As the EPA appears poised to OK new herbicide duo containing 2,4-D, watchdogs sound alarm.
Over half a million people including scientists, doctors and food safety advocates have urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency not to approve a new herbicide mix proposed by Dow because they say it would open the floodgates to a vast increase in toxic spraying that puts public health and the environmental at risk.
At question is Dow AgroSciences' Enlist Duo herbicide, a mix of 2,4-D and glyphosate—the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup—made to be used on 2,4-D ready corn and soybean crops. Dow states that its proprietary blend "will control and help prevent further development of herbicide-resistant weeds" on the genetically engineered crops.
Food safety, environmental and health watchdogs, however, say that it's an unsustainable and harmful approach to dealing with the problem of herbicide-resistant weeds, or "superweeds," that exist because of the systemic issues underlying the "genetically engineered crop strategy" that keeps farmers on a "pesticide treadmill."
"American agriculture stands at a crossroads," stated Bill Freese, science policy analyst at Center for Food Safety. "Approval of these crops and pesticides would set American agriculture down a dangerous path that will only exacerbate the problems farmers are already facing."
The groups and health professionals are sounding particular alarm over 2,4-D, which has been linked to numerous health problems including increased risks of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson's and immune system problems.