Deadline Midnight May 30: Tell the EPA: Use Your Power to Stop a New Onslaught of 2,4-D ‘Agent Orange’ Toxins!
Dow’s 2,4-D. It’s similar in composition to Agent Orange, the Vietnam-era herbicide responsible for severe illnesses in people directly exposed to it, and also in their offspring and future generations. It’s a known cause of cancer in farmers who routinely use it on their crops.
Now, 2,4-D is about to be unleashed in greater strengths, in amounts estimated at more than 50 times what farmers are currently using.
Deadline Midnight May 30, 2014: Tell the EPA, Don’t Approve More Cancer-Causing Agent Orange Herbicide!
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) signaled it will approve Dow’s new Enlist-brand corn and soy crops, genetically engineered to resist massive doses of 2,4-D. Even though the agency admits that if the new crops are approved, the annual use of 2,4-D would jump from 26 million pounds to 176 million pounds.
Independent scientists predict the increase would be even more dramatic.
But the USDA isn’t taking responsibility for paving the way for massive increases in the use of 2,4-D. Instead, the agency is passing the buck, claiming that it’s responsible only for approving the genetically engineered seeds, not the new formulation of 2,4-D herbicide that will be used on the crops.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ultimately responsible for approving a massive increase in the use of 2,4-D, say the folks at the USDA.
Dow’s 2,4-D toxicity is already so well-documented that in April 2012, the National Resources Defense Council pressed the EPA for a ban.
The “super weeds” spawned by Monsanto’s first-generation of herbicide-tolerant GMOs have already drastically increased the use of 2,4-D. In 2012, farmers used nearly four times as much 2-4, D as they did in 2005.
It's time for the EPA to step in and do its job to protect farmers, consumers and the environment from the excessive use of dangerous pesticides.
Deadline Midnight May 30: Tell the EPA, Don’t Approve More Cancer-Causing Agent Orange Herbicide!
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2,4-D is highly toxic. Some formulations are contaminated with dioxins. According to the World Health Organization, dioxins can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.
After investigative journalists ran a television documentary revealing dangerous levels of dioxin had been found in common brands of 2,4-D, the Australian government cancelled the registrations of some forms of 2,4-D and began reviewing the rest.
Even discounting dioxin contamination, 2,4-D ranks among the world’s most dangerous herbicides. The Natural Resources Defense Council has pressed for a ban. But the EPA is ignoring studies that show exposure to 2,4-D could cause cancer, hormone disruption, genetic mutations and neurotoxicity. Instead, EPA points to studies, financed by the 2,4-D manufacturers and conducted by Dow, that minimize health risks.
In Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, researchers have found higher rates of certain birth defects in areas with the highest use of 2,4-D.
Over the past 40 years, dozens of studies have been published linking 2,4-D and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
These studies on 2,4-D and its link to cancer, as well as reproductive and developmental damage, were recently compiled and analyzed by a team from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, which concluded that exposure to 2,4-D doubled the risk of NHL.
The American Cancer Society estimates that, this year, about 70,800 people will be diagnosed with NHL and 18,990 people will die from this cancer. Since the 1970s, NHL cases have doubled.
The more farmers use 2,4-D—or any herbicide or pesticide—the more these toxins end up on our food—and in our bodies.