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Dicamba Herbicide  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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I listened to a disturbing segment on NPR today regarding Dicamba a weed killer that has been around since the 1960's.  It was way too strong to spray on non-GMO plants so it wasn't used.  Now we have GMO Soybeans that like to bathe in the stuff.

 This year in the U.S. we planted 25 million acres of GMO soybean resistant to this herbicide, i.e. the GMO seeds are the only soybean plants that can survive.  For the first time they are spraying the herbicide directly on the soybeans.

Scary stuff.  If you plant seeds other than the GMO variety, Dicamba kills your soybeans, it kills trees, animals, nitrogen-fixing organisms etc.

Arkansas has banned this product.

The only way to control a herbicide is if it doesn't evaporate, Dicamba does.  It also drifts when being sprayed....right on to our tomato plants.

The herbicide kills weeds by causing irregular cell growth.

This year in Missouri 3.1 million acres of non-GMO crops were destroyed.

The USDA and the EPA do nothing, no surprise there.



Bayer A.G. now owns Monsanto...a German company that makes Bayer Aspirin among other things. (Germany has banned GMO crops)

There are concerns that the company itself is ghostwriting articles and academic papers about the product.

An AG scientist at the University of Missouri is conducting studies about the negative effects of the herbicide, he also stated that Monsanto has called the head of his department and that he can only imagine what it's about.

There are a ton of articles on this...here is a quick read from the NY Times.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/business/monsanto-dicamba-weed-killer.html

(UGH 88% of all corn in the U.S. is now GMO.)





 
gardener
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It's really sad how agribusiness puts profits above all else, including morals and ethics. :(
 
pollinator
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It's a sad situation. But on the bright side (less dark side?), a concrete financial loss creates so much turmoil for so many relying on the industry as a whole. It will cause change in itself, as seen in Arkansas. It is unfortunate that the vehicle of change will be litigation, but what do you expect in that most litigious of societies? I just hope that some firm will take on a class-action lawsuit that makes pursuing Dicamba sales a losing proposal.

Honestly, it just makes me sad. It doesn't matter if we're talking about glyphosate, dicamba, or the next toxin they're going to try and convince us is better than spots on our apples. I'm sick of the poison industry. The crux of the matter that nobody talks about, because if we did, the chemical companies might go under, is that the kill rate on what they're targeting is never 100%, and I doubt that such a poison could be developed that would kill all insects and undesired plants and leave the crop intact AND still pass even the anemic testing required by the USDA to be used on food crops.

This being the case, the 1% that isn't killed off is simply being bred into the next generation of poison-resistant "weeds" and agricultural "pests." There's no way to compete in that game in the long term without developing newer and deadlier poisons, which agribusiness loves, as that gives it something to strive for, something on which to pin hopes of future sales.

It also makes me wonder what other genetic changes have been inadvertently made to these GMO crops. Even if the selection process for plant breeding consists of growing generation after generation of corn or soy in poisons that kill 99% of them, and breeding the survivors, do we know that there haven't been any significant changes to the genes related to the nutrition of the plant and the food it produces?

But I agree about the volatility issue. It's bad enough to poison edible plants and then turn around and still sell them as "food." It's quite another to use a product that doesn't stay where it's sprayed, that poisons the neighbours' crops, and that kills the environment.

It makes me worry about finding land, and about what nightmares I might have in the future. Its not just dicamba, or glyphosate before it, but the mentality that lead to spraying as an accepted agricultural tool, and the business part of things. These companies sell poisons, not food. They are responsible to their financial shareholders, not those that have to eat the food that their products contaminate, the food that the poorest of us usually don't have a choice but to eat.

This is, in my opinion, a social justice issue. Those profiting off the sale and use of these poisons have the option of buying more expensive organic food, whereas those less financially able have to eat what we can afford. It's not new, it's just that instead of the rich eating steak while the poor go meatless, with a really breadcrumby meatloaf as an occasional treat, its the difference between nutrition and poison, or in another sense, gluttony and starvation. And that doesn't even take into account the whole issue of damaging others' crops and poisoning the environment.

-CK
 
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Arkansas has banned this product.



It is unfortunate that the vehicle of change will be litigation, but what do you expect in that most litigious of societies? I just hope that some firm will take on a class-action lawsuit that makes pursuing Dicamba sales a losing proposal.



and now... Monsanto sues Arkansas regulators over rule outlawing its herbicide dicamba

 
Scott Foster
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Judith Browning wrote:

Arkansas has banned this product.



It is unfortunate that the vehicle of change will be litigation, but what do you expect in that most litigious of societies? I just hope that some firm will take on a class-action lawsuit that makes pursuing Dicamba sales a losing proposal.



and now... Monsanto sues Arkansas regulators over rule outlawing its herbicide dicamba



I follow Noam Chomsky.  If you haven't watched the movie rent "Requiem for the American Dream."   The Regulators are being regulated.
 
gardener
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The great Dicamba debate will be very ugly and more universities are conducting studies of all the "agricultural chemicals", both herbicides and pesticides, so far, all studies done that were not funded by "big Ag. companies" are showing carcinogenic compounds and persistence even in those chemicals promoted as non-persistent. This is leading to many countries banning or outlawing the use of said chemicals, just as they are outlawing GMO seeds.

The big corporations don't like the direction the wind is blowing because it is about to tumble their card house.
 
Chris Kott
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Yes, absolutely Bryant. Monsanto's trying to go after Arkansas' regulators in hopes that their legal team will succeed, and that others will be cowed into towing their line. But I think there are too many scientific bodies in the world to buy them all.

The winds of change are blowing. For now, it carries clouds of vapourized dicamba onto innocent crops, but it will soon send that card house toppling.

-CK
 
Bryant RedHawk
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One of our biggest threats to them are the many lawsuits naming Monsanto as co-defendant in crop destruction by farmers who suffered huge if not total losses by neighbors spraying dicamba.
Monsanto will loose many millions of dollars because of the outlawing by Arkansas. I see Big M as loosing every battle since the University of Arkansas Agricultural department is one of the scientist teams that did two studies on dicamba and found it to be noxious and carcinogenic.
 
James Freyr
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I think Monsanto et al have limited time to get away with their execrable crimes and macabre machination, and they know it. I seems to me that them suing a state that passed a law for the people is akin to throwing a tantrum. They didn’t get their way, so they pout and kick in the only way they know how.

I’m moving to a farming community next year to pursue the homesteading dream my wife and I have. As the years go by, I hope that I can influence my neighbors and educate them on growing crops successfully without poisons. I know telling someone what to do and how to do it is a waste of breath, but if I grow my crops and pasture in healthy living soil, I can lead by example. When it comes to growing healthy plants that yield abundant crops without chemicals, I have found there’s no better way to influence others than to let them see results with their own eyes. Then they start asking questions, and that’s my opportunity to teach someone else how I do what I do. Not only do beautiful tasty crops appeal to people, but money appeals to people as well, often more so. When I can show others that crops can be produced without expensive inputs like poisons, even OMRI listed inputs, and I can save seed without having to buy new seed each year or live in fear of being sued for saving seed, that’s money in the bank.

I sincerely believe in these winds of change that we see happening, and increasing numbers of consumers care about their food, how it was grown and where it came from. I think it’s a slow process that is gaining speed, but it’s happening right now. I think that when the day comes that no one will buy the GMO crops that farmers grow, and agribusiness is sitting on billions of bushels of a product they can’t sell, they’ll finally get it.
 
Chris Kott
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Yeah, it's a tantrum, all right. Unfortunately, it's a tantrum being thrown by a huge corporation with an expensive legal team. Hopefully it's just good money being thrown after bad.

In terms of shifts in perception, I think the evidence is everywhere. Any time you see a fast food chain start advertising about the fact that their meats are antibiotic and hormone free, like A&W, or scrambling to hold on to a market share that they once had firmly pocketed, like McDonald's, its an indication that the popular mindset has shifted. People want quality food, not just the quick, convenient garbage that they peddle.

Also, focusing on the unintended harm caused by products like dicamba is a good way to direct the argument towards the rights of people to not be poisoned. Also, I would imagine the consequences of interfering with someone's livelihood or causing damage to the product of someone's work might be viewed in the same light as damaging or stealing the tools needed for that work. I know that there used to exist especially punitive laws regarding the theft or destruction of one's trade tools. I know that it sounds like it might apply more to tractors than a planted crop, but I would be interested to know what the usual penalties are for someone who vandalises a farmers' field. I doubt that the whole of the industry can afford to ignore an attack on all the farmers who won't buy in to dicamba use.

It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling deep inside to think of all those poisoners pulling their hair out, wondering what they will do with tonnes of chemical no one will buy, tonnes of GM seed nobody wants, and lawsuits out the wazoo.

-CK
 
pollinator
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It's as well time to criticise the native only police. They are quite silent when it comes to spraying glyphosphate everywhere in order to eradicate weeds. Most of our environmetal budget goes in spraying.
 
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Heard the stories about dicamba crop loss in the Mississippi Delta last fall, this year MO and Arkansas are having similar issues.  The stuff kills everything- your neighbor's corn, soybeans, cotton, as well as native grasses, forbs, wildflowers, even trees are showing dicamba damage and death.  My (limited) understanding is it's "drift" isn't like a powder or an aerosol- it volatilizes during high summer temperatures and can go wherever the wind takes it.  If you're a farmer, your only solution is to plant dicamba-resistant GMO seed.  And the craziest part is- in twenty years Monsanto will be rolling out the next most-toxic herbicide they can find, because weeds will then be glyphosate AND dicamba resistant.  

Most of what I've hard comes from Arkansas and Missouri, deep red states with enormous agricultural economies dependent largely on corn, soybeans, and the livestock they feed.  At least in those states, resistance to this latest herbicide isn't going to be driven by the environmental lobby, but rather ag interests.  There's a lot of grassroots interest in banning dicamba among farmers, whether that'll translate into legislative action (especially in an area where Monsanto has a huge presence) remains to be seen.  But I think it's a unique opportunity to link folks from disparate sociopolitical backgrounds- farmers don't want it because it limits their planting choices and impacts non-GMO crops, crunchy urban types don't want it because of its toxicity and association with GMO plants.  Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is up for reelection in 201 and it's a risky seat, hopefully she'll spend some time engaging ag folks on this issue.  Farming's a line of work that takes tradition very seriously- find the guy who's great-great grandpa planted an oak or a maple or a pecan, one that's survived floods and drought and the Depression but that's now succumbing to dicamba poisoning, and I think it'll resonate with a lot of folks.  

It's as well time to criticise the native only police. They are quite silent when it comes to spraying glyphosphate everywhere in order to eradicate weeds. Most of our environmetal budget goes in spraying.



For better or for worse, glyphosate is one of the cheapest options for ecological restoration.  That matters when it comes to government work, where folks are constantly on the lookout for waste, fraud and abuse- even if it isn't there, even if it means placing the cheapest solution ahead of the optimal solution.  If as many folks were yelling "DON'T USE GLYPHOSATE" as were yelling "DON'T WASTE MY TAX DOLLARS," agencies would quit using them tomorrow.  
 
Chris Kott
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And forestry practices are guilty too.  It's illegal in Quebec, but in Ontario, a new planting will be sprayed with glyphosate to keep down native pioneer species. Controlled burns are obviously preferable where ecologically appropriate, and you can graze it, probably with goats, as they do in Quebec. At least it's not dicamba, but the problem is the widespread mentality.

-CK
 
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I recently learned Redwood National and State Parks are spraying glyphosate and other herbicides to "control invasive weeds". This is a symptom of this park's culture of laziness and aversion to physical or intellectual exertion (I used to work there and saw it first hand).
 
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