It’s official. EPA and USDA have both evaluated Dow Chemical’s new line of 2,4-D-resistant seeds, Enlist — and have approved both the seeds and the accompanying pesticide formulation for market.
This is a turning point, not just for grain production but for food production in the U.S. and internationally. The introduction of Enlist corn and soybeans, and the widespread adoption of this new seed line, will have pervasive impacts on farmer livelihoods, public health and control of our food system.
This is a decision that our regulators should not have taken lightly. And yet, it seems they did. Both USDA and EPA set up an intentionally narrow scope for evaluating the potential harms posed by 2,4-D resistant crops — one that ignored the biggest problems and held up irrelevant factors as evidence of safety.
FARFA joined with seventy consumer, farm and food groups, and businesses on a letter urging the Obama Administration not to restrict efforts to label genetically engineered foods in the ongoing and secret U.S.-EU trade talks.
Through negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) with the European Union, the U.S. Trade Representative seeks to establish common regulations covering consumer protections, and has targeted the European Union’s regulations of genetically engineered foods, which includes consumer labeling. U.S. and EU agribusiness firms have been open about their desire to eliminate GMO labeling laws under TAFTA—including the rising number of U.S. states moving to require GMO labeling.
But our fight to protect our food system must continue.
Last week, USDA announced final plans to give Dow the green light to begin marketing its controversial genetically engineered 2,4-D-resistant seeds. After 30 days, the USDA decision will become official. At the same time, the agency announced its preliminary decision to also approve Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant seeds.
Thank you to everyone who wrote and called their U.S. Congress men and women to oppose the new use of the toxic herbicide 2,4-D. Click here to see our previous alert.
On August 1, 2014, fifty Members of Congress led by Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01) wrote to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing “grave concerns” over Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo™ herbicide and new varieties of genetically engineered (GE) corn and soy the herbicide mixture would be used with.
What happens when the government approves new herbicide-resistant GMO crops?
The use of that herbicide skyrockets.
We’ve seen it happen with Roundup-resistant crops, and now we face a tidal wave of 2,4-D spraying. The impact would be inescapable. This toxic herbicide can volatilize and travel for miles, killing and stunting non-GMO crops with no way for the farmers to protect themselves.
In addition to destroying non-GMO crops, 2,4-D has also been linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems.
BY ERIC HERM
As an organic and non-GMO cotton farmer, I wake up each and every morning to an uneasy notion: We are surrounded and heavily outnumbered.
Roundup Ready cotton crops encircle most of our fields like a vengeful army anxious to pillage the last remaining indigenous village in the territory. But I’m not even close to running a white flag up our pole. I am a walking, talking, flesh and bone, breathing revolution. I’ll never give in to the relentless peer pressure to plant another single GMO (genetically-modified organism) seed in my life…intentionally.
Comments due by Monday, June 30!
What’s wrong with genetically engineered crops? There’s a long list of problems, from corporate control of our seed supply to unknown human health effects.
One of the key problems is that the vast majority of GMO crops are engineered to withstand repeated applications of toxic herbicides. That means more chemical usage with these crops, resulting in environmental damage and human health problems.
Do you want to be kept in the dark about your food?
The biotech companies and Big Food are trying to block your right to know if the food you’re eating contains genetically modified organisms (GMO).
With their anti-labeling allies such as Monsanto and Dow, the Grocery Manufacturers Association has convinced Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas to introduce a federal bill, HR 4432, which would:
- Prevent states from adopting their own GMO labeling laws.
- Block any attempt by states to make it illegal for food companies to put a “natural” label on products that contain GMO ingredients.
- Prevent the FDA from requiring companies to label GMO ingredients and instead continue a failed “voluntary” labeling policy.
Judith McGeary, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance: 254.697.2661; email@example.com
Paul Towers, Pesticide Action Network: 916.216.1082; firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Griffith, National Family Farm Coalition, 202.543.5675; email@example.com
Anna Ghosh, Food and Water Watch: 415.293.9905; firstname.lastname@example.org
Abigail Seiler, Center for Food Safety: 443.854.4368; email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Farmers Warn of Threats to Farm Economies Posed by Dow’s New Genetically Engineered Corn and Soybean Varieties
USDA Receives Nearly 400,000 Public Comments Opposing Approval of 2,4-D Resistant Crops
AUSTIN, Texas – March 11, 2014 – Today over 387,000 farmers, farmworkers, health professionals, and concerned individuals from across the country joined together in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reject Dow AgroSciences’ application seeking approval of controversial genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybean varieties that are resistant to the hazardous herbicide 2,4-D.
In addition, over 800 farmers from across the country petitioned Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to reject the pesticide-promoting seeds, warning that their introduction would directly harm their crops, farm businesses, livelihoods and health.…
March 11, 2014
Submitted online: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=APHIS-2013-0042-0050 (comment period closed, link no longer active)
Re: Docket No. APHIS-2013-0042
Dear Secretary Vilsack and USDA staff:
The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) is a nonprofit organization with members in every state and internationally. WAPF was founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. WAPF is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism.
The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a national nonprofit organization with members in 45 states that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. FARFA promotes common sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems.
WAPF and FARFA jointly submit the following comments on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Dow AgroSciences’ petition to deregulate 2,4-D Resistant Corn and Soybean Varieties.…