For those who still believe Congress and Obama are listening to the people who put them in office instead of the biotech companies paying them off, think again. Prominent doctors, scientists, and business leaders are urging our politicians to reject the latest toxic atrocity, Enlist DuoTM – the herbicide mix of 2,4-D and glyphosate, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now reviewing.
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 the EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging her to deny Dow’s application.
The latest herbicide combination is meant to take the place of failing glyphosate-dominant products such asMonsanto’s best-selling herbicide, RoundUp, that left farmers wondering exactly why their crops are now producing unmanageable superweeds.
The EPA is reviewing Enlist Duo, made by Dow AgroScience, despite the over 500,000 comments posted on the open forum that the EPA closed last month. If the EPA refuses to listen to the public, and now numerous experts on the use of this toxic herbicide, then millions of acres of farm fields will be contaminated.
The EPA is simultaneously weighing in on an application from Dow to market corn and soybean seeds that were genetically engineered to accompany the use of their latest product, Enlist Duo. This should come as no surprise, since most seed manufacturers are now also the biggest sellers of agro-chemicals. Even religious groups are now warning people of the results of the racket that agriculture has become:
“Farming has become capital intensive with higher levels of input in the form of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, energy and water. This shift from sustenance to commercial farming has resulted in mono-cropping, land degradation, water depletion, harmful chemicals getting into the food chain, nutritional imbalance and the consequent effect on family’s health and excessive production and resulting low prices for agricultural commodities. As farming becomes unsustainable, small and marginal farmers leave villages and migrate to urban centers in search of means of livelihood and end up as “garbage heap” of big cities.”
In a briefing held this month, experts told Congress that giving this herbicide a rubber stamp of approval would put human beings and the environment at tremendous risk. Click here to listen to a full audio recording of the briefing.
What the Doctors Have to Say
Speaking to Congress on the world’s behalf to oppose Dow’s latest chemical atrocity were Dr. Philip Landrigan of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. Catherine Thomasson of Physicians for Social Responsibility, John P. Wargo, Ph.D. of Yale University, Doug Gurian-Sherman, Ph.D. of Center for Food Safety, and Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm and the advocacy group Just Label It.
Dr. Landrigan, dean for global health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said:
“Exposures to herbicides in early life can lead to disease in childhood or disease later on in adult life or even old age. . .Herbicide chemicals can also cross from mother to child during pregnancy and prenatal exposures that occur during the nine months of pregnancy are especially dangerous.”
Dr. Thomasson, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, remarked:
“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. Policy decisions should take into account the costs that can result from failure to act on the available data on toxic herbicides.”
As if the abundant glyphosate exposure Americans have already been subjected to weren’t enough, the new proposed 2,4-D chemicals would also be used on lawns, golf courses, and other non-agricultural sites. John P. Wargo, Ph.D., professor of environmental health and politics at Yale University warned:
“2,4-D already is permitted by [the] EPA to remain as residues on over 300 different forms of food. Spraying millions of additional acres with these chemicals will increase their contamination of soils, surface and groundwater and foods bearing their residues. If applied by aircraft, sprays will drift to adjacent lands, potentially endangering those who reside, go to school or work nearby.”
Though biotech has been concocting chemicals since before the war in Vietnam, utilizing Agent Orange as an herbicide which contaminated thousands of acres and harmed innumerable people, scientists still haven’t learned to observe the long-term ramifications of their actions. So what if you can develop a new herbicide – the real question should be – why?
We have already been exposed to hundreds of millions of pounds of their nefarious creations, and the toxic stuff bio-accumulates in the body. Though worms were able to eliminate some pesticides in tests, other animals were not so lucky. Many studies have already proven Monsanto’s deception surrounding glyphosate and birth defects. Dow’s chemicals would be no better.
Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farm and Just Label It said:
“The toxic herbicide mix is being proposed because glyphosate alone is no longer working, since its overuse has led to the development of herbicide-resistant ‘superweeds’. This ‘chemical treadmill’ benefits the GE patent holders at the expense of farmers, human health and the environment.”
Doug Gurian Sherman, Ph.D, senior scientist with Center for Food Safety reminds us of the ridiculous cycle of death which the EPA is about to O.K.:
“The biotech industry is about to repeat the same mistakes that got us into this predicament,” said “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.”
Senior policy analyst, Mary Ellen Kustin of the Environmental Working Group believes that if the USDA approves Dow’s Enlist Duo chemicals, 2,4-D contamination of our land and water would increase by three-to-seven fold by 2020. The EPA, in their never-ending intelligence, believes there are no real risks surrounding Enlist Duo or any other herbicide now in use.