It's Official! Agent Orange GMO Enters Food Supply

Yes, EPA approved Dow’s herbicide today.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) immediately filed a lawsuit. "Solving one pesticide’s problem by adding another puts us on a completely unsustainable path. EPA has started a snowballing effect of more and more powerful pesticides that threaten both wildlife and human health," they say. 

EPA approved the pesticide in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin, and is accepting comments until Nov. 14 on whether to register Enlist Duo in 10 more states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota.

EPA says the approved formulation of 2,4-D is less prone to pesticide drift and is "requiring a 30-foot "no spray" buffer zone around the application area, no pesticide application when wind speeds exceed 15 mph, and only ground applications are permitted.

The registration expires in six years, allowing EPA to revisit the issue of resistance. They say this time-limited approach will be used for all existing and new herbicides used on herbicide tolerant crops.

"The agency’s decision reflects a largebody of science and an understanding of the risk of pesticides to human health and the environment," says EPA in its announcement.  

by Rona Fried

Thanks for your "environmental protection," EPA! We all feel so much safer now that you have approved Dow’s deadly herbicide, Enlist Duo.

As we reported when USDA approved the GMO last month, the EPA has to approve the herbicide before it goes to market. Done!

Dow AgroSciences’s Enlist Duo is a delectable combination of Monsanto’s
Roundup and Dow’s "Agent Orange" 2,4-D. This killer combo is engineered so that GMO corn and soy crops can withstand much more massive, toxic doses of herbicide.

Why? Because millions of acres of Monsanto’s GMO crops are now resistant to its herbicide, Roundup. 

And where will 90% of these crops go? To feed the poor animals in factory farms. That means, if you drink conventionally-produced milk or eat meat, you are ingesting these GMOs – just one more reason to support organic agriculture. It also means toxics in the air and water.

GMO Dow EnlistEnvironmental Working Group (EWG) analysis

Dow’s ultra-toxic herbicide is already used on wheat, pastureland, lawns and golf courses.

Unlike other herbicides, which coat a plants leaves, 2,4-D is a systemic weed-killer. The chemicals infiltrate the entire plant – and the food you eat. 2,4-D is linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, hormone problems and other serious health issues.

Not to be outdone, Monsanto – which now has a monopoly on the US soybean crop – is working on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, its next revolution in toxicity.

"Enlist Duo will harm dozens of endangered species, and is another nail in the coffin for the monarch butterfly," says Brett Hart, at the Center for Biological Diversity. "Once again the EPA has turned a blind eye to endangered species, clean water and human health in its apparently endless desire to placate multinational pesticide companies. At a minimum, the agency needs to restrict use of this new chemical cocktail around streams, endangered species habitats and our communities."

Here’s an excerpt of the letter scientists sent to the EPA (which was obviously ignored):

"2,4-D is a notorious herbicide that has been linked with adverse health effects to the thyroid and an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in human epidemiological studies. Studies of farmers who worked with 2,4-D found a link between exposure to this herbicide and suppressed immune function, lower sperm count, and a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Also worrisome is the fact that the manufacturer did not conduct any toxicity tests for simultaneous exposure to the combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate, which could pose a much higher human and environmental toxicity risk than either herbicide alone. EPA acknowledges that, "there could be additional toxicological effects (synergistic or additive) because of the presence of two herbicides.

Yet, the Agency disregarded these data gaps and both human and environmental toxicity concerns in its proposal to register the Enlist DuoTM herbicide.

USDA estimates at least a tripling of use of 2,4-D by 2020 compared to the present amounts used annually for agriculture in the United States. The increase in 2,4-D spraying on corn and soybean fields would lead to pollution of food and water and increased drift of 2,4-D from the fields into nearby residential areas and ecosystems, potentially contributing to the decline of pollinators like honeybees.

Finally, increased 2,4-D application is likely to accelerate and exacerbate the evolution of yet more 2,4-D resistant weeds. This pattern is known as the "pesticide treadmill" when farmers end up using larger amounts of increasingly toxic chemicals."

Read the full letter:

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