USDA Approves New GE Corn and Soy, Triggering Onslaught of Millions of Pounds more Pesticides

Center for Food Safety announces it will pursue all available legal options to stop commercialization

Center for Food Safety today condemned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to fully deregulate Dow Chemical’s Enlist corn and soybeans, genetically engineered to withstand repeated spraying of the herbicide 2,4-D. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has yet to approve the accompanying herbicide, which is a blend of 2,4-D and glyphosate.

“2,4-D resistant crops pose a monumental threat to our nation’s agricultural, environmental and human health. With this approval comes millions of more pounds of toxic herbicides dumped onto our land; it’s an unacceptable outcome,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety. “Center for Food Safety will pursue all available legal options to stop the commercialization of these dangerous crops.”

2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), produced by Dow Chemical, was a component of “Agent Orange,” the toxic defoliant used in Vietnam. 2,4-D and other herbicides of its class have been independently associated with deadly immune system cancers, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems.

Dow Chemical developed 2,4-D resistant crops as a solution to glyphosate-resistant weeds generated by first-generation GE crops from Monsanto, known as Roundup Ready. Roundup Ready crops triggered a massive increase in use of glyphosate, followed by an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant weeds. Though Dow claims 2,4-D crops are the solution to weed resistance, a recent peer-reviewed study published in the prestigious journal Bioscience concludes that these new GE crops will instead pour oil on the fire by triggering still more intractable weeds resistant to both glyphosate and 2,4-D.

“This is not the solution to our superweed problem and will only spur the evolution of yet more herbicide-resistant weeds,” said Kimbrell. “We need a new direction for our agricultural system, not increased reliance on chemicals.”

USDA’s own analysis admits that approval of 2,4-D-resistant corn and soybeans will lead to an unprecedented 2 to 7 fold increase in agricultural use of 2,4-D by 2020, from 26 million to as much as 176 million lbs. per year.  Even at current use levels, 2,4-D drift is responsible for more episodes of crop injury than any other herbicide.

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Next Generation of Pesticide-Promoting Crops Are Imminent

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and proposed approval for new corn and soybean varieties genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to the toxic herbicide 2,4-D. There will now be a 30-day public comment period before USDA is expected to grant final approval of the controversial new crops. USDA also released a draft Environmental Impact Statement and proposed approval for crops resistant to Monsanto’s dicamba, with a 45-day comment period. The Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a concurrent review of Enlist Duo, Dow’s proprietary mix of 2,4-D and glyphosate, for use on Dow’s corn and soybeans. If given final approval, these GE crops will be sold with additional resistance to other herbicides, including glyphosate, and they are among the first wave of the biotechnology industry’s efforts to increase the pesticide intensity of U.S agriculture.

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EPA Set to Approve Increased Use of Toxic 2,4-D on Dow’s “Agent Orange” Crops

Time is Running Out to Keep Hundreds of Millions of Pounds of Toxic Herbicide off American Fields and Out of Our Environment – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a proposal to approve the direct spraying of the toxic herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) on genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybeans. Dow Chemical developed the GE crops – known as Enlist – solely to withstand high doses of 2,4-D, which it also sells, and several other herbicides. 2,4-D comprised one-half of the “Agent Orange” used in Vietnam, leading many to call Dow Chemical’s corn and soybeans “Agent Orange” crops. EPA will reach a final decision after a 30-day comment period.

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The Pesticide Industry vs. Consumers: Not a Fair Fight

By pouring money into politics, pesticide companies have beat back attempts to protect the public – In a small regulatory office 
in Sacramento, California, in 2007, a handful of farmworkers and scientists gathered to explain to state officials why chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide, should be considered a toxicant under Proposition 65, a state law that prohibits businesses from discharging substances known to cause birth defects and reproductive harm into the drinking water.

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Agent Orange from farm to table

(By Anna Lappe) With genetically engineered corn and soy, Dow Chemical aims to bring back toxic herbicide use, big time – While my sister-in-law put the finishing touches on Thanksgiving dinner, I listened to her friend recount the losing battle her husband, a Vietnam veteran, fought with lung cancer. She explained her husband’s illness was caused by his wartime exposure to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange, produced primarily by two companies, Dow Chemical and Monsanto. Named for the colored band on its transport tanks, Agent Orange was a cocktail of chemicals, including an herbicide called 2,4-D. Shortly after the spraying — conducted to deprive guerrilla fighters of cover and a food supply — started in 1962, reports began to emerge of serious health effects, from birth defects to other illnesses. To this day, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers an Agent Orange registry health exam for the possible long-term problems caused by exposure, and more than 40,000 veterans have submitted disability claims. The Red Cross estimates that 1 million Vietnamese were affected, including third-generation children born with severe birth defects.

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Farmers warn of threats to farm economies posed by Dow’s new genetically engineered corn and soybean varieties

USDA receives nearly 400,000 public comments opposing approval of 2,4-D resistant crops

Today over 387,000 farmers, farmworkers, health professionals, and concerned individuals from across the country joined together in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reject Dow Chemical’s application seeking approval of controversial genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybean varieties that are resistant to the hazardous herbicide 2,4-D.

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Meet the New Monsanto: Dow Chemical… and Their New ‘Agent Orange’ Crops

By Andrew Kimbrell – If you’re like me, then you are probably overwhelmed with emails and articles opining on the evils of Monsanto — and for good reason. Monsanto is a chemical company that began genetically engineering seeds in order to sell more chemicals. The company’s business model is based on privatizing life, privatizing our genetic heritage (seeds), and poisoning the Earth.  But did you know that Monsanto is just one of the major chemical players that have taken over our agriculture? Others include Syngenta, Bayer, DuPont, and BASF. Monsanto is corporate villain number one, providing PR cover for these other companies that do the same thing with far less public attention.  That is about to change. There is one company that may even be worse than Monsanto. And unless we act soon, that company is going to start contaminating our farms and our food in ways we have never seen before. Meet the Dow Chemical company. …

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Dow Chemical Readies for a New Era of Superweeds

By Rich Duprey – Because of the overuse of Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, farmers have created “superweeds” that resist the best efforts of the herbicide to eradicate them. So rather than address the problem at the source, the USDA is poised to compound it by approving new seeds that are resistant to a different weedkiller manufactured by Dow Chemical , meaning it won’t be long before we have to up the ante once more.

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USDA Moves to Approve “Agent Orange” GMO Seeds

The US Department of Agriculture is leaning toward approving varieties of corn and soybean seeds that are genetically engineered to be resistant to several herbicides, including the controversial chemical known as 2,4-D. Dow Chemical developed the genetically engineered seeds with the brand name Enlist to address the growing problem of “superweeds” that have become resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Roundup is widely used on genetically engineered crops, which are also known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

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