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USDA Greenlights Dow’S 2,4-D Seeds

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

Last Friday, USDA welcomed in the new year by presenting Dow AgroSciences with a bountiful gift: a virtual green light for the pesticide company's new genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybean seeds. These crops are designed specifically to be used with Dow's infamous herbicide, 2,4-D.

Dow has been waiting two years for the go-ahead from USDA to start marketing its 2,4-D-resistant corn and soy. And it now appears the corporation will get what it wants, despite strong opposition from farmers, healthcare professionals and concerned communities across the country.

Agricultural scientists warn that introduction of 2,4-D resistant crops is a very bad idea, and could lead to as much as a 25-fold surge in 2,4-D use across the country over the next six years. This would result in severe damage to vulnerable crops, loss of farm businesses and harm to rural communities' health.

Still, prospects for agency support have always looked promising to companies like Dow and Monsanto, and USDA approved a whopping nine new GE seeds in 2013 alone. But to date, nearly half a million Americans - including outraged farmers, sustainable agriculture, local food and environmental advocates, concerned doctors and public health professionals - have voiced their strong concern about the possible approval of 2,4-D seeds.

Surprised perhaps by the vehement public opposition, USDA acknowledged last year that these 2,4-D crops could in fact cause "significant environmental harm," and agreed to prepare a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). But in the draft EIS released last week, USDA simply shrugged away all of the public's concerns and announced its intention to approve both of Dow's 2,4-D resistant crops.     

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