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Carcinogenic Dioxin Set Free: EPA Kneels to Monsanto and Big Agriculture

January 30th, 2012
Updated 11/06/2012 at 12:51 pm
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By: Cassandra Anderson

GMOfield1 210x131 Carcinogenic Dioxin Set Free: EPA Kneels to Monsanto and Big AgricultureDioxin is the most toxic man-made chemical known regarding damage to health and the environment.  The EPA has withheld a study about dioxin for decades in order to protect large industries that produce dioxin while manufacturing herbicides and pesticides, plastics, chlorine, bleach, and other chemicals.  In addition, industrialized agriculture (Big Ag) has pressured the EPA to withhold the report because dioxin becomes concentrated in animal products like meat, eggs and dairy.

The non-cancer portion of the EPA report is due out by the end of January 2012, with the cancer portion to follow at some unspecified date.

Dioxin is an umbrella term for a class of super toxic chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, liver disease, immune system damage and many other health problems.  There is no safe ‘threshold’ dose as our bodies have zero defense against dioxin, according to health consultant Jonathan Campbell.

Dioxin has a half life of over 100 years in the environment when it is below the surface or dumped in waterways.

Prior Dioxin Contamination

Monsanto and Dow Chemical were the largest producers of 2,4,5-T herbicide that created dioxin as a byproduct and was used as an agricultural herbicide before the 1950′s.  Monsanto, Dow Chemical and other makers of dioxin-contaminated herbicide 2,4,5-T produced 50 MILLION pounds of these chemicals per year for agricultural uses in the US!  Since 1947, more than 300 million pounds of dioxin laden 2,4,5-T was sprayed on more than 400 MILLION acres of US land, mostly on farms and agricultural property.

The 2,4,5-T dioxin-containing herbicide was later combined with 2,4-D to create Agent Orange for chemical warfare against Viet Nam.

Both Monsanto and Dow Chemical were aware, since the 1950′s, that German company Boeringer was able to produce herbicide 2,4,5-T without any detectable dioxin by slow cooking the chemical for about 12 hours.  But Monsanto and Dow ignored this information and cooked their 2,4,5-T batches in 45 minutes or less, thus contaminating the product with dioxin — presumably for higher profits.

Monsanto and Dow Chemical were also aware that dioxin caused health problems. Monsanto and Dow Chemical would go bankrupt if they were actually held accountable for their crimes against humanity and the environment. The herbicide 2,4,5-T was phased out in the late 1970′s.

Current Sources of Dioxin Emissions

While dioxin may be produced naturally by forest fires and volcanoes, man-made dioxin emissions are the primary source of contamination.  Dioxin has risen dramatically due to an increase in manufacturing of chlorinated organic chemicals (weed killers) and plastics.  Here is a list of some of the top sources of dioxin emissions:

  •  Plastics made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This includes products ranging from shampoo bottles to wall paper to plumbing pipes.
  • Incinerating trash (municipal city burning and individual household backyard burning).
  • Herbicides (weed killers) and pesticides that contain chlorine.
  • Paper bleaching — most paper products are contaminated.
  • Medical waste mass-burn incinerators.

After reading this list, it becomes apparent that many industries, especially chlorine manufacturers, herbicide makers, plastic producers and paper mills would be severely affected if dioxin were properly regulated or eliminated.  Industrialized farming (Big Ag) also has a big stake in the EPA’s upcoming report because the largest source of human absorption of dioxin is through consuming animal products like meat, dairy and eggs.

View a chart of the top 30 dioxin polluters in the US.

EPA Drags Its Feet in Reporting on Dioxin Hazards

The EPA has delayed its Exposure and Human Health Reassessment of TCDD (dioxin) report for decades due to pressure from Big Industry.  For example, President Bush delayed the report in a “last-minute gift” to the chemical industry just before leaving office.  Another example is when the EPA and the Chlorine Institute (later the Chlorine Chemistry Council of the American Chemistry Council) were chummy co-sponsors of a conference on dioxin in 1990, indicating that the industry may have undue influence over the EPA.

The EPA has a history of shielding Monsanto from accountability.  In the town of Nitro, West Virginia, the Big Monsanto plant produced dioxin-contaminated 2,4,5-T herbicide from 1948 to 1969 and they burned the waste in open pit fires.  The EPA has conducted study after study but has failed to force remediation that could cost Monsanto as much as $4 billion.

How To Avoid Dioxin

•  A vegan diet is recommended, especially for nursing mothers.  Beef and pork contain the highest concentrations of dioxin.  Freshwater fish is unsafe.

•  Use only oxygen bleach products instead of chlorine bleach

•  Use unbleached paper products

•  Avoid herbicides (weed killers) and pesticides that contain chlorine

Read the rest of health consultant Jonathan Campbell’s suggestions to avoid dioxin.


It is obvious that collusion between our taxpayer-funded government and Big Industry has resulted in the death and disease of untold numbers of Americans.  The criminals of Big Industry will not stop producing dioxin-laced products until they are held accountable.

Hemp can replace many plastics: it is natural, biodegradable, uses little water and no herbicides or pesticides are necessary.  Ron Paul is an outspoken critic of the failed war on drugs that prevents the use of industrial hemp.  Industrial hemp should not be classified as a drug.

Additional Sources:


Agent Orange Products Liability Litigation (page 43)


From around the web:

  • Hattie M. Swartz

    Dioxin levels are very alarming back in the 1960's through agriculture farms. Even water filters need to be changed once in contact with those toxins.

  • Matt

    On the top 30 list for D&DLCs, about half of those facilites produced less than 10 GRAMS of D&DLCs in all of 2010…most of which is present throughout tens of thousands of TONS of landfilled industrial waste at a much diluted concentration (parts-per-trillion). Think about that. The EPA should perhaps go after Westlake Vinyls Inc. for producing over 14 kg of D&DLC per year…depending on the nature of the emissions and on the possible improvements/alternatives to their process…that's about it imo.

  • Matt

    Cara, you are wrong because no one uses dioxins for anything. It is not intentionally produced in any chemical process or for any product. D&DLCs are chemical byproducts of combustion reactions and chemical processes using chlorine at high temperature. Dioxins are very dangerous to humans, but these types of articles often exaggerate the significance of the problem because dioxins are produced as byproducts in waste typically in ppt (parts-per-trillion) concentrations. These alarmist articles have people thinking that polluters are creating tons of D&DLC, when the reality is that they produce a few kg per YEAR at most…at ppt concentrations in landfilled industrial waste. Take a look at that top 30 list if you don't believe me. All of the D&DLC polluters on that list combined (except for the #1 polluter)created less than 2 kilograms of dioxin & dioxin-like compounds in the entire year of 2010. On top of that…"dioxin" usually refers to 2,3,7,8 – Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin which is by FAR the most toxic of D&DLC's. The D&DLC data on the top 30 list is a combined total of ALL dioxins & dioxin-like compounds….not just 2,3,7,8-TCDD, which is typically much less abundant in industrial waste compared to other compounds in the dioxin family which are not nearly as toxic as 2,3,7,8-TCDD. Those are a few of the reasons why this article is alarmist…but I encourage anyone reading this comment to research for themselves and read about toxic equivalency quotients (how D&DLC "risk" is typically calculated), etc.

    • Karen Call

      Matt: how is what any of what you're saying relevant to the fact that Dioxins have a half life of over 100 years, Dioxin 2,4,5-T has been listed as the most toxic chemical known to man by multiple EPA experts, and this was sprayed in the 1950's? Your point is completely moot.

  • heartbone

    "Industrial hemp should not be classified as a drug."

    Neither should marijuana (cannabis), since it can not scientifically be shown to have toxic effects on humans in normal use.

    Toxicity is a defining characteristic of all drugs.

  • billyjack

    The original study of dioxin proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was the most toxic chemical ever created by mankind to kill guinea pigs. It had no effect on rats,mice or humans.

    • heartbone

      In 1975 at the University of Missouri I did research in the effects of dioxin,.

      billyjack, shame on you for that lie.

  • john

    Lets see. which is worse…hemp or dioxin….. hmmmm.

  • Banderman

    Me; Vietnam combat veteran exposed to heavy spraying of Agent Orange in Dien Ban District, (just south east of Da Nang) South Vietnam; 1968-69. Dioxin the most dangerous chemical on the planet? Yeah, right, that must be why the U.S. government pukes continue to disavow any science or knowledge of this fact. My daughter suffered breast cancer at the ripe old age of 21. We are being gamed and tricked by the very same people that put us and our families in harms way.

  • David Llewellyn Fost

    Thanks to Cassandra for this excellent article, ease of human uptake of these toxic substances is profoundly alarming, governments must either act with unequivocal integrity or be complicit and held accountable – I recommend the work of both Arlene Blum & John Myers
    Dr. John Peterson Myers, CEO of Environmental Health Sciences and co-author of Our Stolen Future, talks about environmental chemicals and public health.

  • marj

    Used to work with a woman whose husband was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. She became pregnant and gave birth to a little girl with no thumbs on her hands.


    Dumber than dirt is NOT the word…I think they are just plain inbred! Maybe we should have mandatory spay/neuter laws for people and animals. No wonder birds are falling out of the sky…sheez!

  • caradelsol

    Dioxin is also used to bleach the synthetic fibers that are used to make feminine hygiene products, diapers, and absorbent medical pads and gauzes. Think about that one for a little while. If women of menstruating age spend approximately 1/4 of their time with a dioxin-contaminated bundle pressed against the largest mucous membrane in their bodies, is it any wonder that ovarian and uterine cancers are on the rise? If babies spend two years of their lives with dioxin-riddled pads strapped over their genitals, is it any wonder that neurological dysregulation disorders (ADD/ADHD, autism, etc.) are on the rise, not to mention childhood asthma, allergies and cancers?

    Tell someone you love about this so that healthier choices can be made!

  • Geoffrey Franklin of

    Since the American sheeple are dumber than the dioxin filled dirt it will only get worse.

    • be nourished by natu

      I am with you on that Geoffrey!