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Use of Controversial Weed Killer Skyrockets on Midwest Fields

Planting is underway in much of the Midwest, and after planting, comes pesticide-spraying season. (photo credit: Darrell Hoemann, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting)

When the pharmaceutical company Bayer bought Monsanto last year, it inherited the weed killer Roundup. It also inherited thousands of lawsuits claiming the chemical’s active ingredient — glyphosate — can be linked to a form of cancer. But farmers have used more and more glyphosate over the last 20 years to keep weeds in check, and have a lot riding on its future. For Harvest Public Media and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, Christopher Walljasper explains what’s at stake.

Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on agricultural and rural issues throughout the Midwest. For more stories and more information, visit

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