|16 September 2003
THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE
Dear Friends and colleagues,
RE: MORE PLANTS RESISTANT TO ROUNDUP
Since the first case of resistance to herbicide glyphosate, or better
known as Monsanto's Roundup in 1996 in Australia, up to five weed species
have been found with resistance to the herbicide in the past seven years,
according to Professor Bob Hartzler of the Department of Agronomy at Iowa
State University in the US.
The resistance has come about not through gene transfer from GM
herbicide-tolerant crops, but through natural evolution. The weeds which
have acquired the resistance have been found in Australia, Chile,
Malaysia, California and other areas of the US.
Glyphosate is a "broad spectrum" herbicide, meaning that, originally, it
killed everything, including crops. GM crops were developed to be
tolerant of the herbicide, so it could be applied throughout the growing
With the development of resistance among some varieties of weeds, this
means larger quantities of weedkillers, and not less, as the
biotechnology companies have claimed, will be needed to control weeds
grown among glyphosate-tolerant crops such as RR soybeans and RR corn.
It also means farmers will be burdened with additional costs for growing
GM crops, due to increase in the cost of weed management.
A paper by Prof. Hartzler is included below, as also a report on his
With best wishes,
Lim Li Lin and Chee Yoke Heong
Third World Network
121-S Jalan Utama