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global briefs


Bureaucratic Bungle: Monsanto Still Gaming the System Monsanto, the company that makes the controversial weed killer Round- up, is setting farmer against farmer and state against state with its new- est product, dicamba. Amid claims and counterclaims over effectiveness and safety of crops and humans, the debate is shedding new light on how new agricultural products are intro- duced, tested and regulated. One major difference with dicamba is the


gaseous vaporization it uses to treat crops, causing the poison to spread onto neighboring plants via wind. Brad Williams, a Missouri farmer, says that leaves on trees were “so deformed you couldn’t even real- ly identify the differences between them.”


The manufacturer claims that proper usage protocols are not being followed. Some farmers agree, while


Auto Revolution Industry Revs Up for Electric Car Future


China, the world’s largest car market, is planning to stop production and sales of traditional energy vehicles in favor of electric vehicles (EV), and the decision has sped up competitive development by U.S. automakers. General Motors is promising to launch at least 20 new electric vehicles in the next six years. “General Motors believes the future is all-electric,” says Mark Reuss, the company’s head of product development. The falling cost of lithium-ion batteries also brings a tipping point into view, observers say. By 2025 it’s possible that electric drivetrains will have no cost disadvantage compared with internal combustion engines.


Technology is fast resetting the outlook for what cars can do, how consumers use them and how much an EV will cost. Tesla, Ford and Japanese and European companies are also responding to what’s being called both “the age of electricity”, and “the age of personalized transportation”.


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others report crop damage and hu- man health issues. One pivotal point of debate is which federal and state agencies have jurisdiction and the power to set enforceable guidelines. At stake are millions of acres that have already been sprayed, along with the future of non-GMO farms inadver- tently contaminated by the dicamba sprayed on genetically modified crops that need the poison to survive.


st.djura/Shutterstock.com


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