Monday, July 7, 2014

Scientists write: EPA, ban ‘agent orange’ herbicide mix and GMO crops!

Thirty-five distinguished scientists urge the US-EPA not to register new mixtures of the herbicides 2,4-D and glyphosate, intended for use on herbicide-tolerant GMO crops. Approval of the herbicide mixtures would endanger both human and environmental health.
Administrator Gina McCarthy
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20460

RE: Dow AgroSciences application to amend their 2,4-D choline salt herbicide for use on 2,4-D tolerant corn and soybeans. Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0195
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
We the undersigned scientists, medical professionals, and researchers are writing to urge the US Environmental Protection Agency not to register a double herbicide mix of 2,4-D and glyphosate (the ‘Enlist DuoTM’ weed killer) for farm field spraying in combination with a new breed of genetically engineered corn and soybeans.
This 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and glyphosate herbicide system developed by Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, would put public health at risk if sprayed on millions of acres of cropland.
Dow Chemical Company promotes 2,4-D-resistant corn and soybeans to be used in conjunction with Enlist DuoTM because the widespread planting of the glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready corn and soybeans has resulted in accelerated herbicide resistance in numerous weed species. [1]
Now, instead of re-evaluating the genetically engineered crop strategy in the United States, the US Department of Agriculture and EPA are close to approving the 2,4-D-resistant corn and soybeans despite the risks that the increased use of 2,4-D would pose to human health and the environment.
A host of adverse consequences
2,4-D is a notorious herbicide that has been linked with adverse health effects to the thyroid [2] and an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma [3] in human epidemiological studies.
Although studies of pesticide exposure among farmers and their families are confounded by exposure to multiple pesticides, there is a large and compelling body of data that demonstrates the link between occupational exposure to herbicides and insecticides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. [4]
Studies of farmers who worked with 2,4-D found a link between exposure to this herbicide and suppressed immune function, [5] lower sperm count, [6] and a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease. [7]
These findings from human studies, whether small-scale, pilot studies or large cohort studies, point out significant risks from 2,4-D to human health even for the relatively healthy adults who work in agricultural jobs.
Such risks would be much higher for young children, especially young children in residential communities, schools, and daycare centers near the 2,4-D-sprayed fields.

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