Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer

We knew it might happen sometime, and now it has..
"The Rise of the Superweed"...American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup has now led to the rapid growth of these tenacious new Superweeds.

A little late replying, just saw this thread today...

I don't think any of us in the biology field are surprised by this occurrence; its exactly what you would expect given how evolution works. It was never a matter of "if" resistant weeds would evolve, but rather a matter of "when". And Monsanto isn't alone in this - pesticide-resistant pests & weeds are arising to nearly all major pesticides and herbicides.

Its inevitable; since its impossible to ensure that the enterty of a field is covered with a lethal dose of pesticide/herbicide, you'll inevitably have regions where pest species are exposed to sub-lethal doses of the agent. Any slight resistance will be selected for in these areas, leading over time to a population of organisms capable of handling higher doses of the agent. Repeat this over time, and eventually you select for a resistant pest species.

Originally Posted By: paul
Isnt that the way monsanto works?...then they design new more powerfull products that will kill what they designed earlier.

I doubt monsanto (and the various other pesticide/herbicide produces) planned this. Keep in mind we live in a world where most people don't "believe" in evolution, and even among those who "believe" in it, a large portion remain ignorant as to how it works.

Biologists have been warning, for decades, of the inevitable rise of resistance to products such as these - and we've been ignored. But what you see today is exactly what we predicted - antibiotic (and now, even sanitizer-resistant!) bacteria, pesticide-resistant insects, herbicide-resistant weeds, etc. Monsanto et al are not making money off of this - as their products become less effective, they loose sales. No replacement products are on the horizon, and given the higher safety and environmental standards of today, development of replacement products is prohibitively expensive.

Monsanto is a perfect example - how many new herbicides have they developed (new as in new compounds, not new mixtures of old compounds). The answer - zero (I think).

Basically, you're looking for conspiracies where none exist - human stupidity, not deviousness, is all that it took for this to happen.