GE-crops modified to be resistant to a herbicide that’s the main ingredient in Agent Orange! Really?
The herbicide, 2,4-D, is linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and Parkinson’s and is banned entirely in parts of Canada and Europe. And yet the USDA seems ready to approve the new GMO Corn and Soybeans, unleashing a major increase in the use of 2,4-D.1
Now, the US EPA is considering stepping in to stop or restrict the application of 2,4-D, which would be a major blow to Dow’s Agent Orange veggies. Can you urge EPA to reject Dow’s plans to spray this incredibly toxic herbicide?
If you care about food safety or the environment, you know about Roundup, developed by Monsanto, and so toxic to plants that Monsanto had to engineer “Roundup Ready” crops that wouldn’t be killed when farmers applied Roundup to their fields.
From 1996, when Roundup Ready crops were introduced in the US, through 2008, there was a 383 million pound increase in the use of herbicides. Now, it turns out that weeds are becoming Roundup resistant, requiring the use of even stronger pesticides (like 2,4-D) and the engineering of crops that can withstand their use.
That’s where Dow’s “2,4-D resistant” corn comes in. Because the corn will be resistant to 2,4-D, farmers will be able to blast their fields with the main ingredient in Agent Orange. We can expect the increase in the use of 2,4-D to be enormous.2
Big Ag armed with 2,4-D is a scary scenario — 2,4-D has been shown to be contaminated with dioxins, is linked to numerous health problems, is highly likely to drift onto neighboring fields, is frequently found in groundwater, and is likely to already be negatively impacting several species of at-risk animals. But despite this, the USDA has not done any meaningful review of possible consequences to human health, the environment, or other farms that could result from approving “2,4-D resistant,” genetically engineered corn.
With the USDA seemingly ready to approve the 2,4-D resistant corn, the EPA’s involvement is crucial. If the EPA stands strong, and rejects 2,4-D, they can effectively kill Dow’s 2,4-D resistant corn and soy.
1. “Going Backwards: Dow’s 2,4-D-Resistant Crops and a More Toxic Future,” Center for Food Safety
2. “Dow, Monsanto Herbicide-Tolerant Crops Need U.S. Study,” Bloomberg News, April 18, 2012.