Reclaiming the future of food and farming

USDA signals approval of Dow's 2,4-D-resistant seeds

For Immediate Release: August 6, 2014
Contact: Paul Towers, 916-216-1082, ptowers@panna.org

Earlier today, USDA announced final plans to give Dow the greenlight to begin marketing its controversial 2,4-D-resistant seeds. After 30 days, the  USDA decision will become official. At the same time, the agency announced its preliminary decision to also approve Monsanto's dicamba-resistant seeds.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, PhD, senior scientist with Pesticide Action Network, released the following statement:

"We are outraged. Today USDA has turned its back on America’s farmers and rural communities. For over two years, farmers from Iowa to California have been urging USDA to reject Dow’s 2,4-D seeds. Because the seed is designed to be used with 2,4-D, a highly toxic and drift-prone herbicide, farmers risk losing their crops, their farm businesses and livelihoods, as well as their families’ health. The surge in 2,4-D use that even USDA acknowledges will accompany commercialization of Dow's seed is also expected to intensify the spread of 'superweeds' resistant to the chemical. 

Yet USDA's final EIS on Dow's 2,4-D-resistant crops states its unchanged intention to deregulate these crops, demonstrating the Agency's stunning indifference to farmers' concerns. More than half a million farmers, scientists, health professionals and concerned individuals have voiced their concerns regarding the risks that accompany Dow's pesticide-seed technology, but to no avail. 

Despite this public outcry, today's announcements show that USDA is much more interested in working with Dow and Monsanto and getting their products to market than in protecting the well-being of our farmers and rural communities."