for fun archeological stuff. The problem is plants already have an unnatural affinity for C12 (or was it C13) such that its probably not useful. I'm too lazy to look it up because its a bad idea anyway. See next paragraph.

      On a more practical basis, the chemicals came from the neighbors who bought them from a multinational megacorporation. Top down is going to be a lot simpler.

      The problem with a biowarfare attack (interesting idea, eh?) is that any idiot with a mass spectrometer can just buy/steal some dicamba, then copy the isotope reading to frame the legit mfgr by the rail carload if not more. So if NK or Russia wanted to frame Monsanto, they most certainly could.

      There are cryptographic ways to fix this like issuing serial numbers in small batches with a public key signature. So there should only be one pint of serial number 000000000001 dicamba on the loose in the wild and its got a valid sig from Monsanto's public key on it. And no this can't be done with isotope tagging too much detail. And the NSA and Russians would steal the key anyway and be able to make their own sigs. It would be pretty easy to do this with RFID tags on the bottles to prove authenticity.

      Surprising aerospace doesn't do the above. Laser cut into the metal, here's the QR code of this serial numbered, model numbered wing spar signed by Boeing's public key to prove authenticity and a public URL to look up where this specific serial numbered part was last seen.

      Big companies move slow. This being obvious means it'll be 20 years before you see it in public.

    • (Score: 1) by Francis on Monday August 01 2016, @09:11PM

      by Francis (5544) on Monday August 01 2016, @09:11PM (#382827)

      Or you can just mechanically disrupt the plants via stabbing them or applying a small amount of steam to remove that waxy coating that keeps the water in.

      Farmbot seems to have a rather interesting way of disrupting weeds without using pesticides. https://farmbot.io/ [farmbot.io]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:29PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:29PM (#383116)

        This is like the coolest thing I have ever seen.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Gaaark on Monday August 01 2016, @08:59PM

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 01 2016, @08:59PM (#382823) Journal

    I almost had time to submit this, but then didn't. Glad someone did.

    Monsanto needs to die, die, die.
    It needs to go to war and be shoved up someone's butt.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Francis on Monday August 01 2016, @09:13PM

      by Francis (5544) on Monday August 01 2016, @09:13PM (#382828)

      Up someone's butt? Monsanto is a corporation, not a watch.

    • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Monday August 01 2016, @09:50PM

      by jimshatt (978) on Monday August 01 2016, @09:50PM (#382849) Journal
      I think it's already at war. The public is becoming aware of Monsato's practices and are choosing other products. Under pressure Monsato is likely to use more and more aggressive tactics. It'll go down in the end, but not without a fight.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @11:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @11:59PM (#382887)

      Monsanto needs to die, die, die.

      I agree, but not for this situation. The farmers who sprayed dicamba, against the law, are responsible for their own actions.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:15AM

        Monsanto needs to die, die, die.

        I agree, but not for this situation. The farmers who sprayed dicamba, against the law, are responsible for their own actions.

        But... but they were just following orders.*

          

           

        *That is, the farmers need to penalised for illegally using pesticides, but monsanto REALLY needs to die (they make microsoft look ethical).

        --
        It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @09:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @09:02PM (#382824)

    Monscamco will get away scot-free as they've already bought the republicans, the farmers that used it will be fined by the EPA, and the farmers whose fields were covered from wind blown Monscamco products will get a bill and/or sued out of business by Monscamco.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:03AM (#382911)

      You didn't read TFA did you?

      It doesn't say that the dicamba came from Monsanto. Even if the dicamba did come from Monsanto, it isn't like we hold gun manufactures responsible when someone shoots someone.

      • (Score: 2) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:34AM

        You didn't read TFA did you?

        It doesn't say that the dicamba came from Monsanto.

        from TFS:

        The Environmental Protection Agency has not yet approved the new dicamba weedkiller that Monsanto created for farmers to spray on its new dicamba-resistant crops

        ie either monsanto gave or sold the formulation to the farmers, or the farmers stole it form monsanto.

        Even if the dicamba did come from Monsanto, it isn't like we hold gun manufactures responsible when someone shoots someone.

        Maybe it's about time we did? What happens to a gun manufacturer which makes and sells illegal guns to the public (eg if Kalashnikov Concern [wikipedia.org] opened a flea market stall and sold AK74s)?

        --
        It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:57AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:57AM (#382937)

          From TFA:

          Dicamba has been around for decades

          [...] That new formulation of dicamba, according to Monsanto, has been formulated so that it won't vaporize as easily, and won't be as likely to harm neighboring crops.

          The wiki link says that dicamba has been used since the 1940s, so it is not new and Monsanto's formulation is supposed to prevent this type of problem.

          Selling illegal things is already illegal. People are responsible for their own actions.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by dry on Tuesday August 02 2016, @03:37AM

          by dry (223) on Tuesday August 02 2016, @03:37AM (#382984) Journal

          My understanding was that Monsanto sold dicamba resistant soybeans without supplying the special dicamba that works best (stays put) to go along with it. Farmers went nuts spraying regular dicamba which contaminated their neighbours fields. Monsanto was in the wrong in selling this variety of soybean without the corresponding special dicamba and the farmers were in the wrong for excessively using dicamba.
          Legally, based on what I was taught when I had a pesticide applicators ticket, the farmers broke the law by overusing dicamba. Morally, Monsanto is in the wrong for selling the resistant strain as obviously they should have realized that farmers were going to use dicamba on the resistant plants.
          Note, I wouldn't be surprised if the farmers have legal immunity from overspraying

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @04:09AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @04:09AM (#382988)

            Monsanto told farmers that they were not allowed to use dicamba on the crops and that they still sold them because they are higher-yielding than other soybeans.

            I don't know if there was winking involved when they informed the farmers.

            • (Score: 2) by dry on Wednesday August 03 2016, @02:51AM

              by dry (223) on Wednesday August 03 2016, @02:51AM (#383473) Journal

              Well, they could have not mentioned the dicamba resistance and the farmers would never have sprayed dicamba on their crops.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by captain normal on Monday August 01 2016, @09:29PM

    by captain normal (2205) on Monday August 01 2016, @09:29PM (#382838)

    The ironic thing in all this is that Palmer amaranth is basically the North American genus of Quinoa. It is of the same order and family. Chenopodium quinoa is visually nearly identical to Amaranthus palmeri. Like quinoa pigweed produces huge amount of seeds. It is drought tolerant and grows well in poor soil (in fact if grown in soil too rich in nitrogen, it become poisonous to some livestock). The seeds are highly nutritious much like quinoa and it would likely provide more food per acre than soybeans without pouring on toxins and heavy fertilizers.

    --
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
    • (Score: 2) by art guerrilla on Tuesday August 02 2016, @11:55AM

      by art guerrilla (3082) on Tuesday August 02 2016, @11:55AM (#383070)

      uh, aren't you missing THE most important point: how can Big Agri and the 1% squeeze as many pennies out of us as possible if we are going outside of THEIR system of agriculture ? ? ?
      will no one think of the poor millionaires trying to be billionaires ? ? ?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:38PM (#383098)

      Thanks captain, I think this is some of the most important information to be spreading right now. Most people do not realise that the plants we call weeds are actually more nutritious and easier to grow than the plants we call food. The entire so called green revolution and industrialised agriculture is a scam based on the fact that people do not know this.

      Pretty much everything people do on a daily basis out of fear of starvation is also based on this same little bit of missing information.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @10:07PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @10:07PM (#382856)

    Yep. This shit again.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Osamabobama on Monday August 01 2016, @10:29PM

    by Osamabobama (5842) on Monday August 01 2016, @10:29PM (#382865)

    This is a reason to hate Monsanto: They released a product that encourages use of dicamba before it is approved by the EPA. Included in this reason is that dicamba, itself, is incredibly harmful to non-resistant strains of soybean (and other plants). This punishes farmers who don't buy Monsanto's latest and greatest product.

    Not a reason to hate Monsanto: They develop advanced plant varieties (or, if you like, GMOs) that increase yield, resist pests, and allow better weed control methods.

    Another reason to hate Monsanto: Suing (non-customer) farmers for patent violation when their crops are pollenated by patented crops in the next field.

    Not a reason: Monsanto toys with genetics, thereby upsetting the Natural Order of Things.

    Reason: Restrictive licenses that don't allow farmers to replant their own harvest.

    Bottom line, it's important to hate Monsanto for the right reasons. Don't be sloppy about it.

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    Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @11:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01 2016, @11:56PM (#382886)

      encourages use of dicamba before it is approved by the EPA

      Nobody was holding a gun to the farmer's head.

      Monsanto, despite their evilness, did not force people to break the law and ruin other farmers' crops.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:15AM (#382889)

        I'd like to see the product label, the instruction sheet, and the MSDS (material safety data sheet) that should have been included.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:01AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:01AM (#382909)

        > Nobody was holding a gun to the farmer's head.
        > Monsanto, despite their evilness, did not force people to break the law and ruin other farmers' crops.

        They just built the gun, loaded it, handed it to the farmer and said "don't pull the trigger on this really awesome gun."
        So... Nothing to see here!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:11AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:11AM (#382916)

          Not really. I'll try to improve your analogy:

          Monsanto sold bullet-proof glass, then the customer decides to shoot at it in an area where it is illegal to do so. Since the customer has very bad aim, some of the bullets damage a neighbor's property.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:50AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:50AM (#382932)

            > Not really. I'll try to improve your analogy:

            Nope. That's just rewriting it to fit your purposes.
            You started with the gun analogy. I elaborated it in a way you didn't like but that is still completely appropriate.
            Just because the farmer bought the insecticide from some other source doesn't mean monsanto is any less culpable, especially since they gave the farmer every reason to buy the insecticide and intended to sell it to them.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @02:27AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @02:27AM (#382950)

              I'm going to summarize this discussion so far: OP says Monsanto is encouraging illegal activity by selling crops that are resistant to dicamba (among other traits). I say they didn't force anyone to do something illegal. I misinterpret(?) your analogy about being about the crops (I guess it was about encouraging dicamba use) and make a more suitable analogy.

              Clearly, we have differences in opinion about who is responsible when something legal is sold to someone who decides to do something illegal with it. More relevant to this instance - you seem to believe that a third-party, that is not directly involved in the sale of the legal item, has some responsibility for encouraging the illegal use of the legal item because they make a product that is resistant to it.

              Also, you should read TFA because it says that Monsanto intends to sell a formulation of dicamba that does not drift to other farms.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @03:23AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @03:23AM (#382980)

                > Clearly, we have differences in opinion about who is responsible

                One name for it is incitement.

                A name for what you are doing is apologia.

              • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Tuesday August 02 2016, @04:41PM

                by Osamabobama (5842) on Tuesday August 02 2016, @04:41PM (#383191)

                I missed a couple of items my first time through this story:

                1. Dicamba is apparently legal for some uses, but not on soybeans.

                2. The new strain of soybean has other features to recommend it besides herbicide resistance, such as increased yield.

                While Monsanto can't reasonably be held liable for this off-label use of its product, I'm sure the farmers with dead soybeans aren't happy with the company.

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                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @04:59PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @04:59PM (#383200)

                  > While Monsanto can't reasonably be held liable for this off-label use of its product,

                  Substituting legality for morality is the path to authoritarianism.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @07:26PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @07:26PM (#383270)

                    Or if not that, secularism.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 02 2016, @02:27AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 02 2016, @02:27AM (#382952) Journal

              Nope. That's just rewriting it to fit your purposes.

              And the same goes for your original analogy.

              Just because the farmer bought the insecticide from some other source doesn't mean monsanto is any less culpable, especially since they gave the farmer every reason to buy the insecticide and intended to sell it to them.

              Actually, yes, that does make Monsanto less culpable.

          • (Score: 1) by anubi on Tuesday August 02 2016, @06:51AM

            by anubi (2828) on Tuesday August 02 2016, @06:51AM (#383014) Journal

            I'll try another analogy...

            A farmer decides to sanitize his field ( boll weevil infestation ) by burning it, intending to plow the ashes back in and try again next year.

            The fire gets out of control and takes out his neighbor's fields.

            Is the farmer who started the fire liable?

            --
            "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:11PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:11PM (#383082)

              The analogies in this discussion are not very effective so let's just stick to the actual situation:

              Monsanto sold soybean seeds that were legal and resistant to dicamba, glyphosate, as well as higher yielding. Monsanto informs the farmer that they are not allowed to use dicamba on the soybeans.

              Farmer legally buys dicamba from someone else. The farmer then decides to use the dicamba in a way that is illegal and damages a neighbor's crops.

              The farmer is responsible - not whoever legally sold the dicamba and not Monsanto who legally sold seeds.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:52AM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:52AM (#382906) Journal

      You posted what I was too lazy to post. Modded the hell up.

      --
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    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:09AM (#382914)

      > Not a reason to hate Monsanto: They develop advanced plant varieties (or, if you like, GMOs) that increase yield, resist pests, and allow better weed control methods.

      If that's all it were then sure. But its not and giving them the moral high ground on that is invalid. They have a financial motive to minimize their due diligence on those crops. They are only required to meet the bare minimum legal tests for impact, which is not much more than simple toxicology and even then they lobby to minimize those testing requirements. That's letting the fox guard the henhouse.

      The day monsanto reduces their lobbying budget to zero, opts out of the revolving door for regulators and any other dirty tricks intended to influence GMO safety regulation is the day they can claim trustworthiness in their process for engineering new crop strains. Until then they do not get the benefit of the doubt on the quality of those crops.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:50AM

      Not a ^w^w reason: Monsanto toys with genetics, thereby upsetting the Natural Order of Things.

      FTFY. See rabbits, cane toads, foxes, buffalos, European carp and feral goats, cats, dogs, horses (aka brumbies), pigs, camels and deer in Australia as examples of "upsetting the Natural Order of Things".

      --
      It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
      • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Tuesday August 02 2016, @04:34PM

        by Osamabobama (5842) on Tuesday August 02 2016, @04:34PM (#383187)

        I could see where one might assert that glyphosate resistant pigweed (for instance) has upset the Natural Order, but the stereotypical fear of uncontrolled spread of mutant genes has not been realized, nor does it seem likely. And if herbicide resistance is the worst we get from plant research efforts, I'll accept the trade-offs.

        All your examples are invasive species of animals. I'm not sure how those could be extended to include food crops (except that agriculture also uses non-native species, perhaps.)

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        • (Score: 2) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Tuesday August 02 2016, @10:38PM

          I could see where one might assert that glyphosate resistant pigweed (for instance) has upset the Natural Order, but the stereotypical fear of uncontrolled spread of mutant genes has not been realized

          ...yet. Or herbicide resistant canola or soybean.

          All your examples are invasive species of animals. I'm not sure how those could be extended to include food crops (except that agriculture also uses non-native species, perhaps.)

          How about boneseed, Patterson's curse, mimosa, prickly pear, boxthorn, gorse, serrated tussock, water hyacinth and bamboo? As invasive flora.

          I'm not saying gengineering should not happen. I am saying that private for profit organistions should not be allowed anywhere near it for now (probably the next half to one and a half centuries).

          --
          It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by deimtee on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:54AM

    by deimtee (3272) on Tuesday August 02 2016, @01:54AM (#382935) Journal

    Okay so Monsanto created the problem by selling GMO soybeans. I think a reasonable response is to say that GMO patents no longer apply on any farm affected. All GMO patents. For ever.
    Unlimited perpetual exclusion of that area from all GMO patents. Not just a free licence, nullification.
         

    --
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    • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Tuesday August 02 2016, @08:56AM

      by Rivenaleem (3400) on Tuesday August 02 2016, @08:56AM (#383035)

      (Devil's Advocate)

      Bulletproof vest manufacturers make the world less safe for anyone not wearing bulletproof vests. If nobody wore vests, then people would be more careful about where they went shooting people. As a result of these vests, more innocent bystanders get hit by bullets fired from unapproved guns and do not have sufficient protection against them.

      The bulletproof vest manufacturers should be held accountable for this.

      • (Score: 2) by stormreaver on Tuesday August 02 2016, @11:40AM

        by stormreaver (5101) on Tuesday August 02 2016, @11:40AM (#383062)

        The bulletproof vest manufacturers should be held accountable for this.

        A more appropriate analogy is:

        You get shot while wearing a Monsanto bullet proof vest, and your neighbor dies as a result because the vest is made so that it takes a nearby life as a result of saving the wearer's.

        In that case, yes, Monsanto should be liable.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:00PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @12:00PM (#383074)

          The analogies in this discussion are not cutting it so lets just skip them.

          Monsanto sold soybean seeds that were legal and resistant to dicamba, glyphosate, as well as higher yielding. Monsanto even informs the farmer that they are not allowed to use dicamba on the soybeans.

          Farmer legally buys dicamba from someone else. The farmer then decides to use the dicamba in a way that is illegal and damages a neighbor's crops.

          The farmer is responsible - not whoever legally sold the dicamba and not Monsanto who legally sold seeds.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @05:06PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @05:06PM (#383202)

            > Monsanto sold soybean seeds that were legal and resistant to dicamba, glyphosate, as well as higher yielding.

            Are you really going to just take that at face value? Did any of that other stuff even factor into the sale of the soybeans or is it is just marketing hype that no actual farmers give a shit about because the practical effects are too small to matter? If the NSA said the equivalent about one of their programs would you just believe them? Why does Monsanto get the benefit of the doubt?

            > Farmer legally buys dicamba from someone else. The farmer then decides to use the dicamba in a way that is illegal and damages a neighbor's crops.

            You have cause and effect reversed here. He bought the poison because he had been sold the soybeans. Without the soybeans he would never have bought the poison.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @06:06PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @06:06PM (#383236)

              Are you really going to just take that at face value?

              The resistance to dicamba and glyphosate - yes.
              The higher yield - I don't know, but if I were a farmer then I would research the claim before buying the seeds. My guess is that Monsanto started with higher yield strain before introducing the resistance genes (they certainly wouldn't choose a poor yield strain).
              Monsanto telling the customers that they weren't allowed to use dicamba - yes (it was probably included in the contract).

              marketing hype that no actual farmers give a shit about

              If you were making the case that Monsanto tricked farmers into doing something illegal, then I'd understand why you believed they held some responsibility. I didn't see any evidence for that in TFA and it doesn't seem like you believe it, anyway.

              It seems like you believe the farmers bought the seeds (intending to take advantage of their dicamba resistance - despite being told not to), then bought the dicamba (intending to use it illegally), and finally decided to illegally use the dicamba which caused harm on their neighbor's crops.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @11:55AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02 2016, @11:55AM (#383071)

      I think monsanto would like your solution.

      Part of their business plan is a network effect where non-gmo farmers are pressured to use gmo in order to "keep up" and I don't mean just keeping up because gmo is more efficient, but also because it sucks up all the tertiary infrastructure. Like research into alternatives, the more gmo users the less demand for research into techniques that do not rely on gmo - like the way widespread gasoline infrastructure killed off early electric car development (in the early days of cars, electrics outsold gasoline cars 10 to 1 [electricauto.org]). So as long as these unlimited gmo farms are a small enough percentage of the total, they would contribute to growing the market of paying gmo farmers and be a net benefit to monsanto.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03 2016, @02:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03 2016, @02:24PM (#383596)

        Remember, he said "nullification". Those farms could sell seed without any Monsanto contract. "My soybeans are now resistant to glysophate? That's nice, now fuck off because I bought my seed from Tom over there, your shitty patents don't apply to him, and I don't have any contract with you."

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 10 2016, @02:04AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 10 2016, @02:04AM (#386069)

          Aren't these guys actually poison suppliers? Don't they secretly want us to share their seeds, so that we can buy their poisons?