Seriously?!?! This move will increase toxic pesticide use up to sevenfold, according to the government's own estimates.
Despite the objections of hundreds of thousands of Americans and more than 50 members of Congress, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted final approval to a new generation of genetically engineered (GE) crops on Wednesday.
According to the agency's own findings, the move could result in up to a sevenfold increase in the use of an older, more toxic herbicide known as 2,4-D, a compound used in Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The new GE crops, also known as GMOs, approved include Dow's Enlist Duo corn and soy. These crops were developing to survived sprayings of both glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller, and 2,4-D.
Ironically, the approval comes at a time when GMO crops are failing miserably. In just a few short years, weeds have been able to adapt and outsmart glyphosate, the herbicide sprayed on most GMO crops today. This "superweed" development has forced farmers to abandon millions of acres of farmland infested with extremely hard-to-kill weeds.
"The USDA's approval of these crops is proof that today's destructive, industrial agriculture model, based on a system of GMO mono-crops, is a failure," says Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica. "Farmers have been sold the lie that they can increase yields and prevent crop failure from weeds by buying Monsanto’s and Dow's GMO seeds and dousing them in toxic poisons, also manufactured and sold by Monsanto and Dow. But just as scientists predicted, these 'miracle' crops are evolving to resist the poisons thrown on them, causing the USDA and the EPA to approve increasingly toxic poisons to fight increasingly resistant weeds. Where does the escalation end?"