How Glyphosate Resistance Helps The Organic Movement

The Roundup brand of glyphosate sold to consumers seems now to have an additional booster herbicide added. Check the weedkiller's label yourself next time you pop into a garden center. What may be an explanation for the changed formulation comes in the way of a research report published in the journal Outlooks on Pesticide Management, with this abstract: GLYPHOSATE-RESISTANT WEEDS: CURRENT STATUS AND FUTURE OUTLOOK Vijay K. Nandula,1Krishna N. Reddy* 2Stephen O. Duke,3and Daniel H. Poston1 review the current situation regarding the development of glyphosate resistant weeds following the increased cultivation of glyphosate-resistant crops and warn of a real loss in glyphosate efficacy if its uncontrolled use continues. TreeHugger is not a peer review type of publication, so we won't go into how many weeds are resistant, where, and it's significance. Take the link above if you want that information. But, we will give some thought to what it means to organic and locally grown foods.There's no way that direct consumer useage has been a primary force in causing the evolved resistance of weeds. The big volumes of glyphosate go onto cash crops. Organic farmers don't, by definition, use glyphosate on their crops. Some locally grown food producers might use it..or might not, if they rely on hand weeding, torching, or "solarizing" instead.

At any rate, the obvious upshot, long term, is that glyphosate reliant food producers will have to spend more time and money to control weeds, while the organic producer's weed control costs will remain unaffected by the evolved glyposate resistance.

We could go on with analogies to other resistance build up examples, like DDT and penicillin, but those don't really seem to apply well, and the point stands on it's own. Organic farming just got a little help from the competition.