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Glyphosate—A love story. Ordinary thoughtlessness and response‐ability in industrial farming

Abstract : More than 8.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate have been used worldwide since the 1970s. Herbicide tolerant crops became the lynchpin of the technological revolution for large-scale farming first in the United States and Canada, and now in Europe. Zero-till farming, as a production scheme and a world view, is based on simplifications pro- moted by a handful of transnational corporations with the complicity of politicians looking for easy solutions for prob- lems, such as climate change, erosion and the hunger in the world. At the same time, the massive use of glyphosate is branded as an endocrine disrupter, causing cancer, male ste- rility and infertility. It interferes with soil bacteria and acts on the equilibrium of soil fungi. Glyphosate resistant crops connect farmers to far away consumers ingesting the food they grow together with the traces of chemicals. Farmers intra-act with the myriads of life-forms of the soil eco-sys- tem. How do they perceive the life in the soil, when they spray chemicals? The article explores the political dimen- sions of the agency of both humans and non-humans to understand the effects of the modernizing project of zero- till, as well as to identify spaces and scales of possibility from where alternatives can emerge. KEYWORDS agrochemicals, glyphosate, manipulation of opinions, organic farming, responsibility
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 10:52:27 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 3:37:51 AM

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Birgit Müller. Glyphosate—A love story. Ordinary thoughtlessness and response‐ability in industrial farming. Journal of Agrarian Change, Wiley, 2020, ⟨10.1111/joac.12374⟩. ⟨halshs-03098507⟩

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