U.S. on the Edge of Massive Increase in Toxic Herbicide Use



Dear Friends and Colleagues 

U.S. on the Edge of Massive Increase in Toxic Herbicide Use 

The first generation of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HR) crops in the U.S., known as Roundup Ready (RR) and created by Monsanto, has resulted in the emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds in the United States over the past decade.  

New GE crops resistant to more toxic herbicides including 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), a major component of the infamous Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam War, are awaiting approval for release. If approved, Americans can expect to be exposed to even more massive amounts of toxic herbicides through air, water, soil and food systems. 

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) has released a review of this second-generation of GE HR crops entitled: Going Backwards: Dow’s 2,4-D-Resistant Crops and a More Toxic Future Exposure to 2,4-D. It cites evidence of the risk of serious harm by 2,4-D to human health and the environment. 

Health concerns include: cancer (especially non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), lowered sperm counts, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease; and adverse effects on the hormonal, reproductive, neurological and immune systems.  

The onslaught of 2,4-D is expected to “cause tremendous collateral damage to neighboring organic and conventional crops and wild flora because 2,4-D is already the number one culprit in plant-killing herbicide drift episodes”.  Widespread use of the herbicide will eventually give rise to more herbicide-resistant weeds which will likely be met by new GE HR crops and greater use of toxic chemicals “leading to a never-ending and ultimately futile chemical arms race with weeds… disengagement from HR crops is the only sensible strategy. 

The CFS calls Dow’s 2,4-D-resistant crops as “the epitome of this unsustainable approach (towards agriculture), which sacrifices human and ecosystem health as well as rural communities for cheap food and short-term profits” and puts forward organic agriculture as the non-toxic and sustainable path to follow.   

The PDF of the CFS paper is available at: www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/agent_orange_corn_fact-sheet.pdf. 


With best wishes 

Third World Network

131 Jalan Macalister

10400 Penang


Email: twnet@po.jaring.my

Website: https://biosafety-info.net/ and http://www.twn.my/

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U.S. on the Edge of Massive Increase in Toxic Herbicide Use

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