Friday, June 22, 2012

"Agent Orange corn" and herbicide spark concern

There's a main ingredient in Agent Orange called 2,4-D, and it's one of the latest toxic chemicals being pushed as an herbicide by Dow Chemical, CREDO Action reports. As the U.S. Food & Drug Administration decides whether to approve genetically modified corn that will be resistant to the chemical, the Environmental Protection Agency is considering stepping forward to restrict use of 2,4-D.

Agent Orange was used by the U.S. military as a defoliant during the Vietnam War, and was responsible for the deaths or injuries of an estimated 400,000 Vietnamese people during that time. Now one of its major ingredients - 2,4-D - is marketed by Dow Chemical to be used on fields by farmers.

Perhaps just as worrying is Dow's marketing of special modified "2,4-D-resistant corn." Nicknamed "Agent Orange corn," the genetically modified corn was created by Dow AgroScience, a division of Dow Chemical. It is engineered to be impervious to 2,4-D, but environmental activists and critics are not convinced of its safety.


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