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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of GMOs

“Roundup-ready” crops — i.e., those that can tolerate the herbicide Roundup — were introduced by Monsanto in the 1990’s, and brought big environmental benefits: farmers had to plow less frequently, resulting in reduced erosion and less fertilizer and pesticide runoff. A new breed of Roundup-resistant super-weeds, however, is jeopardizing that progress, as affected farmers are forced to “spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand, and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing.” Meanwhile, Monsanto and DuPont are at work on a new technology: drought-resistant crops. This technology will be particularly useful in drought-prone areas, including those that might be negatively affected by global warming.[%comments]