Monsanto's Round Up

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Glyphosate is a chemical which is widely used as a systemic herbicide in many of the most popular commercially available weed killers. Notably, perhaps the most popular and often used of these products is Monsanto’s Round Up which has become a staple of farming in the United States as well as many other countries over the past several decades. However, the overuse of glyphosate based herbicides has led to its decreased effectiveness and has forced many farmers to look elsewhere for weed killing products. In some instances this has forced farmers to return to harsher chemical herbicides that have not been used for several decades. Glyphosate is facing additional scrutiny from the World Health Organization and similar groups as recent studies …show more content…
This methodology presents both advantages and disadvantages that may generate long lasting effects for the world and its ability to grow food. The major upside of using this farming strategy is that it increases the efficiency of food production and reduces the amount of manual labor required to produce large amounts of viable crops. Additionally, systematic herbicides can make terrain which would otherwise be un-farmable into land which is capable of producing crops by providing the only feasible method of weed removal for hilly or mountainous terrain. Thus it increases the amount of fertile land and in turn the ability to produce food at a time when the demand for foodstuffs is growing exponentially alongside the world population. However, most of the advantages of this type of farming are outweighed by the negative consequences. First, the use of a single chemical class of herbicide in a blanketing fashion creates a proverbial breeding ground for weeds to develop resistance to the chemicals in question. Thus, farmers will require herbicides which are ever increasing in strength and the farming industry may descend into a vicious cycle of chemical development and resistance which parallels the problems facing the antibiotic industry today. Additionally, the use of seeds that are genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides allows large corporations like Monsanto to patent and copyright the seeds. This allows the companies that control the herbicides to essentially extort the farmers and leave them with no other option than to purchase seeds that have been genetically modified. This will lead to a decrease in genetic diversity of the plants that produce much of the world’s food. In turn these plants will not be able to develop new defenses to diseases which could have catastrophic consequences because it is possible that a single malady

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