Activists promoting environmental wellbeing turning to the government for support or for opposition is getting common and normal.
Prominent doctors, scientists and business leaders today urged Congress to pressure the Obama administration to reject an application to market “Enlist Duo (TM),” a new toxic herbicide mix of 2,4-D and glyphosate.
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing an application from Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., to sell Enlist Duo for use in agriculture. Enlist Duo would be used on millions of acres of farm fields in combination with a new type of herbicide-resistant, genetically engineered crops.
According to medical and scientific experts, environmental and human health will be jeopardized.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is weighing a separate application from Dow to market corn and soybean seeds that the company genetically engineered to tolerate the 2,4-D/glyphosate combination.
When you are exposed to herbicides, you will most likely develop a disease later on in life. This is especially true when you are pregnant or lactating. Chemicals can transfer to the fetus via the placenta or the milk
“Physicians are very concerned about exposure to the combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate because of the potential lifelong and irreversible effects on the health of vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women and farm workers,” said Dr. Thomasson, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Policy decisions should take into account the costs that can result from failure to act on the available data on toxic herbicides.”
Americans are already exposed to 2,4-D in herbicides applied to lawns, turf grass and other non-agricultural sites.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease as well as immune system, thyroid and reproductive problems have resulted from contact to the toxic defoliant.
Spraying these chemicals to hundreds of acres will increase possible pollution of surface soil and water, the crops these will yield and the water that runs underneath. It can even affect those people who are nearby.
This herbicide mix is being suggested due to the inefficacy of glyphosate. This substance has been abused for so long thus creating herbicide-resistant “superweeds”.
“The biotech industry is about to repeat the same mistakes that got us into this predicament,” said Doug Gurian Sherman, Ph.D, senior scientist with Center for Food Safety. “The public must demand policies and research that help farmers adopt proven, ecologically-based farming systems with minimal pesticide use that are productive, profitable and better for society.”
In June, 35 doctors, scientists and researchers, including Dr. Chensheng (Alex) Lu of Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. Raymond Richard Neutra, a retired division chief of the California Department of Public Health, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging her to deny Dow’s application.
Before the public comment period ended, EPA received half a million comments opposing the controversial proposal.
As with any other herbicide, the use of this will increase in number and amount in a short span of time overtime. The perils it poses are greater than the benefits it can generate.
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