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Daily News Blog

Archive for the '2,4-D' Category


28
Feb

USDA Report Cites Concerns with GE Crops as the Agency Approves New Uses

(Beyond Pesticides, February 28, 2014) A report released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers the trends of genetically engineered (GE) crops over the past 15 years, since they were first introduced. Responding to increasing GE use, USDA also points to major concerns such as increasing herbicide resistance and higher levels of herbicide use as major potential threats to human health and the environment. The report comes as USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are poised to  approve  new forms of GE corn and soybeans designed to be resistant to 2,4-D products,  one of the active ingredients in Agent Orange and a known carcinogen. Released  by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) on February 20, the report not only details the trends in GE use but also the known and unknown threats that GE crops pose. The number of GE varieties approved by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) grew exponentially between 1984 and 2002, the report said. Today the majority of GE crops, corn and soy, are grown on the nation’s largest farms. In 2013, more than 169 million acres of GE crops were planted in the U.S., comprising half of all cropland. […]

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25
Feb

Health Risks Found from Exposure to Agent Orange Residues on Military Aircraft

(Beyond Pesticides, February 25, 2014) During the Vietnam War, over 10 million pounds of the toxic herbicide Agent Orange were applied from military aircraft to defoliate forests and destroy civilian crops. Outfitted with spraying equipment, UC-123 transport planes played a major role in the American military’s campaign to eliminate forest cover for Vietcong fighters. After the war, these aircraft were returned to use in the United States for basic transport operations such as cargo shipping and medical evacuation missions. However, these planes never underwent any form of decontamination or testing before being repurposed for use back in the states. Although the U.S. Air Force and Department of Veteran Affairs have asserted that “dried residues” on these aircraft were not likely to pose a health threat to aircraft crew – a justification used to deny sickened veterans medical support, a new study from the journal Environmental Research finds strong evidence of health risks from residual exposure. The study, Post-Vietnam military herbicide exposures in UC-123 Agent Orange spray aircraft, modeled flight crew’s potential exposure to dioxin, a contaminant in Agent Orange and a  highly potent carcinogen. Scientists based their models on monitoring tests that found dioxin contamination in the mid-1990’s and late […]

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28
Jan

State Bill to Overturn Local GE and Pesticide Limits Introduced in Hawaii

Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2014) In the latest attempt to suppress the voice of local communities and scuttle the implementation of laws to protect health and the environment, last week a bill was introduced in the Hawaii State House of Representatives that will preempt (block) local governments from restricting the use of hazardous pesticides and genetically engineered (GE) crops. Though House Bill 2506 is being promoted as the expansion of the state’s “Right-to-Farm Act,” the bill will prevent the implementation of new laws recently passed in Kauai and Hawaii County. Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser explained to The Garden Island, “Both of these bills take away 100 percent of the authority of the county to regulate agriculture, which includes pesticides. It is without question an attempt to nullify Ordinance 960 (formerly Bill 2491), as well as the ordinance passed on the Big Island.” Local communities in the Hawaiian Islands fought a number of hard-won battles last year against intrusions by agrichemical companies spraying pesticides and planting GE crops near where they work, live, and go to school. After massive outpourings of public support, numerous late-night council sessions, and overcoming a mayoral veto, Kauai County passed Bill 2491. Kauai’s Ordinance 960 requires […]

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13
Jan

With Legalization of Marijuana, Chemical-Intensive Production Practices Questioned

(Beyond Pesticides, January 13, 2013) As medical and recreational production of marijuana in the U.S. increases, new and complicated questions have risen over how to limit consumers’ exposure to pesticides through marijuana consumption. Many growers are facing limited institutional knowledge and economic forces that could lead to the unnecessary use of pesticides. States are also still wrestling with the adequate  regulation of production and testing practices. Exposure to pesticides from marijuana consumption may also be more harmful than exposure through food consumption when consumed through inhalation. As marijuana consumption becomes more widely legalized, many are calling for  stronger safety standards for marijuana production. Alan Schreiber, Ph.D., President of the Agriculture Development Group, believes that the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington will lead to immense demand for pest prevention research. Currently, growers of marijuana lack institutional assistance from federal agencies or state agricultural extension services, which have limited understanding of marijuana production. There is a concern that the lack of  field research and increased demand may lead to heavy pesticide use. In Washington, the state will allow the equivalent of 46 acres to be grown for recreational use, a factor that Dr.. Schreiber says will drive most […]

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06
Jan

Environmentalists, Farmers Challenge USDA’s Call for the Deregulation of Crops with Genetically Engineered Tolerance to the Highly Toxic Herbicide 2,4-D

(Beyond Pesticides, January 6, 2014) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Friday released for public input its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which calls for the deregulation of genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybeans engineered to be tolerant to the toxic herbicide 2,4-D. These new varieties of GE corn and soybean, created partly due to proliferate weed resistance resulting from the widespread use of glyphosate (Roundup) on other GE crops, is set to usher in dramatic increases in 2,4-D use with associated health and environmental hazards, according to environmental scientists. The GE crops are being produced by Dow AgroSciences under the brand name “Enlist.” According to Nichelle Harriott, senior scientist at the national environmental group Beyond Pesticides, “The engineered varieties will not only spawn new weed resistant strains, but contaminate the environment and increase the public health risks to cancer and Parkinson’s disease, especially in farmworkers and farming communities exposed to 2,4-D.” The failure of GE-glyphosate (Roundup) tolerant crops to live up to their promises is a main contributing factor behind the development of stacked varieties such as “Enlist,” which combines resistance to 2,4-D and glyphosate. So widespread is glyphosate resistance that EPA has granted emergency use exemptions for pesticides […]

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23
Dec

Fed To Require Strengthened State Protection from Nonpoint Pesticide Pollution

Beyond Pesticides, December 23, 2013) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  in a  Federal Register notice  has found that the state of Oregon’s program to reduce nonpoint coastal pollution is inadequate. Both federal agencies state that Oregon’s program does not adequately protect streams that provide habitat for Coho Salmon, an endangered species, and drinking water from herbicides that are aerially sprayed by lumber companies. This notice comes just after a recent report was released by Beyond Toxics on the health and environmental problems caused by aerial herbicide application on timber forests near Triangle Lake. EPA and NOAA’s proposed disapproval action of Oregon’s Coastal Nonpoint Program finds that the state has failed to adequately protect certain waterways within the state. Under the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA) of 1990, states are required to submit an approvable Costal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program to NOAA and EPA. In 1998, federal agencies approved the Oregon Nonpoint Program with conditions that the state meet certain water pollution issues. This proposed disapproval action is part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Northwest Environmental Advocates in 2009, which charged Oregon has failed to meet the conditions […]

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23
Oct

Pesticide Spraying Stopped after Concerned Parents Mobilize

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2013) Ball State University, Indiana has cancelled plans to spray herbicides on the lawns around its K-12 school after objections from parents worried that it would expose their children to toxic chemicals. The university planned to use Trimec 992, a 2,4-D product, but a petition started by parents helped to put a stop to the weedkiller. The spraying was scheduled for last week, the start of the fall break at Burris Laboratory School, a separate K-12 school district overseen by Ball State University. School Principal Cathlene Darragh sent an email to Burris parents last Friday  explaining that  the school decided against the spraying. “We have received a great deal of feedback from parents and the community about possible weed and pest control for the school lawn that was scheduled for this weekend. We have worked with the facilities department to further evaluate the need to spray. Upon further consideration, we have decided to forgo the scheduled spraying.” Parents mobilized after it became known that the school planned to spray Trimec 992, a 2,4-D product on school grounds. 2,4-D, a widely used herbicide in many ‘weed and feed’ lawn care products, is associated with many human and […]

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30
Aug

World Bank Loan Supports Plantation Practices Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, August 30, 2013) Months after Central American health ministries issued a  joint declaration citing kidney disease as a top public health priority, the World Bank just approved a new loan to expand sugar cane plantations in Nicaragua. The Bank’s loan represents renewed support for an industry whose workers have been devastated by the disease, which has increasingly been linked to pesticide exposure and exacerbated by heat stress. Kidney disease afflicts agricultural workers in sugar cane fields, killing thousands each year in Central America as well as in Sri Lanka and India. Scientists have yet to definitively uncover the cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD), although emerging research points to toxic heavy metals contained in pesticides as one of the primary culprits. CKD is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function and is often lethal for poor agricultural workers. As the kidneys begin to fail, wastes can build in the blood causing complications such as high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Several published studies demonstrate that exposure to certain  organochlorine pesticide products and their heavy metal contaminants used on sugar cane plantations are causally linked to CKD. The recent joint […]

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28
May

Oregon Health Authority Finds Forestry Pesticides in Residents in Long Delayed Report

(Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2013) A recent report by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) found that residents that live in the Highway 36 corridor of Western Oregon were exposed to toxic pesticides in the spring and fall of 2011. OHA collected urine and environmental samples in August and September of 2011 and found levels of 2,4-D and atrazine in residents’ urine. 2,4-D and atrazine have been detected in residents’ urine previously after they had sent samples to be analyzed by Emory University in 2011. Residents continue to argue that herbicides being aerially sprayed on private forests are drifting on their land and causing dangerous levels of exposure. Even though this report by OHA has been delayed several times, it still contains serious data gaps. According to the report, “The urine samples tested had levels of 2,4-D higher than the general U.S. population.” Though the report found that urine samples also had detectable levels of atrazine, there are no national reference values for atrazine available for the general population, so the study could not conclude that the levels of atrazine exposure were higher than the national average. The report also found other pesticide residues in the environmental samples besides 2,4-D and […]

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14
May

Environmental Impact Statement Delays New Monsanto and Dow 2,4-D Resistant Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, May 14, 2013) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined that environmental impact statements (EIS) are required for Dow and Monsanto’s   new genetically engineered (GE),  2,4-D resistant crops.  According to Reuters, Dow had anticipated that their new crop would be on market by year’s end. Monsanto released a statement calling the move “unexpected.” USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is requiring the reviews in response to overwhelming concern expressed by farmers, consumers, and public health officials during the comment period for these new herbicide-resistant crops. Dow’s new GE corn, dubbed “Enlist,” tolerates repeated applications of both glyphosate and the powerful herbicide 2,4-D, while Monsanto’s GE cotton and soybean (produced in partnership with their “competitor,” agrichemical giant BASF)  is resistant to the herbicide dicamba. Both companies champion their crops as solutions to the widespread occurrence of weeds resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, even though the ultimate cause for this resistance can be traced to overuse of the chemical on “Roundup-Ready” crops. A 2011 study in the journal Weed Science found at least 21 different species of weeds to be resistant to applications of Monsanto’s Roundup. Even without the presence of […]

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08
Apr

GE Industry Practice of “Stacking” Insecticides Called into Question by Researchers

 (Beyond Pesticides, April 8, 2013)  Given the rise of targeted plant and animal pests that are resistant to the tactics of the biotechnology industry, companies that produce genetically engineered (GE) crops have begun producing plants with “stacked” traits. For herbicide resistant crops, this means adding traits that incorporate crop resistance to increasingly dangerous and toxic chemicals, such as 2,4-D, a major component in the Vietnam-era herbicide Agent Orange. For crops engineered to produce their own natural insecticide, namely the toxin Bacillus thuringiensis, this means adding new formulations of the bacterium. Although this practice is widely considered acceptable and effective by the biotechnology industry, a new study from the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, published in the journal PNAS, casts doubt on this assumption. Most scientists assume that two-toxin plants will be more durable than one-toxin plants. The extent of the advantage of the pyramid strategy, however, rests on assumptions that are not always met, the study reports. “The pyramid strategy has been touted mostly on the basis of simulation models,” said Yves Carrière, PhD, lead author of the study. “We tested the underlying assumptions of the models in lab experiments with a major pest of corn […]

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06
Dec

Pesticide Exposure Linked to Rising Food Allergies in U.S

(Beyond Pesticides, December 6, 2012) A study published in the December issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology finds that exposure to dichlorophenols may be associated food allergies. Dichlorophenols are used as an intermediary in the manufacturing of some of the most commonly used pesticides, such as 2,4-D, and are also used to chlorinate drinking water. This study may help explain in part why food allergies are on the rise in the U.S. and already affect 15 million Americans. Lead researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow and her associates analyzed the urine of 10,348 Americans who were participants in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2005-2006. Of the over 10,000 surveyed, 2,548 had detectable amounts of dichlorophenols in their urine, and 2,211 of those participants were included in the study. Out of these 2,211 people, 1,427 were found to have some form of either food or environmental allergy. Participants with higher levels of dichlorophenols are more likely to have allergies then those with low levels present in their urine. Researchers in this study argue that by consuming high levels of dichlorophenols individuals are altering the composition of bacteria in their stomachs. By over consuming dichlorophenols individuals are […]

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19
Oct

Delaware Students Outraged at Negligent Pesticide Policies

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2012) School is a place where children need a healthy body and a clear head in order to learn. Despite a successful trend toward nonchemical strategies, pesticides remain prevalent and are widely used today in universities, schools, and daycare facilities. Kelsey Crain, an undergraduate student at University of Delaware, first became aware of the issue when, “I noticed there was this weird rash on my legs which wasn’t there before I was on The Green.” Kayla Iuliano, Crain’s friend and reporter at the student-run University of Delaware Review, probed the University about why there was no notification, and in return was given standard bureaucratic prose: “University Spokesman John Brennan stated in an email message that workers are not required to post signs when areas are sprayed because the chemicals are not harmful when used properly, and personnel are trained in how to apply them,” she wrote in the University of Delaware Review. “He said the sprays are commonly used commercial products and are registered for use with the Environmental Protection Agency. ”˜They are recognized in the industry as safe when applied as directed’.” The pesticide widely applied to the Green is called “PowerZone,” which is composed […]

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03
Oct

Increased Pesticide Use and Resistant Weeds -The Troubling Legacy of GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, October 3, 2012) A study published this week by Washington State University’s research professor Charles Benbrook, PhD, finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops -cotton, soybeans and corn- has actually increased, contrary to industry claims that the technology would reduce pesticide applications. While Dr. Benbrook’s analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-tolerant crops on pesticide use, scientists have been raising the alarm over the mounting numbers of herbicide resistant weeds. This herbicide resistance finding, which contradicts chemical industry claims, is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. In the study, “Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. — the first sixteen years,” which appears in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe, Dr. Benbrook writes that the emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds is strongly correlated with the upward trajectory in herbicide use. Marketed as Roundup and other trade names, glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. Approximately 95 percent of soybean and cotton acres, and over 85 percent of corn, are planted to […]

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17
Sep

Pesticides Show Up in Oregon Resident’s Urine After Aerial Spraying of Forests

(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2012) Citizens in rural Oregon are concerned for their health after discovering that several major timber companies —Weyerhaeuser, Roseburg Resources, Stimson Lumber, Seneca Jones and others— have been spraying millions of pounds of herbicides on their private forestland since the 1970s. The pesticides were aerially sprayed after the area had been clear-cut of Douglas fir. This process of clear-cutting and aerial spraying for lumber production is ubiquitous on private forest land in Oregon’s $13 billion timber industry. In practice, pesticides are sprayed twice a year, usually in the fall and spring, and the spraying can last for several hours. It is unclear how many residents have been affected by the spraying, though a rough estimate based on U.S. Census data shows about 100,000 residents live near these privately owned forests. Many of these herbicides are turning up in very concerning places. Over the past year, forty one residents, including several children, have submitted their urine to be tested for pesticides, and every sample has tested positive for the chemicals 2,4-D, and atrazine. The presence of atrazine is particularly concerning because it is very mobile in the environment, and should be able to pass through the body […]

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10
Sep

Drinking Water in Several Oregon Schools Found To Be Contaminated with Multiple Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2012) Traces of pesticides in drinking water were found in eleven rural elementary schools in Oregon, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study released on August 30. The study shows a disturbing variety of pesticides that when combined could have dramatic impacts on the health of the children that consume this water on a daily basis. The study found traces of several different types of pesticides in the drinking water of Dixie and Fairplay, the elementary schools that service Corvallis, Oregon. Some of the pesticides that were found in the Dixie school water include atrazine, bromacil, diuron, imidacloprid, metolachlor, norflurazon, and simazine. In the nine other schools that were found to have pesticides in their drinking water, seven different pesticides were found in the water at Applegate Elementary in Eugene, and multiple pesticides were also found in the drinking water of Ontario’s Pioneer and Cairo elementary. Children face unique hazards from pesticide exposure. They take in more pesticides relative to their body weight than adults in the food they eat and air they breathe. Their developing organ systems often make them more sensitive to toxic exposure. The body of evidence in scientific literature shows […]

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27
Aug

Research Shows Weeds Growing Resistant to 2,4-D

(Beyond Pesticides, August 27, 2012) A report published recently in the journal Weed Science has found that a population of the common weed waterhemp in Nebraska is resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D. The news comes as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers approving several new crops that have been genetically engineered (GE) for resistance to the herbicide. The report presents the latest in a long line of evidence that crops engineered for herbicide resistance are only pushing the problems of weed management further down the road. Researchers from the University of Nebraska found that half of the waterhemp samples they collected from a Nebraska field, after having been treated regularly for 10 years with 2,4-D,were no longer susceptible to applications of the herbicide. The experiments performed are described by Reuters: “After 10 years of treatment with 2,4-D, waterhemp was no longer effectively controlled in a Nebraska native-grass seed production field, the report said. The highest doses of 2,4-D that were used in an on-site field study were insufficient to control 50 percent of the waterhemp population. Researchers gathered waterhemp seeds from this field and performed greenhouse testing against a susceptible waterhemp variety. Twenty-eight days after treatment with the herbicide, […]

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15
Aug

U.S. to Clean Up Sites in Vietnam Contaminated with Agent Orange

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2012) After decades of denying Vietnamese requests for assistance in a cleanup, the United States launched its first major effort to address environmental contamination brought on by its use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War, this according to the New York Times. Agent Orange is a toxic herbicide which contains dioxin —a known carcinogen- used by the U.S. military to defoliate Vietnamese forests, which left a legacy of cancer, birth defects, and environmental contamination, with an estimated 3 million Vietnamese people exposed.

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16
Jul

USDA Requesting Public Comment on New Wave of GE Crop Releases

(Beyond Pesticides, July 16, 2012) The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced that it will soon create a docket to receive public comment on twelve petitions for new genetically engineered (GE) plants. Nine of the petitions, which include a soybean variety engineered to tolerate 2,4-D and two other pesticides and the first ever genetically engineered apple, are being processed under USDA’s streamlined review procedures. USDA’s review of the three other petitions, including a separate soybean variety tolerant to 2,4-D and glufosinate, began under the previous procedures and those crops, having reached a further clearance stage, are approaching commercial release. Information on each of the twelve genetically engineered crops is available on the APHIS website and the agency stated that the public comment dockets will be opened in the very near future. The introduction of crops tolerant of 2,4-D represents a dramatic escalation of the damage to human health and the environment caused by genetically engineered crops. 2,4-D is a highly toxic herbicide which has been linked to cancer, reproductive effects, endocrine disruption, and kidney and liver damage in humans. Scientific studies have confirmed significantly elevated rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for farmers who […]

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15
May

Pesticide Companies Seek Canadian Approval of Herbicide-Tolerant GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2012) Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto have filed paperwork for Canadian approval of corn and soybeans genetically engineered (GE) to withstand heavy applications of potent herbicides, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The chemical companies are seeking Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency assessments for the introduction of four varieties of GE corn and soybeans engineered to tolerate the highly toxic herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba. In the U.S., the federal Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in the process of reviewing Dow’s application for its 2,4-D-tolerant corn, as well. Beyond Pesticides and others recently submitted comments to USDA challenging this approval. Dow’s GE corn is modified to be tolerant to 2,4-D, which is contaminated with dioxin and linked to cancer, birth defects, and more. The company is introducing the new GE corn variety because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup, the previous chemical of choice for herbicide-tolerant plants. However, solving herbicide resistance with a new, more toxic chemical is like using gasoline to put out a fire. It will cause even more damage to health and the environment, and in a few years, the pesticide industry will be marketing their next “solution” to the growing resistance problem. Dow states […]

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24
Apr

Take Action – Tell USDA to Deny Dow’s 2,4-D Tolerant GMO Corn

(Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2012) Dow Chemical has asked USDA for approval of genetically engineered (GE) corn, modified to be tolerant to the highly toxic 2,4-D herbicide, which is contaminated with dioxin and linked to cancer, birth defects and more. We know from experience that herbicide-tolerant crops are a bad idea. They increase toxic pesticide use, contaminate organic and non-GE farms, and contribute to herbicide-resistance. In fact, Dow introduced a new GE corn variety because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup, the previous chemical of choice for herbicide-tolerant plants. However, solving herbicide resistance with a new, more toxic chemical is like using gasoline to put out a fire. It will cause even more damage to health and the environment, and in a few years, the pesticide industry will be marketing their next “solution” to the growing resistance problem. Read Beyond Pesticides full comments to USDA for Dow’s petition to approve 2-4,D-resistant GE corn. Tell USDA to stop this toxic experiment and deny Dow’s petition for 2,4-D tolerant corn. Sign your organization or business onto Beyond Pesticides’ comments or submit comments directly to the USDA docket. The deadline to sign on is Friday, April 27 at noon. Background: In a radio […]

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23
Apr

Farm Groups Petition USDA to Assess Environmental Impacts of New GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, April 23, 2012) A diverse coalition of farm groups has petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct a comprehensive environmental impact statement on the cumulative effects of a new generation of genetically engineered (GE) crops modified to tolerate the herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba. The Save Our Crops Coalition filed the petition in advance of an anticipated spike in applications of the two herbicides in 2013 with the commercial release of a new generation of “stacked” corn and soybean varieties, which will also be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate. In the petition, the coalition stated that 2,4-D and dicamba have been proven to be especially prone to volatilization and drift and that even extremely low residue levels can cause catastrophic damage to non-target crops as far as ten miles from the point of application. The petition raises specific concerns about the increased 2, 4-D and dicamba usage due to the timing of the herbicide applications. The new blended 2,4-D or dicamba and glyphosate herbicides will be sprayed repeatedly during the growing season after weeds emerge and begin to compete with crops. Spraying herbicides, which are known to volatilize and drift during periods when specialty crops are at […]

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12
Apr

EPA Dismisses Petition to Ban 2,4-D

(Beyond Pesticides, April 12, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Monday that it has rejected a petition to ban the widely used herbicide 2,4-D, dismissing epidemiologic studies that link the pesticide to cancer, endocrine disruption, and other human health effects. In its announcement, EPA also responded to comments that Beyond Pesticides submitted in 2009, dismissing two studies that evaluate the relationship between the use of the chemical on lawns and the incidence of malignant lymphoma in pets. The petition was initially filed in 2008 by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). 2,4-D has been used in the U.S. since the 1940s, and as such is one of the oldest registered herbicides in the country. It made up roughly half of the herbicide known as Agent Orange, which was used to defoliate forests and croplands in the Vietnam War. According to EPA, 2,4-D is currently found in approximately 600 products registered for agricultural, residential, industrial, and aquatic uses. The use of 2,4-D is expected to increase significantly in the next few years with the recent announcement that Dow AgroSciences, the main manufacturer of the chemical, is seeking federal approval to sell corn seeds that have been genetically engineered to […]

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