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Organic Consumers Association

When Dow Pushes, Agencies Jump

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

"This pesticide is toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates. Do not apply directly to water... Drift or runoff may be hazardous....The use of this chemical...may result in groundwater contamination." Does this sound like a green chemical of the future, something that you'd want drifting over fields, rivers, streams, schools and homes? Not so much. But our Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may disagree.

EPA has been stumbling hard and making some bad decisions lately, including this latest announcement: the agency intends to approve Dow AgroScience's new formulation of the highly toxic herbicide, 2,4-D -- to be used with the corporation's genetically engineered (GE) 2,4-D resistant corn, cotton and soybean seeds.

EPA's announcement opens a 60-day comment period. This follows closely on the heels of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proclamation earlier this year that it plans to approve Dow's 2,4-D crops -- and quickly "clear" its pipeline of other GE seeds awaiting approval.

Agencies play hot potato

Sadly, we've come to expect the worst from USDA. After all, the agency has happily rubber-stamped its approval of over 100 GE seeds since 1992, never rejecting an industry petition once. But it's time for EPA to some gumption here and stand up for what's right. They've done it before, they can do it again!

As I've said before, USDA's impending approval of 2,4-D-resistant corn and soy is likely to have far-reaching and disastrous consequences for American farmers, businesses and rural communities' health. But only if EPA caves to USDA and industry pressure, and opens the regulatory spigot on Dow's new formulation of 2,4-D. This is why EPA's decision has become so critical. 


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