Wednesday, April 01, 2015

EPA to require weed resistance management plan for glyphosate, key ingredient in Roundup

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected next week to announce that "it will require a weed resistance management plan for glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's immensely popular Roundup weed-killer," Carey Gilliam reports for Reuters. "An EPA spokeswoman declined to give specifics of the plan but told Reuters that its requirements will be similar to those placed on a new herbicide product developed by Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical Co."

"Requirements for the Dow herbicide include weed monitoring, farmer education and remediation plans," Gilliam writes. "The company is required to provide extensive reporting to the EPA about instances of weed resistance and to let 'relevant stakeholders' know about the difficulties of controlling them via a company-established website."

At least 14 weed species and biotypes in the U.S. have developed a resistance to glyphosate, which has made farming more difficult and expensive on more than 60 million acres of U.S. farmland, Gilliam writes.

The plan will not address health issues, Gilliam writes. Recent studies have linked glyphosate to cancer and say herbicides like glyphosate induce antibiotic resistance before the antibiotics have time to kill the bacteria.

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