Wednesday, April 11, 2012
EPA Paves Way for "Agent Orange" GM Corn
By Common Dreams Staff
10 April 12
The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a petition to ban the sale of the 2,4-D pesticide, a major ingredient in the Vietnam-era defoliant 'Agent Orange'. Despite its current widespread availability, use of 2,4-D could skyrocket soon because its main manufacturer, Dow Chemical, is hoping to receive approval to sell genetically modified corn seeds that are resistant to 2,4-D.
"Dow's 'Agent Orange' corn will trigger a large increase in 2,4-D use - and our exposure to this toxic herbicide - yet USDA has not assessed how much, nor analyzed the serious harm to human health, the environment or neighboring farms," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. The decision from the EPA came in response to a lawsuit from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in January of this year, who filed the suit after the EPA refused to respond to a petition the environmental group first submitted in 2008.
"This dangerous pesticide is lurking all over the place - from ball fields and golf courses, to front lawns and farms - exposing an enormous amount of the American public to cancer and other serious health risks," NRDC senior scientist Dr. Gina Solomon said, during the announcement of the move in January. "There's no reason to continue allowing a toxic Agent Orange-ingredient in the places our children play, our families live and our farmers work. EPA must step up and finally put a stop to it."
The EPA's decision on Monday, however, rejected the idea that 2,4-D was a health or "safety" threat, and even pointed to a Dow Chemical conducted study to support their decision.
The Center for Food Safety, who worked alongside NRDC to push the ban, expressed deep concern for the increased use of 2,4-D if Dow's new corn seeds are approved. "Dow's 'Agent Orange' corn will trigger a large increase in 2,4-D use - and our exposure to this toxic herbicide - yet USDA has not assessed how much, nor analyzed the serious harm to human health, the environment or neighboring farms," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. "This novel corn will foster resistant weeds that require more toxic pesticides to kill, followed by more resistance and more pesticides - a chemical arms race in which the only winners are pesticide/biotechnology firms."
READ MORE: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/10893-epa-paves-way-for-qagent-orangeq-gm-corn