Triball here, with FrogTV. This week Diego and I discovered a new menace lurking in our garden. Looks like it could be right off the set of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Coming soon…to a field near you. Maybe your backyard.
Introducing the “Mutant Superweed,” a new breed of plant that grows and grows and can’t be stopped by chemical pesticides.
Is this a freak of nature or a lab experiment gone awry? Actually, it’s a little of both. Certain chemical companies have used genetic engineering—splicing DNA from one organism into another—to create food crops that are resistant to herbicides. This allows farmers to plant a field of, for example, Roundup Ready® Corn, and douse it repeatedly in herbicides, leaving the corn growing and the field weed-free—almost.
But Nature has a way of throwing a few curveballs—it’s how creatures adapt and survive new conditions over generations. A random mutation causes a weed here and there to withstand herbicides, too. Over several seasons of repeated heavy chemical applications, these survivor weeds breed and thrive. Voila, Nature’s own Roundup Ready crop!
And now it looks like they’re taking over.
Crazy things are happening in our world. Know where your tadpoles swim.
Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds
The Rise of the Super Weed Around the World
What to do, oh what to do? Sure, the problems can seem so big that it feels like there’s nothing we can do. But if a little three-eyed frog can stand up to make a difference, then so can you. Go here to find some simple things you can do to spread the word.