The EPA approved your worst nightmare last week: a new super duper weedkiller called Enlist Duo intended to combat the "super weeds" Monsanto's herbicides created. Basically, our crops are drowning in stronger and stronger poison because we accidentally beefed up the weeds. Whoops.
The whole thing between weeds and herbicides is like the plot of Dr. Seuss's The Butter Battle Book, where each side has to come up with a yet-more destructive force to contain the other. The original RoundUp (chemical name, glyphosate) slayed the natural weeds just fine. For awhile. Then the strongest that survived bred "super weeds" and thus RoundUp became less effective. Now, Dow Agri-Sciences made the Enlist Duo herbicide (which is basically RoundUp on crack) to obliterate all life surrounding GMO corn. This is known as the pesticide treadmill and it sounds so healthy, right?
On the contrary, a component of Enlist Duo unassumingly called 2,4-D, is highly toxic to human health. In fact, the US Forest Service suggested in 2006 that the use of 2,4-D should be limited due to the harm it causes people and animals:
"[W]orkers involved in the application of 2,4-D and members of the general public who consume vegetation contaminated with 2,4-D could be exposed to 2,4-D levels greater than those which are generally regarded as acceptable. Similarly, adverse effects in the normal use of 2,4-D salts or esters could occur in groups of nontarget organisms including terrestrial and aquatic plants, mammals, and possibly birds. [...] The ester formulations of 2,4-D are much more toxic to aquatic animals and adverse effects are plausible in sensitive species and sometimes in relatively tolerant species.
The results of this risk assessment suggest that consideration should be given to alternate herbicides and that the use of 2,4-D should be limited to situations where other herbicides are ineffective or to situations in which the risks posed by 2,4-D can be mitigated."
Agribusiness shills like Jon Entine like to paint GMO activists as hysterical and stupid, but if the Forest Preserve recommends not to use this chemical due to its harm to health, is it really so "insane" that people like us are concerned about clean food and water, too? We don't want to eat that crap.
There are steps being taken to monitor the risk of Enlist Duo, such as the EPA only approving it in six states, recommending a 30-foot buffer zone around the crop spray area and assessing the effectiveness of the herbicide over time to (supposedly) ensure the super weeds don't develop resistance and breed the super-dooper-loco-la-cabeza-HULK-SMASH-ANGRY weeds of the dystopian future.
Then again, should we trust the EPA to keep us safe at all? Look at the mess we're already in. Weedkiller is in our breast milk. It's mutating our frogs and causing non-hodgkins lymphoma and birth defects. Is an even more powerful chemical what we really need, or do we need smarter agriculture?
Either the EPA just doesn't care about our health whatsoever (not to mention the environment) or they are sincerely at the mercy of the agri-lobby. Whatever the reason, Enlist Duo needs to be pulled immediately.
The Natural Resources Defense Council has already filed a petition against the EPA. That's right, the EPA is being sued by citizens again. Maybe look out for us a little better? Thx.
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Filed under: Poison in the well!