Thursday, September 6, 2012

Genetically Engineered Soybeans: Let Your Voice Be Heard

I received the following action alert yesterday from the Center for Food Safety concerning genetically engineered soybeans and immediately signed the petition. Even if you don't sign (no guilt), read the below so you know what's going on below the radar.
"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 to the USDA to reject this risky new GE crop!

"Since the introduction of GE crops, herbicide use has increased by nearly 400 million pounds in the U.S. Why? 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. Volatilization happens when a pesticide is applied to a field and then hours or even days later, the pesticide vaporizes from the surface of plants or out of the soil, and that invisible vapor cloud moves offsite. Dicamba volatilization and drift 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.

"Tell the USDA to Reject Monsanto's Dicamba Tolerant Soybeans!

"Comments are due September 11th, so please take action today."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just yesterday I was speaking with a landscaper who mentioned that 2,4-D doesn't work well on thistles he has to deal with and figure out how to manage. He used to spray them once, now it takes at least twice and they don't die even then. In a landscape you can dig them out if you can get enough of the root, but in a farm field? Super weeds are almost here, if not here already.