Stop Monsanto's Dicamba Tolerant Soybeans!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently considering approval of Monsanto’s new genetically engineered (GE), dicamba-tolerant soybeans. If approved, millions more pounds of this hazardous chemical will be sprayed, polluting our food, water, and air. This is just the latest effort in the corporate chemical arms race, and it will cause serious harm to human health and the environment.
Sign the Petition below to the USDA urging the agency to reject this risky crop!
I am writing to strongly oppose Monsanto's petition for non-regulated status for its dicamba- and glyphosate-tolerant soybean.
Since the introduction of GE crops, the US has seen herbicide use increase by nearly 400 million pounds. Eighty-four percent of the GE crops planted today are designed to withstand massive applications of herbicides without dying. As more of these “herbicide resistant” (HR) crops have been planted, the massive increase in herbicide use has triggered an epidemic of resistant “superweeds.” Now, in a misguided effort to fix the weed resistance problem created by first generation HR crops, biotechnology companies are racing to genetically engineer new crops resistant to ever more toxic herbicides.
Dicamba is an older, more toxic herbicide, which is similar in structure and mode to 2,4-D, a major component of Agent Orange. It is highly soluble in water and very mobile so carries a large groundwater contamination risk. Dicamba is also very volatile and can drift for miles. Such volatilization has caused millions of dollars in damages to growers who have suffered crop losses due to herbicide drift onto their farms.
Penn State ecologist David Mortensen predicts that herbicide use on soy could increase 70% if the new 2,4-D and dicamba-tolerant soybeans are adopted. Inevitably new "superweeds" will develop in response to the new biotech crops, and the chemical arms race with weeds will continue. This means more pesticidal pollution, environmental damage, higher production costs, and of course, increasing profits for firms like Monsanto that sell both GE seed and pesticides.
At a time when farmers, citizens, and government have worked hard to limit our use of, and exposure to, hazardous pesticides like dicamba, approving this crop would take us backwards, seriously endangering human health and the environment.
I urge you to reject this risky crop.