Action Alert: Tell USDA to Say No to Agent Orange Corn

Dow Chemical is seeking USDA approval for a genetically modified (GM) version of corn that is resistant to 2,4-D, a major component of the highly toxic Agent Orange. Agent Orange was the chemical defoliant used by the U.S. military in Vietnam, and it caused many serious medical conditions in both American veterans of the war and the Vietnamese.

Exposure to 2,4-D has been linked to major health problems that include cancer (especially non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), lowered sperm counts, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease. A growing body of evidence from laboratory studies show that 2,4-D causes endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, neurotoxicity and immunosuppression.

USDA approval of Dow’s GM corn will trigger a large increase in the use of 2,4-D, which means increased exposure for everyone through environmental contamination. In addition, farmers and backyard gardeners face threats to both to their health and to their livelihoods. 2,4-D has been known to drift and volatilize, causing damage to plants several miles away from the point of application. Farmers and gardeners could suffer devastating losses to crops like tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans, peas, squash, pumpkins, melons, grapes and other fruits.

USDA has failed to address the increase in exposure to 2,4-D that will result from approving Dow Chemical’s GM corn. Instead, USDA has once again bowed to the Biotech industry, by giving preliminary approval to still another pesticide-promoting crop that will likely harm farmers, consumers, and the environment.

Please join us in telling USDA to do its job and reject 2,4-D Resistant GM corn!



Submit your comments online by Friday, April 27, 2012.

1. First, write your comments in a word document or other file and save the file on your computer. The government’s online comments system sometimes has glitches and this will save you from writing your comments twice! Sample comments are provided below.

2. Go to!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2010-0103-0001

3. Click on the “Submit a comment” box in the upper right side of your screen.

4. Fill in the fields under “1. Enter Information.” Required fields are marked with a *

5. If your comments are short, you can copy and paste them into the field marked “2. Type Comment.” Otherwise, skip that field and go to Section 3.

6. Under “3. Upload Files(s) (Optional),” select “Choose File.” Then select your saved comment document, and click open.

7. Last, under “4. Submit Comment,” click “Submit.”


Sample Letter

Subject: Docket No. APHIS-2010-0103

I am a _______ (farmer, consumer, concerned parent ….. write a sentence or two to personalize your comments)

I am writing to urge you not to approve Dow’s genetically modified corn designed to survive the toxic herbicide 2,4-D. As you know, it was a major component of Agent Orange, the chemical defoliant used by the U.S. military in Vietnam.

The scientific community has sounded alarms about the dangers of 2,4-D for decades. Numerous studies link 2,4-D exposure to cancer, lowered sperm counts, liver toxicity and Parkinson’s disease. Laboratory studies show that 2,4-D causes endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, neurotoxicity, and immunosuppression.

Commercial approval of Dow’s corn will trigger a large increase in 2,4-D use, yet USDA has failed to conduct a meaningful review of the resulting harm to the crops of nearby farmers, to native ecosystems, or from the evolution of weeds resistant to 2,4-D.

Approval of this patented GM crop will enrich Dow Chemical at the expense of farmers, consumers, and our environment. I urge USDA to deny approval of 2,4-D resistant GM corn.