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Hawai'i CFS

Center for Food Safety Launches Campaign to Stop Dow Chemical's "Agent Orange" Crops

January 31, 2014
Center for Food Safety

Campaign to Focus the Food Movement on Critical New Threat:
The Next Generation GE Crops

Campaign includes new website, petition, and video

Center for Food Safety (CFS) today launched a new national campaign focusing the food movement’s growing power on stopping the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) approval of the next generation of genetically engineered (GE), pesticide-promoting crops: corn and soybeans engineered to be repeatedly doused in 2,4-D, a powerful herbicide that formed one half of Agent Orange. The campaign includes a petition to drive comments to the USDA opposing the approval of Dow Chemical’s new GE crops. The campaign features a petition to the USDA and President Obama, a website, and an animated video examining Dow Chemical’s sordid history.

“Dow Chemical has a long and troubling history selling dangerous chemicals and poisons, and now they are targeting our food supply,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of CFS. “Monsanto isn’t the only bad actor out there; companies like Dow Chemical have gotten a free pass—but no longer. We are launching this campaign to give people the chance to fight back, to speak with one voice and stop Dow Chemical’s ‘Agent Orange’ crops.”

2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), produced by Dow Chemical, was a component of “Agent Orange,” the toxic defoliant used in Vietnam. 2,4-D and other herbicides of its class have been independently associated with deadly immune system cancers, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems.

Dow Chemical is marketing 2,4-D resistant crops as a purported “solution” to weed resistance spurred by the adoption of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops and their partner herbicide glyphosate. However, even USDA acknowledges that the increased use of 2,4-D will lead to even greater resistance. Though Dow claims 2,4-D crops are the solution to weed resistance, a recent peer-reviewed study published in the prestigious journal Bioscience concludes that these new GE crops will instead pour oil on the fire.  The study, entitled “Navigating a Critical Juncture for Sustainable Weed Management,” suggests new GE crops will trigger a further epidemic of still more intractable weeds resistant to both glyphosate and 2,4-D.

“Dow Chemical’s crops are the worst possible application of biotechnology. They offer zero consumer benefit, while doubling down on the most devastating aspects of industrial agriculture,” said Kimbrell. “Instead of feeding the world, Dow Chemical’s new genetically engineered crops will poison it.”

USDA’s initial review of 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans ignored intense opposition from over over 450,000 individuals 48 medical and health professionals, and 144 farm, fishery, public health, consumer and environmental groups and private businesses who registered objections with the USDA.

As part of the campaign, Center for Food Safety plans further actions to raise awareness of Dow Chemical’s history and the foreseeable detrimental environmental, health, and economic impacts of “Agent Orange” crops.


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