News last update:7 Aug 2012

Mixed feelings about glyphosate resistant crops

Weed scientist Professor Stephen Powles said growing GM crops is leading to "superweeds". Yet a pro-GM farmers group says GM crops will lead to less weed resistance.

Prof Powles, of the Western Australia Institute of Agriculture, said at least eight major weed species had developed resistance to glyphosate as a direct result of the glyphosate-resistant crop revolution. "Glyphosate has been successfully used without any major resistance problems for more than 35 years, primarily because it has been used in conjunction with other herbicides," Prof Powles said.

However, pro-GM Producers Forum national convenor Jeff Bidstrup said farmers using GM crops were forced to use chemicals other than glyphosate when rotating crops. "GM crops will reduce the likelihood of glyphosate resistance because it forces people to use other chemistry to knockdown GM weeds," Mr Bidstrup says.

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