Dow Chemical Company is asking USDA to approve its new “2,4-D resistant” corn and soy seed, two in the pipeline of next generation herbicide-tolerant crops that pesticide/biotech corporations are planning to bring to market in the coming years.
Simply put, 2,4-D resistant crops are a very bad idea. They will drive a massive increase in pesticide use that threatens to destroy vulnerable crops, while placing the burden of both increased costs and health risks on farmers and rural communities.
The big winners will be the Big 6 corporations — Dow among them — that control the pesticide and seed economy. 2,4-D is a dangerous and antiquated herbicide that shouldn’t be on the market, and approving genetically modified seeds that will dramatically drive up its use just doesn't make sense.
Just as with Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready corn and soy lines, Dow’s new 2,4-D ready seed line will increase use of the herbicide. And this time, the fallout will be even worse. Here’s why:
Scientists say widespread planting of 2,4-D corn could trigger as much as a 25-fold increase in 2,4-D use on corn by the end of the decade.As the disaster of RoundUp resistant superweeds sweeps our farmland, Monsanto and Dow are launching a chemical arms race. Monsanto is now preparing to launch a new soybean engineered to resist yet another old harmful herbicide — the close cousin of 2,4-D, dicamba.
The dicamba-resistant seed — which Monsanto plans to market in 2014 if approved — will also come stacked with the company’s RoundUp Ready gene, and is designed to be used with Monsanto’s proprietary herbicide “premix” of dicamba and glyphosate.
More dicamba-tolerant crops (corn, cotton, canola) are all waiting in the wings. If this new generation of GE crops is approved, then dicamba use will surge, just as did RoundUp.
So industry’s response to the widespread harms of RoundUp Ready grains? More of the same.
To the Big 6, increasing pesticide sales is part of the business plan. But there's too much at stake for farmers and rural communities. We need to take a stand.