Politicians are making noise in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw wrote a letter to Monsanto saying that his “office is concerned that West Virginia farmers are paying much higher prices for soybeans with the Roundup Ready 2 trait when the yields do not live up to the claims and do not justify the increased prices.” Monsanto has begun shifting farmers to these new seeds by promising 7 to 11 percent bigger harvests, according to Bloomberg. Studies by Iowa State and Penn State have failed to find that the new seeds boost yields, however.
McGraw wrote that Monsanto may have engaged in unfair or deceptive acts. Monsanto, however, claims that tests show that the Roundup Ready 2 soybeans do increase yields by at least 7 percent.
In Pennsylvania, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Joe Sestak (above) has expressed worry over development of the Marcellus Shale gas fields.
“This geologic formation (the Marcellus Shale) has enough natural gas to feed the country’s energy needs for 15 years, but as the ever growing BP oil disaster shows, energy development is not without serious risks,” Sestak wrote. “We cannot allow Pennsylvania’s rural economies to suffer the same fate as those along the Gulf. We can, however, create jobs and protect the health and safety of our children.”
Sestak said he favored development of the Marcellus field, “but we should do it right.”