Hundreds of Thousands Urge USDA to Stop ‘Agent Orange Corn’
Hundreds of thousands of individuals, organizations and farmers are pushing the USDA to stop the approval of Dow AgroSciences‘ 2,4-D-resistant corn, dubbed ‘Agent Orange corn’ by its opponents, who say the product poses a threat to public health and the environment.
The product, officially called ‘Enlist,’ is a genetically modified crop able to withstand being sprayed with 2,4-D, one of the components of Agent Orange, so that farmers can spray the pesticide to kill weeds without killing the crop.
As the New York Times explains, the 2,4-D-resistant corn was seen as necessary because farmers had overused glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp, and the weeds became immune to the pesticide.
Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, underscores the health risks associated with 2,4-D: “Many studies show that 2,4 D exposure is associated with various forms of cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, nerve damage, hormone disruption and birth defects,” she said. “USDA must take these significant risks seriously and reject approval of this crop.”
Others, such as Margot McMillen, an organic farmer in Missouri, noted that by approving Enlist, the USDA would be filling the pockets of chemical makers: “USDA must stand up for those growing America’s food and put their interests, and the public’s, ahead of chemical companies’ profits.”
The product is denounced not only by food safety groups and organic farmers; it is also denounced by conventional farmers whose voice is heard in the Save Our Crops Coalition (SOCC):
“It is the projection of a 1070% increase in the use of 2,4-D that threatens the survival of the specialty crop production in the Midwest. 2,4-D is a threat to growers and processors like us,” said Steve Smith of Red Gold, an Indiana-based food processor, part of SOCC
The short video answering the question, “Why is this technology needed?” on Enlist’s own site from Dow AgroSciences inadvertently gives an answer to the question by showing several large fields of nothing but monocultures.
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Dow wants to roll out Enlist corn, soybeans and cotton along with an Enlist herbicide that are able to survive dousings of a combination of the herbicide 2,4-D with glyphosate. The new chemical aims to wipe out weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate alone.
Dow officials voiced frustration with the activism of opponents. The company said it is trying to educate farmers and others about the benefits of its products, which it said are safe and well tested. [...]
Charles Benbrook, chief scientist for the Organic Center and former executive director of the agriculture board of the National Academy of Sciences, said widespread planting of 2,4-D corn could trigger as much as a 30-fold increase in 2,4-D use on corn by the end of the decade.
Overall 2,4-D use in American agriculture would rise from 27 million pound to more than 100 million pounds and the release of 2,4-D soybeans and cotton following corn would boost usage still more, according to Benbrook.
Several medical and public health professionals have sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture warning of health threats that could accompany such an increase in 2,4-D use.
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WASHINGTON – April 26 – Over 140 groups and more than 365,000 citizens from across the country are urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reject a Dow Chemical application seeking approval of a controversial genetically engineered (GE) corn that is resistant to the hazardous herbicide 2,4-D. In addition to the public comments, 143 farm, environmental, health, fisheries groups and companies will submit a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack expressing their overwhelming opposition to this crop. The comments and letter will be submitted when USDA’s public comment period ends this Friday, April 27.
“American agriculture stands at a crossroads. One path leads to more intensive use of old and toxic pesticides, litigious disputes in farm country over drift-related crop injury, less crop diversity, increasingly intractable weeds, and sharply rising farmer production costs,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety. “This is the path American agriculture will take with approval of Dow’s 2,4-D resistant corn, soybeans and the host of other new herbicide-resistant crops in the pipeline. Another path is possible, but embarking upon it will take enlightened leadership from USDA.”
According to agricultural scientist Dr. Charles Benbrook, widespread planting of 2,4-D resistant corn could trigger as much as a 30-fold increase in 2,4-D use on corn by the end of the decade, given 2,4-D’s limited use on corn at present. Overall 2,4-D use in American agriculture would rise from 27 million lbs. today to over 100 million lbs. 2,4-D soybeans and cotton would boost usage still more. Yet USDA has provided no analysis of the serious harm to human health, the environment or neighboring farms that would result.
“It’s clear that this new generation of GE herbicide-resistant seeds is the growth engine of the pesticide industry’s sales and marketing strategy,” said Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Senior Scientist at Pesticide Action Network. “These seeds are part of a technology package explicitly designed to facilitate increased, indiscriminate herbicide use and pump up chemical sales.”
In addition, 35 medical and public health professionals have signed a letter to USDA warning of the severe health harms that would likely accompany the massive increase in 2,4-D use, expected to accompany approval of the GE seed. “Many studies show that 2,4 D exposure is associated with various forms of cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, nerve damage, hormone disruption and birth defects,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “USDA must take these significant risks seriously and reject approval of this crop.”
American farmers are also rightly concerned that the introduction of 2,4-D resistant corn will threaten their crops. 2,4-D drift is responsible for more episodes of crop injury than any other herbicide. Last week, a coalition representing more than 2,000 farmers and groups filed petitions with the USDA and the EPA, asking USDA to conduct a thorough environmental review before making a decision on approving 2,4-D resistant corn and EPA to convene an advisory panel to examine impacts from increased application of the herbicides.
“Farmers are on the front lines of this potential chemical disaster,” said Iowa conventional corn and soybean farmer George Naylor. “Conventional farmers stand to lose crops while organic farmers will lose both crops and certification, resulting in an economic unraveling of already-stressed rural communities. I’m also very concerned about the further pollution of the air and water in my community.”
“USDA must stand up for those growing America’s food and put their interests, and the public’s, ahead of chemical companies’ profits,” added Margot McMillen, an organic farmer in Missouri. Hers is the message of farmers who are speaking on this issue today at a national telepress conference organized by the National Family Farm Coalition.
Dow’s 2,4-D resistant corn is a clear indication that first-generation GE, herbicide-resistant crops—specifically Monsanto’s Roundup Ready (RR) varieties—are rapidly failing. RR crops, which comprise 84 percent of world biotech plantings, have triggered massive use of glyphosate (Roundup’s active ingredient) and an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant “superweeds.”
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 pour oil on the fire. The study, entitled “Navigating a Critical Juncture for Sustainable Weed Management,” suggests new GE crops will trigger an outbreak of still more intractable weeds resistant to both glyphosate and 2,4-D.
2,4-D drift and runoff also pose serious risk for environmental harm. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service have found that 2,4-D is likely having adverse impacts on several endangered species, including the California red-legged frog, the Alameda whipsnake, and Pacific salmon, via impacts on their habitats and prey.
“EPA recently denied our petition to ban or control 2,4-D, putting their head in the sand instead of protecting people and plants,” said Mae Wu, a health attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “If USDA now grants Dow’s application, farmers, gardeners, wildlife, and kids will all face even greater exposure to this toxic herbicide.”
If approved, the Center for Food Safety has vowed to challenge USDA’s decision in court, as this novel GE crop provides no public benefit and will only cause serious harm to human health, the environment, and threaten American farms.
The groups submitting public comments to USDA include the Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network, Food & Water Watch, Food Democracy Now, the National Family Farm Coalition, Organic Farming Research Foundation, the Organic Consumers Association, SumOfUs.org, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
LInks to some other material“Natural foods keep us healthy. GE foods are designed to alter our genetic make up and alter Nature. REJECT THESE FOODS.”Curated by Arun Shrivastava
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globalresearch.ca - February 12, 7:23 PM
If you eat and think, please read this article.www.postindependent.com - March 23, 4:49 PM
“Amid mounting evidence of the dangers genetically modified crops pose to humans, animals, our soils and biodiversity, the corporate-controlled U.S….” says Mary Boland in this exceptionally well written and easy to understand article.
I saw the video of Dr Dan Huber and Dr Mercola discussing the process through which glyphosate destroys the living soil, prevents critical nutrient uptake by plants and also destroys the friendly intestinal bacteria in the intestine.
An important article, worth downloading and sharing.undergroundhealthreporter.com - March 20, 7:01 PM
“More than 65% of U.S. corn crops are GMO’s, find out if these foods cause cancer. Since these genetically modified foods have been sneaking into our diets since 1995″
Be aware. GM crops are ‘designed’ to work like a pesticide factory; each cell behaves like pesticide. Eat at your own peril. Know and stay informed to stay healthy.
Talk to your political representative(s), inform them, ask them to take specific measures to encourage natural farming.
The Green revolution destroyed our health; the Gene revolution will destoy us and future generations at genetic level. It will destroy the natural world.www.i-sis.org.uk - March 16, 2:44 PM
A new study shows that low doses of Bt biopesticide CryA1b as well as the glyphosate herbicide, Roundup, kill human kidney cells. The Bt biopesticide conferring insect resistance and the glyphosate tolerance trait tied to the use of glyphosate herbicides account for almost all the GM crops grown worldwide.
Bt crops already constitute 39 % of globally cultivated genetically modified (GM) crops, yet this is the first study that provides evidence on the toxicity of Bt protein in human cells.
This work comes at a time when the French environment and agricultural ministers are seeking an EU-wide ban of Monsanto’s MON810 Bt corn variety that is already outlawed in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Greece, and Luxembourg. The EU commission approved this crop in 2009, concluding that it “is as safe as its conventional counterpart with respect to potential effects on human and animal health”…
Via Sepp Hasslbergerwww.physorg.com - March 8, 11:26 PM
“Globally speaking, the yield from crops from organic farming is on average twenty percent lower than from crops grown according to conventional farming methods.”
That’s the agenda as outlined in “Seeds of Destruction” by William Engdahl.
Reduce food output, kill billions by starvation.www.youtube.com - March 2, 11:39 PM
The Health Ranger, Mike Adams, explains how studies in cell research have demonstrated the mechanism by which micro RNA from genetically engineered foods may…
Genetically modified foods alter organ function in humans.
Via Sepp Hasslbergergaia-health.com - February 27, 3:00 AM
Big Pharma has known all along that SSRI and SNRI antidepressants don’t work. An FOIA request shows that they’ve known all along, that most of their studies showed no benefit.
Irving Kirsch of Harvard Medical School has studied the placebo effect for over 30 years. He requested the data for studies that had not been published. When those results were added in, almost no benefit could be shown for antidepressants.
Via Sepp Hasslbergerredgreenandblue.org - February 22, 5:50 AM
Monsanto has been systematically blocking researchers from using its patented gene modified (GMO) seeds to learn if there are problems with them, according to an explosive op-ed in yesterday’s LA Times by Doug Gurian-Sherman of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but it’s encouraging that it’s hitting the mainstream media…
Via Sepp Hasslbergerwww.greenmedinfo.com - February 21, 4:32 PM
Greenmedinfo.com – Natural Medical Resource – The only website in the world that has free, entirely evidence-based, and solar-powered natural medical database with 18,000+ articles and growing daily…gaia-health.com - February 19, 2:48 PM
“Agribusiness doesn’t care about your health, food quality or choice. They care only about profits. To this end, they’re buying and stealing every aspect of our food supply, from the land to the seeds to the genes themselves.”
One of the best documentaries ever made on the threats to our survival. MUST WATCH.whenthenewsstops.blogspot.in - February 18, 4:42 PM
Congressman Dennis Kucinich has instroduced a Bill HR 3554 which clearly states that genetically engineered foods are not safe for human cnsumption therefore must be labelled. This is an important step towards protecting people’s health.
Unfortunately, advocates of depopulation, like Bill Gates, are shareholders in Monsanto, the US criminal corporation that has unleashed genetically engineered crops all over the world. Its Indian subsidiary is Monsanto-MAHYCO or MAHYCO.www.disabled-world.com - February 18, 4:12 PM
“Genetically modified foods information including list of GM foods with dna changes and pros and cons of GM food…”
Here’s a list of some of the foods that have genetically engineered components, partially from contamination or entirely because they are designed so. Once again I repeat: any cereal product, cooking oil or processed food originating from USA or manufactured by an American company should not be touched nor fed to the pets.
2 english.pravda.ru - April 9, 2:06 PM
Does Monsanto know what it is doing? Do, we, the public have all the facts? Is genetically modified food safe? Are food products which contain it clearly labelled? Is Monsanto, knowingly or unknowingly, destroying the biosphere…epaper.dnaindia.com - March 23, 3:30 PM
It will be worth your time to know about this criminal multinational corporation…Monsanto. Worth knowing too is that Bill Gates of Microsoft is a major shareholder. And Bill Gates is behaving like Monsanto’s salesman. Monsanto’s one point program is to destroy world’s agriculture system and it has the total support of US Department of Defense.www.laleva.org - March 23, 3:24 PM
Any one can read the hundreds of excellent research papers on adverse health effects of genetically engineered foods, yet time and time again we hear of regulatory authorities flouting the biosafety norms and secretely approving genetically engineered seeds. This is one example from Rajasthan.
eminemsayno2gmos.wordpress.com - March 19, 4:16 PM
The toxic pollutant, glyphosate, marketed as Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide is now showing up in our rivers and rain. This stuff is poisonous and it’s been linked to birth defects.
And it stays in the soil, upsetting the soil biology and plant uptake of nutrition.www.physorg.com - March 9, 12:28 AM
“The international credibility of Australia’s universities is being undermined by the increase in the “pseudoscientific” health courses they offer, two academics have written in today’s edition of the Medical Journal of Australia.”
I have suspected this for over a decade. Not only Oz, the British, American and European systems STINK.
Today, every doctor is suspect, every hospital is suspect, every laboratory is suspect. You have NO WAY OF KNOWING WHO WILL KILL YOU. And they have a licence.
Via Sepp Hasslbergerwww.theatlantic.com - March 4, 10:57 PM
New research shows that when we eat we’re consuming more than just vitamins and protein. Our bodies are also absorbing information.xenophilius.wordpress.com - February 27, 3:02 AM
The FDA is on the brink of approving genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. This would be the first genetically engineered animal on supermarket shelves in the United States.
The salmon is engineered to produce growth hormones year-round that cause the fish to grow at twice the normal rate. The government already requires labels to tell us if fish is wild-caught or farm-raised—don’t we also have a right to know if our salmon is genetically engineered? Without labels, we’ll never know.
Via Sepp Hasslbergerwww.santafe.com - February 27, 2:51 AM
Even Monsanto’s own scientists have warned that GM foods cause serious health problems, though Monsanto has tried to bury the evidence.
Monsanto and Dow, the nation’s top agrochemical producers, have joined forces to reintroduce the use of the herbicide 2,4-D—one half of the toxic defoliant Agent Orange sprayed by American forces to clear jungle during the Vietnam War. That’s because the ubiquitus spraying of Monsantao’s herbicide Roundup has created superweeds resistant to Roundup. Now Dow says it has developed a new genetically engineered corn that can tolerate 2,4-D, which will be used to kill the superweeds. However, some European countries and Canadian provinces have banned 2,4-D, a suspected carcinogen that has doubled the rate of birth defects and is toxic to honeybees, birds and fish.
Via Sepp Hasslbergergulfnews.com - February 21, 5:47 PM
It can lead to life-long allergies, expert warns…
“In an interview with the magazine L’Osservatore Romano on January 5, a prominent member of the Vatican spoke out against genetically modified crops. (Well…just ONE MEMBER of the Vatican condemns Monsanto GM crops…”
Actually on 17th May 2009, the scientific committee of the Vatican ‘approved’ that GM foods are safe. It proves that big corporations and the Vatican have a collusive agenda and that the Vatican is working against the interest of the people. Many Archbishops had opposed this but their views were overidden.noliesradio.org - February 18, 4:53 PM
Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state …
“More on some GM foods..http://t.co/BDBrv9MT…”
The above photograph is from Dr Irina Ermacova’s animal studies in Russia. The offspring of rats fed GM foods were 50% shorter, had high mortality rate and many with compromised vital organs. Ermacova’s research funding was later stopped. The main point here is that GM foods can destroy the quality of future generations. It is a perfect genocidal weapon.