3. Roundup triggers ‘superweeds’
Roundup is worth a lot to Monsanto: an estimated $4.76 billion in sales and $1.9 billion in profit in 2015. Almost all of the corn, soybeans, cotton and sugar beets grown in the U.S. are now genetically engineered to be Roundup Ready. But the overuse of Roundup has triggered the spread of more than a dozen glyphosate-resistant “superweeds” that force industrial farmers to spray other herbicides that are often more toxic. GMO crops are not the only use of this toxic chemical. Roundup kills weeds but not certain genetically engineered grasses. It is sold in stores for residential application around homes and yards, and is widely sprayed along roadways and in parks, commercial properties and plant nurseries. Glyphosate is also sprayed at the end of growing season on some food crops that are not genetically engineered to resist the weed killer, including wheat, oats, barley and dry beans. EWG advocates that federal and state agencies prohibit the application of glyphosate shortly before harvest season.