(http://www.gmwatch.org)The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), released last Friday, essentially gives approval to the marketing, sale and planting of new varieties of corn and soybeans that have been genetically modified to be resistant to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), an ingredient of Agent Orange that has been associated with the following health effects:
•Aggressive or bizarre behavior
•Sometimes permanent neuromuscular effects including muscle twitching, weakness and loss of tendon reflexes
•Possible endocrine disruption
Additional concerns about 2,4-D include reproductive effects, birth defects, gene damage and carcinogenicity. It has also been observed to accumulate in plants exposed to it.
The agency’s EIS establishes that 2,4-D corn and soy do not need to be regulated under the Plant Pest Act, despite the fact that, over the past two years, farmers, over 400,000 other individuals and more than 150 farm, fishery, public health, consumer and environmental groups and private businesses have intensely opposed the introduction of these new, hazardous GMOs.
These new GM crops are Dow’s (Dow AgroSciences, subsidiary of Dow Chemicals) response to the growing superweeds problem, which was caused primarily by previously released GMOs such as “RoundUp-Ready” corn and soy.