Originally published January 3 2015
Farmers becoming more interested in growing non-GMO crops
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) Farmers, lured by declining commodity prices and pressures involving weed resistance to glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup), have recently expressed a strong interest in growing non-GMO soybeans and corn in early 2015.
Wayne Hoener, vice president of sales for Des Moines-based seed company eMerge, which sells non-GMO corn and soybean seed to farmers, says that, although premium totals may be declining, the final figures amount to higher percentages of price compared to two years ago. A premium of $2 per bushel of beans, it's explained, marks a higher percentage at $9 than it does at $13. This pertains to the fact that many companies in the past have honed in on a crop's end-value traits, since more of a percentage of non-GMO crops are ultimately used in many food products.(1)
Interestingly, 2015 prices have yet to be set.(1)
Furthermore, as weeds are becoming increasingly resistant to glyphosate, an active ingredient in the herbicide commonly known as Roundup, farmers find growing non-GMO crops even more appealing.
Concerns over weed resistance and Roundup persist"You have people questioning the value of the Roundup gene," said Iowa State University weed specialist Bob Hartzler. Of the desire to switch from current practices to non-GMO crops, he said, "How many are doing it because of that concern, I don't know."
Hopefully, the change is because of that concern.
With good reason, many people are against GMO crops. They're beyond questioning its value, and instead are refusing to be part of anything involving Monsanto's Roundup and the ills that surround the dangerous herbicide.
It's understandable. After all, there's mounting evidence linking glyphosate to devastating human health consequences ranging from Parkinson's disease to some cancers. In areas like Argentina, where Roundup is heavily used, 80 percent of children have been found to have signs of toxicity in their bloodstreams. There seems to be no end in sight; through the years, Roundup has been found to be even more toxic than it was when first approved for agricultural use. Despite this finding, no adjustments to regulations were made to address the increased levels of toxicity.(2)
There's also increasing information that outlines the manner in which Monsanto has dealt with the issue of weed resistance -- which is, ironically, associated with overuse of their Roundup in the first place. Their fix? To "correct" the problem of weed resistance, they advocate spraying even more heavily than before, and with even stronger pesticides.(2)
Of course, no mention of weeds building resistance due to saturating them with toxins is mentioned in any detail on Monsanto's website. The most they delve into that aspect is a statement on their site that "Glyphosate resistance can occur, however it is rare and slow to develop in comparison to other herbicides."(3)
Rather, a brief lesson in botany is provided on their site, with Monsanto weed experts explaining why weeds become resistant to herbicides. It's not the herbicides that make them resistant, they say, but rather the simple nature of weeds that impedes the effectiveness of herbicides. They explain that "All natural weed populations, regardless of the application of any herbicide, may contain individual plants (biotypes) that are resistant to herbicides."(3)
Hope that non-GMO practices come to fruitionDebate about weed resistance aside, farmers have also expressed interest in growing non-GMO crops because they've found that non-GMO seed has become as effective at producing yields as the GMO varieties.(1)
While prices still need to be set and more examination of the market is to be explored, the spring of 2015 should be interesting. Will more farmers get on board with the non-GMO path as they've expressed interest in doing, or will they participate in habits that fuel questionable practices and contribute to the decline of people's health?
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