EPA Approves New Herbicide Using Major Ingredient in Agent Orange October 15, 2014
The New Herbicide Mix Will Use the Chemical 2,4-D, an Ingredient in Agent Orange Which Has Been Independently Linked to a Host of Medical Problems – Consumers Will Have No Way of Knowing If Their Food Has Been Sprayed With These Chemicals Unless Genetically Engineered Food Is Labeled
Portland – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency approved a new controversial 2,4-D herbicide blend which will allow Dow Chemical’s Enlist corn and soybeans, which are genetically engineered to withstand repeated spraying of the herbicide 2,4-D, to go to market.
2,4-D, produced by Dow Chemical, was a component of “Agent Orange,” the toxic defoliant used in Vietnam. 2,4-D and other herbicides of its class have been independently associated with deadly immune system cancers, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption and reproductive problems.
Dow Chemical developed 2,4-D resistant crops as a solution to so-called “superweeds”: glyphosate (RoundUp)-resistant weeds generated by first-generation genetically engineered crops, which were engineered to tolerate higher doses of RoundUp. These first-generation crops triggered a massive increase in the use of the herbicide glyphosate, followed by an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant weeds.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) stated, “Today, EPA shunned its duties to protect the environment and safeguard public health by bowing to corporate interests instead of relying on science. For years, the scientific community has been sounding the alarm about the increased use of herbicides and the link to a multitude of health problems. It’s shocking that EPA thinks it’s a good idea to allow the widespread use of a toxic chemical once found in Agent Orange on this nation’s farm fields. EPA should be working to reverse the trend of chemicals that poison our food supply, water and soil. It will be just a matter of time before weeds develop a resistance to 2,4-D, and the chemical industry comes up with an even more dangerous and potent product.”
The USDA has predicted the approval of these crops and herbicides will lead to an unprecedented increase in agricultural use of 2,4-D herbicide by 2020, from 26 million to as much as 176 million lbs. per year.
“The EPA’s environmentally destructive action today highlights the need to pass Measure 92 to label these genetically engineered foods,” said Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesperson for Oregon Right to Know, the campaign supporting Measure 92. “The hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who care about the environment and want to live in a sustainable way have a right to know if the foods they are buying in the grocery store are engineered to encourage a huge increase in the use of a damaging herbicide that was used in Agent Orange.”