By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

The Weed That Ate Delaware

The Weed That Ate Delaware

The year 2003 will mark the end of the most significant
decade of my life, in which I discovered and will continue
to carry out that which I now define as my mission. My
life's work has matured into a no-pay career of exposing the
dangers of Monsanto's genetically engineered foods so that
your children and mine can live in a safer and healthier

I began with milk, back in 1994. If not for the controversy
surrounding Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth
hormone, I would never have traveled a path in which I came
to understand that so-called "healthy cow's milk" naturally
contains steroid and protein growth hormones, making it
inappropriate for human consumption.

Although adverse effects of milk consumption have become my
primary area of interest, I continue to keep a watchful eye
on all things "Monsanto," so that yesterday's press release
(1/14/03) evolved into an issue of great consequence.

At the advent of the biotechnology revolution of the 1990s,
Monsanto fooled government regulators into believing that
they could easily predict and control those cataclysmic
delusions of humankind which nature always find a way to
exploit. They said it could not happen, but it has. One new
super-weed has developed an immunity to Monsanto's Roundup
Ready herbicide.

The name of the weed is mare's tail, and you know what's
located right below the mare's tail, right? Uh, huh. The
horse's ass, which is what Monsanto has acted like by
dismissing unanticipated errors of biotechnology which
nature exploits to forever remind us that our arrogance will
not be tolerated.

Mare's tail (hippuris vulgaris) is a real nuisance plant,
clogging ditches and choking streams and waterways. Goats
love it. So do ducks. Farmer's hate it, and therein lies an
exploding problem for those who grow soybeans, cotton, and
corn. The tiny seeds, some 600,000 to the pound, are easily
spread by the wind and the wings of flying creatures.
Creeping perennial herbs then fill shallow waters and mud

Monsanto issued a press and slapped Mother Nature's face.
Monsanto's official comment was more propaganda than public
service message, stating:

"...increasing weed resistance to its popular Roundup
herbicide is not a major problem and farmers should not
reduce their use of the product because of fears over
spreading resistance in parts of the United States."

Monsanto's minor problem has bloomed into a potential
catastrophe. Thirty-five square miles of Delaware's finest
farmland have been overrun. The weed has spread into
Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey. All in all, 781 square
miles of America's soybean and cotten acreage have been
swatted by mare's tail. How big an area is that? Picture a
territory greater in size than half the state of Rhode
Island. Not such divine Providence.

Monsanto spokeswoman, Janice Armstrong, said:

"We feel the situation is being taken care of."

Another mare's tale.

Robert Cohen, author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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