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The Touch, the Feel, of GE Cotton?

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

After headliners like genetically engineered (GE) Roundup-Ready corn and soybeans failed to deliver on claims of decreased pesticide use and environmental sustainability, instead leading to the rise of "superweeds," the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved more dangerous, 2,4-D-resistent versions  shortly after. Now after the predictable failure of Roundup-Ready cotton, USDA is set to approve dicamba-tolerant GE cotton, coming soon to a t-shirt near you.  Feeling a bit itchy now?

Join us in telling USDA the solution to "superweeds" is NOT more GE crops and increased herbicide use! Act by October 10, at midnight!

USDA's proposal to deregulate and allow into the environment yet another GE variety will inevitably lead to damaging effects on non-GE crops, native plant species, and environmental biodiversity. USDA acknowledges that the purpose of dicamba-tolerant cotton "is to provide growers with an additional in-crop weed management option to manage [glyphosate resistant] broadleaf weed species," but introducing crops resistant to other chemical technologies like dicamba may provide short-term relief from resistant weeds, but is not a long-term, sustainable solution to burgeoning weed resistance. This current proposal also includes dicamba-tolerant soybean, as well as a stacked tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate.

Contrary to industry proclamations, providing these GE "tools" to farmers only keeps them on a perpetual chemical treadmill that continues to propagate resistant weeds, endanger our environment, health, and agricultural economy.

There is plenty about dicamba to be concerned about:

Increased use of dicamba will induce dicamba-resistant weeds, similar to what is currently seen with Roundup. 
Dicamba vapor drift and subsequent crop injury to sensitive crops will be a frequent problem. Abnormal leaf growth and floral development, reduced yield, and reduced quality have all been observed from dicamba drift. 
Severe economic consequences for non-GE and organic farmers can occur due to increased dicamba drift and GE contamination. 
Dicamba has been detected in surface waters and is toxic to aquatic organisms. 
Contamination of groundwater is possible as a result of dicamba's high mobility in soils. 
Studies have found that preconception exposure to dicamba was associated with increased risk of birth defects in male offspring. Dicamba has also been associated with a decrease in the ability to conceive, and cell death in developing embryos. 
Dicamba has been observed to change sex hormone levels, indicating that it is an endocrine disruptor.

Beyond Pesticides believes that allowing new GE material into the environment against the backdrop of documented problems created by other herbicide-tolerant GE crops is taking U.S. agriculture in a wrong and hazardous direction. GE gene flow in the environment and increased herbicide dependency has been left unchecked for many years, resulting in an increasing population of resistant weeds and insects that are becoming more and more difficult and costly to control.