GroundTruth Blog

2,4-D corn: Another bad creation

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by Marcia Ishii-Eiteman

Farmer applying pesticides - superweedsSpring has sprung, and farmers across the country are preparing for planting season. One of their biggest headaches will be dealing with the millions of acres of cropland that have been infested with superweeds and new generations of superbugs.

These superpests have evolved as the direct — and inevitable — consequence of Monsanto’s aggressive promotion of its genetically engineered “RoundUp-Ready” and insecticidal seed packages over the past 15 years. 

I’d like to be able to say that help is on the horizon, and that USDA is preparing to launch a full-scale effort to enable farmers to transition off the failing pesticide-GE treadmill once and for all — onto cleaner, greener methods of farming more suited to the 21st century. But alas, the reverse is true.

Weed scientists call this chemical arms race a losing battle with evolution.

At this moment, USDA is on the verge of approving Dow Chemical's new 2,4-D resistant corn, the first in a pipeline of “next generation” herbicide-tolerant crops that the Big 6 pesticide/biotech companies — including Dow, Monsanto and BASF — are planning to bring to market over the next couple of years. This is industry’s response: more of the same. Except that the next generation is even worse: crops designed to be used with higher volumes of older and deadlier weedkillers.

Weed scientists are calling this chemical arms race a losing battle with evolution. And farmers too are up in arms; already 2,000 outraged farmers and food companies have joined the burgeoning new Save Our Crops Coalition to protest these unwanted products.

Growth engine of the pesticide industry

Simply put, 2,4-D resistant corn is a bad idea. It will drive a massive increase in pesticide use, placing the burden of increased costs and health risks on farmers and local communities. The big winners will be the pesticide/biotech companies. They stand to benefit from the sustained increase in herbicide sales that will coincide with the widespread adoption of these new herbicide-tolerant GE crops.

Imagine if we could have stopped Roundup Ready in its tracks 15 years ago. American agriculture now stands at another, equally important crossroads. Do we speed up the GE-powered pesticide treadmill, or do we transition off of it?

Take Action » We have just one more week to tell USDA that we want off the GE-pesticide treadmill. The dangerous and antiquated herbicide 2,4-D shouldn’t be on the market, and we certainly should not be giving Dow license to profit from driving up its use by introducing 2,4-D resistant corn.

This blog was originally posted on Rodale Voices.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's blog

is PAN's Senior Scientist and Director of the Grassroots Science Program. Follow @MarciaIshii

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DrRexDexter wrote:

After the debacle Glyphosate has created, (and folks, it's far from over...those weeds have adapted the chelation effect to give themselves an evolutionary edge. They can suck nutrients (and there's not lot's left there to begin with) right out of the soil. These weeds are growing super-large super-fast, some inches a day. And even after ten years plus of NO Glyphosate, we have test fields that look like they're "Dust Bowl" precursors, EVEN where there's SUFFICIENT WATER.

Now, these same tools want us to assume they've fixed everything, and if we'll only use their 2, 4-D traited seeds and sprays we'll be back riding the "No-Till Gravy Train"-right?

(Klaxon Sound) Guess again.

Take a couple moments to look up pictures of what Agent Orange (2,4-D is the Dioxin Base for that little lovely...)can do to humans, and imagine it doing it's work, albeit a bit more slowly, but doing it none-the-less on your insides.

Nice-right?

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Marcia Ishii-Eiteman wrote:

Thanks for writing, Rex.

Indeed, we've now got over 14 million acres of US farmland infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds. Back when Monsanto first introduced their Roundup Ready line, they claimed resistance would not be a problem. 22 species of resistant weeds later, we've seen the folly of that claim. Now Monsanto and Dow are claiming that resistance won't be a problem with the new generation of herbicide-tolerant crops, but resistance to 2,4-D has already been documented! And with a 30-fold projected increase in 2,4-D use on corn expected by the end of the decade, we know exactly where this path will lead us.

The good news is that people across the U.S. are mobilizing like never before. Tomorrow PANNA and partner groups will be submitting some 365,000 citizen signatures on our petition, as well as a letter to USDA signed by over 40 doctors and medical/public health professionals expressing deep opposition to 2,4-D corn. And farmers are coming out to say no as well (the 2,000 strong Save Our Crops Coalition). So maybe we can finally begin to turn the tide on the direction of our agriculture.

Great to have people like you following and engaged on this issue!

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bnrand wrote:

Now Monsanto and Dow are claiming that resistance won't be a problem with the new generation of herbicide-tolerant crops, but resistance to 2,4-D has already been documented! And with a 30-fold projected increase in 2,4-D use on corn expected by the end of the decade, we know exactly where this path will lead us.
http://www.sideplanetwebsolutions.com

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