Saturday, September 20, 2014

Senior Scientist and Oregon Author Speakout On USDA Approval Of Herbicide Cocktail

USDA Approves New Genetically Engineered Crop That Will Result in Massive Increase in Use of Toxic Herbicide that Was Major Ingredient in Agent Orange
2011 Dow Chemical Enlist ad: Cute kids play on a tree swing next to a field of tall healthy looking corn. Announcer: "You see the future of your operation. One that we are helping you protect."

The New Crops 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

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Dow Chemical’s controversial Enlist corn and soybeans, which are genetically engineered to withstand repeated spraying of a chemical cocktail that includes the herbicides 2,4-D and glyphosate (Roundup).

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.

In a live streamed Google Hangout session last week, Dr. Michael Hansen, Senior Scientist Consumer Union, discussed a 1991 study that discovered epidemiological evidence for an association between exposure to 2,4-D and non–Hodgkin's lymphoma. A panel of 13 scientists suggested further study.

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.

USDA admits that approval of 2,4-D-resistant corn and soybeans 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 USDA’s environmentally destructive action 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. The USDA’s rubber-stamping of these engineered crops makes labeling of genetically engineered foods even more necessary. Consumers deserve the ability to speak with their pocketbooks and avoid crops that cause serious environmental damage and pose health risks."

Dow Chemical expects Enlist to generate over 1 billion dollars.

In a phone interview, Carol van Strum, author of "A Bitter Fog", published in 1983, offered advice to individuals upset by the governments approval of Dow's Enlist:

"It is part of the same old stuff that has been going on for decades," the 74 year old Lincoln County Oregon writer stated. "People need to wake up and see how much their lives are controlled by companies that have no interest other than profit. These chemicals were called "Economic Poisons". What does that tell you? They are poisons that make money for the companies that make them. My advice is - believe nothing you are told about the safety of these things. Because none of it is true. None of it! Both 2, 4-D and glyphosate were approved by Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories. Magic pencil studies. Don't expect the government or the corporations to have the slightest concern for public health."

NOTE: Currently, "A Bitter Fog", is out of print. Used copies are available on Amazon for a penny. An e-book version with an updated chapter will be online by the end of the year.

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