• Dicamba GM Crops: Food Safety Experts Slam USDA

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    The Department of Agriculture said Friday it will extend its scrutiny of controversial proposed biotech crops developed by Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical, and Monsanto Co. after receiving an onslaught of opposition to the companies' plans.The news frustrated Dow officials who had hoped to have secured regulatory approval and have their new herbicide-tolerant corn called “Enlist” on the market by 2013 or 2014 at the latest. But 2015 is now likely the best hope for commercialization, said Dow AgroSciences spokeswoman Kenda Resler Friend. Farmers need the new technology to better manage weeds, she said.”They (regulators) have had a long time to look at the information,” said Friend. “This is something that farmers are going to lose from.”

    Center for Food Safety criticized the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton.

    The EIS paves the way for introduction of new crops genetically engineered to survive spraying with the herbicide dicamba. If approved, the anticipated widespread adoption of these GE crops would lead to an over 10-fold increase in dicamba use in American agriculture, from under 4 million lbs. at present to more than 40 million lbs. per year. Commercialization is also contingent on EPA approval of dicamba formulations for use on the new crops, which is presently under consideration.

    “Monsanto’s genetically-engineered dicamba-resistant crops are yet another example of how pesticide firms are taking agriculture back to the dark days of heavy, indiscriminate use of hazardous pesticides, seriously endangering human health and the environment,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “Should both agencies approve …

    USDA and EPA are in the process of rubber-stamping these into our farming communities (and unlabeled onto our dinner plates) this fall, yet pro-GMO media consistently fail to discuss their imminent approval even as the lower-toxicity profile of Glyphosate is touted. Such reporting gives a pass to the chemical pesticide industry that pours millions into lobbying government and media elites and defeating voter ballot initiatives to require labeling of GMO foods.

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