Monday, August 14, 2006

Roundup Ready Weeds!

After this gardening season of heavy rain followed by bright sunshine I have had it with the weeds in my garden. Some of them are my own fault, the rain washed newly spread grass seed into the vegetable garden where it grew well until I pulled it out. The other weapon in my arsenal, but not for the vegetable garden, is Roundup. Weeds in cracks, weeds in the mulch are dealt with mercilessly and chemically.

The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. Now, there are reports that a grass, genetically modified to be glyphosate-resistant, has escaped from its testing area in Oregon. Keeping in mind that a weed is a plant growing where you don't want it, we don't need Scotts creating weedy grasses resistant to the most popular weed killer on the market. The concern is that not only will the grass escape and become an unkillable weed but that it will fertilize its wild relatives or that gene transfer to other plants will occur and pass on the resistance to actual weeds. I guess I have time before it gets here from Oregon.

(via Exploding Aardvark)

tags: , , ,

1 comment:

The Virtual Ranger said...

Thats's worrying stuff. I've used glyphosate for years. It's pretty benign, even if it does cost a fortune and belong to decidedly unpopular Monsanto. it;s a very useful herbicide for nature reserves, as it can be applied safely by those with not much training or equipment, does not affect livestock, and can be used carefully (e.g. by weedwipers) to affect only certain plants and not others. over here GM crops are pretty much unknown in the field, because regulation and public pressure keeps them out. But a rogue escaped gene would not be subject to such restrictions. I hope that Monsanto does not kill the goose which lays the golden egg.