The introduction of GMOs in the 1990s was supposed to lower pesticide use in the United States, but it’s done anything but that. In 2009 alone, farmers dumped more than 57 million pounds of glyphosate on food crops, according to the USDA. Just as overusing antibiotics in farm animals causes antibiotic resistance, pesticide abuse causes weed resistance, resulting in massive, hard-to-kill superweeds. Because of this, nonorganic farmers are forced to use more pesticides, sometimes even reverting to older, even more dangerous types.
While Monsanto is pairing dicamba with Roundup—which, by the way, is already detected inside of the nonorganic food we eat—other companies are rushing to bring new GMOs to the market. Dow Agrosciences is hoping to introduce its 2,4-D–tolerant corn and soy. (2,4-D has been classified as a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the European Union classifies it as an endocrine disruptor.)
Last year, veteran weed scientist David Mortensen, Ph.D., weed ecologist at Penn State University, crunched the numbers and found that commercial introduction of crops genetically engineered to withstand dicamba and 2,4-D will likely lead to an increase of 60 to 100 percent in the amount of herbicides used, adding millions of pounds of toxic pesticides into the food chain and environment.
Organic sounds pretty tasty about now, doesn't it?