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Inertia in various forms prevents many food producers from transforming their ways. Simple habit surely keeps many farmers using herbicides that they've used for decades.
There's also a phenomenon referred to as the pesticide treadmill that has locked many farmers into growing systems that rely on pest-killing poisons. These poisons kill most targets, but not all. Those survivors perpetuate their species with ever-stronger genetic resistance to the pesticides designed to kill them — and the chemical war on weeds and bugs continues, ad nauseum.
Reeves of the Pesticide Action Network said shifting to a chemical-free future "would certainly be possible to do. The question is whether we have the political will."
In Livermore, while Taylor's neighbors apply potent poisons to their land to zap pestilent grasses, he remains baffled by the underlying motivation that drives this controversy — sickening children, killing adults, causing immeasurable health impacts in millions of people, tainting water supplies and wiping species off the planet.
"I just don't understand the big concern over weeds in the vineyard," he said. "A few weeds are not the end of the world."