Saturday, January 14, 2012
DOW and Monsanto in deadly race on pesticide treadmill
DOW and Monsanto in deadly race on pesticide treadmill
You’ve all heard the news: farmers across the country are losing their fields to superweeds so formidable and fast-spreading that they break farm machinery and render millions of acres of farmland useless. These superweeds have evolved as a direct consequence of Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready pesticide-seed package. Now superbugs are emerging, resistant to Monsanto’s transgenic insecticidal crops. Ecologists predicted this ecological disaster 15 years ago.
The big question is, can we possibly learn from this ecological and agronomic disaster? The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Monsanto’s rival, Dow Chemical, apparently cannot.
From bad to worse
Instead of abandoning this losing strategy, Dow is trying to get us running faster on the same old broken pesticide treadmill. Dow and USDA are hoping to quietly approve a new genetically engineered corn seed that basically swaps RoundUp (glyphosate) out and an even worse weedkiller (2,4-D) in. Bad idea.
As with Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready lines, the herbicide with which these seeds are engineered to be used (2,4-D) will surge in use. Dow aims to get 2,4-D-resistant corn to market this year, soy next year and cotton in 2015. These three crops dominate U.S. agriculture, blanketing over 100 million acres of mono-cropped countryside and driving the pesticide market. Only this time, the fallout will be even worse. Here’s why:
2,4-D is a more toxic herbicide, both to humans and to plants. 2,4-D is a reproductive toxicant (associated with lower sperm counts) and its formulations have been linked to cancer (in particular non-Hodgkins lymphoma), disruption of the immune and endocrine (hormone) systems and birth defects. EPA has also expressed a “concern for developmental neurotoxicity resulting from exposure to 2,4-D.”
2,4-D does and will drift off of target crops – both through spray drift and volatilization. The latter enables chemicals to travel with moving air masses for miles. Neither applicator nor innocent bystander can prevent such movement. The spread of 2,4-D across our lands will damage non-target crops and vegetation, devastate adjacent ecosystems and poses a very real threat to rural economies and farmers growing non-2,4-D-resistant crops. Conventional farmers growing their product miles away will suffer severe crop losses, while organic farmers will lose both crops and certification, resulting in business failures, job losses and an economic unraveling of already-stressed rural communities.
2,4-D-resistant “superweeds” will arise and spread just as RoundUp-resistant “superweeds” have taken over farms and countryside in the Midwest and Southeast. Where will this leave struggling farmers? What even more deadly pesticide will the biotech companies resort to next?
Corn is wind-pollinated which means that genetic material from 2,4-D corn will contaminate non-GE corn. You cannot put a GE genie back in the bottle.
Will Dow provide compensation to farmers, their children and rural communities for the harms likely to occur should the company secure approval of its 2, 4-D resistant corn? I rather doubt it. Dow has still refused to assume responsibility for the deaths and devastation arising from the pesticide explosion in Bhopal, India in 1984, so why would the company show any integrity now?
It will take an active, engaged public to get USDA back on track and in the business of serving the public interest.
What about USDA? Can we expect our public agency to carefully scrutinize the likely fallout of approving 2,4-D resistant corn? One problem is that USDA does not really want to know what the public thinks.
More at the link
Say No To DOW Chemicals's GE Corn
Do you like Agent Orange with your Corn Flakes?
2-4 D is a component of Agent Orange which was sprayed as a defoliant during the Vietnam War. The effects of that war crime are still being experienced by generations of Vietnamese where there is also stll contamination from dioxin, the most lethal toxin known to man. And now this component 2-4 D is actually being looked at as a way to deal with the superweeds brought on by Glyphosate (Round Up.) Does it sound planned? You bet it does. More profit with no accountability.
An as always, the media is blacking out this information from the general public. Little do many of them know that tons of poisons are sprayed on their food daily and are in the seeds. Think of this logically... the insects this is stated to kill are not the only inhabitants of the world surrounding these monster plants. There are other animals and insects that can pick up this poison through eating the plants or the dead insects... there is the wind... the water... the soil and organisms that live in it... and in many places more extreme weather that will wash tons of these pesticides and seeds/transgenic pollution into our rivers and streams yearly.
However, all you will hear from DOW Chemical and Monsanto is that it is "safe." And how do they know that? Why, their OWN scientists conducted the "tests" and said so. This is a systemic problem that requires a drastic solution. A solution in which we the people are the catalyst for real change. Face it, they own the government of the U.S. They all march in lockstep in this dysfunctional system because they all profit from it. Dysfunction is a lucrative business as is deceit. We then need to stop supporting these companies. Become aware of their subsidiaries and their products and boycott them. Stop buying processed foods with high fructose corn syrup and other "oils." Advocate for community local agriculture. Advocate for labelling of GM goods. And most importantly, speak out.
DOW Chemicals is slated to be a sponsor of the 2012 Olympics in London. Bhopal survivors and many others including myself are standing up against DOW having any involvement in these games. I will be adding some information regarding this in subsequent postings here. This is a travesty and a violation of our food freedom and sovereignty as well as our environment/biodiversity. These companies will stop at nothing to continue making profits by doing this secretly while touting how "sustainable" they are. It is an evil lie and we cannot allow them to get away with it any longer. Too many Bhopals and Vietnams and now they aim to spread this poison in our food on a global basis which will affect generations to come. I say, not again.