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Roundup Ready Crops Essay

2299 words - 10 pages

As a farmer, there are many issues that arise due to ignorance or hazards. Roundup Ready cropping is one of those issues. The issue of Roundup Ready crops is a hot topic right now due to a little bit of ignorance and the potential hazards involved. Roundup is a herbicide with the active ingredient called glyphosate (“Farmers Relying on Herbicide”). When Roundup is applied to any type of vegetation, the chemical kills the plant in a week’s time. Roundup was created in 1996 by a chemist at Monsanto, an agricultural company (“Resistance Warning”). This new product would soon be the answer to many farmers’ prayers.
Now farmers can go over the fields once using fewer chemicals, less time, and less money Farmers came to love Roundup Ready crops that 70% of cotton and 91% of soybeans was Roundup Ready crops (“Resistance Warning”). By 2013, Roundup Ready corn had reached 90% of the corn grown in the United States (Smith). Between 1995 and 1998, a study showed that the “total number of applications decreased by 8% even with the increase in total acreage” (Carpenter and Gianessi). Roundup kills a wide variety of plants, so farmers could now spray a field once and this one spray would kill almost all the weeds in the field.
To this day Monsanto still owns the patent to Roundup Ready, but that patent is soon to expire in 2015 (“Roundup and Roundup Ready Crops”). Now farmers are starting to wander what will happen if Monsanto does not renew the patent on their Roundup Ready products. Roundup Ready crops are one of the greatest innovations in the world of agriculture, but they could be harmful to humans or the animals that consume these crops. Roundup Ready crops are crops that have been genetically engineered, altered, to be resistant to Roundup. A Roundup Ready crop is like a person getting a small dose of the flu virus to build up and immunity to the flu. Roundup Ready crops allow farmers to spray their fields with Roundup to kill all weeds and grasses but not harm their crops. Although a Roundup Ready cropping system can have consequences if not used properly, Roundup Ready crops are a great advance in the agriculture world if they are used correctly.
Today, one of the biggest issues with Roundup Read crops is the fact that due to overreliance on Roundup Ready cropping farmers are having problems with weeds becoming tolerant to the chemical (“Farmers Relying on Herbicide”). Again, Roundup Ready cropping is like getting a flu shot every year. If the vaccination in administered over and over, the vaccination quickly loses its purpose due to the face the flu virus becomes immune or tolerant to the current vaccination. If the vaccination is periodically altered, there is less chance that the flu virus to become immune to the vaccination. In the since of Roundup Ready cropping, farmers need to changes the chemical they use to lower the chance that the weeds will become tolerant to the chemical. Weed tolerance to Roundup is an example of “Darwin Evolution...

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