Here at Green America, we’ve been putting the finishing touches on our next issue of the Green American, which features a set of articles about the human health and environmental concerns around genetically modified organism (GMO) in our food supply. Among the numerous concerns we discuss in the article is Dow Chemical’s current application to plant a new type of GMO corn, one that is resistant to herbicide 2, 4-D, a major component of Dow and Monsanto’s infamous and highly toxic Agent Orange.
According to the Center For Food Safety,
Exposure to 2,4-D has been linked to major health problems that include cancer (especially non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), lowered sperm counts, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease. A growing body of evidence from laboratory studies show that 2,4-D causes endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, neurotoxicity and immunosuppression. Further, industry’s own tests show that 2,4-D is contaminated with dioxins, a group of highly toxic chemical compounds that bioaccumulate, so even a minute amount can accumulate as it goes up the food chain, causing dangerous levels of exposure. Dioxins in Agent Orange have been linked to many diseases, including birth defects in children of exposed parents; according to EPA, 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins in the U.S.
Currently, about 88% of corn grown in the US if genetically modified, virtually all of it being Monstano’s Round-Up Ready variety. Round-Up Ready corn is resistant to Monsanto’s Round-Up herbicide, meaning that farmers can spray the herbicide on their fields to kill weeds without fear of harming their crop of corn. However, despite early claims that GMO crops would reduce pesticide use, studies indicate that pesticide use has actually increased by millions of pound per acre.