The first generation of biotech crops has failed. And failed badly. So what’s big ag’s answer? Poison Everything with Agent Orange. Eek.

By on April 24, 2012

In the last year alone, new studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-engineered Bt insecticide corn has not only created a new breed of superbugs resistant to the plant’s genetically engineered insecticide, but that those Bt toxins have also been found in the blood of 93 percent of woman and 80 percent of fetal blood samples in a Canadian study, despite Monsanto’s claims that this was not possible.[1][2]

At the same time, Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn and soybeans and their flagship herbicide Roundup have been linked to an increase in crop diseases and livestock infertility.[3] If that weren’t enough, the excessive use of Roundup has led to the rampant rise of superweeds, which have grown resistant to the herbicide and have infested millions of acres of farmland, threatening the livelihoods of America’s farmers.[4]

Now, Dow Chemical is petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the approval of a new genetically engineered “Agent Orange” corn that tolerates the extremely toxic chemical herbicide 2,4-D, a major component of the Vietnam War era defoliant Agent Orange.[5]

Numerous studies have linked exposure to 2,4-D to serious health problems that include cancer (particularly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), lowered sperm counts, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease.[6]  In addition, dozens of peer-reviewed studies have found the use of 2,4-D to contribute to hormone-disrupting activity linked to reproductive problems and thyroid dysfunction.[7]

Now they want to spray this chemical on our crops and fields!  Click here to tell the USDA to Dump Dow’s “Agent Orange” corn and keep it off our fields.  To read more, go here. 

Along with these major health impacts, the approval of Dow’s “Agent Orange” 2,4-D corn will likely lead to a massive explosion in the use of 2,4-D across the U.S., a fact that has greatly alarmed scientists, environmentalists and farmers alike. If the potential health problems and the escalating chemical arms race weren’t bad enough, there is grave concern among farmers for the problems with drift and volatilization, which means that it’s difficult to control when applying and frequently leads to serious damage to neighboring farmer’s crops. This concern over toxic chemical drift and damage to neighboring fields is so severe that it has led to the creation of a new farmer led organization, Save Our Crops Coalition, made up of more than 2,000 farmers and food companies who are petitioning the USDA to stop the approval of Dow’s 2,4-D corn.[8]

GMO corn

In a recent Reuters article John Bode, an attorney representing the group, called 2,4-D one of “the most dangerous chemicals out there.” It should be noted that Bode was also a former assistant Secretary of Agriculture under President Ronald Reagan. Considering the serious human health concerns, the threat to the environment and family farmers themselves, the USDA should move quickly to reject approval for Dow Chemical’s 2,4-D corn. Not only does it not serve the public interest, but it will lead to an ever-increasing reliance on deadlier and more toxic chemicals to grow our food.

About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”