I just heard of a very concerning event. The USDA is on the verge of approving a genetically engineered corn which can withstand the powerful chemical 2,4-D. This is one of the defoliant chemical components of Agent Orange. Agent Orange has been linked to "birth defects, cancer, and other health problems." (web) There is an opportunity for you to give critical feedback to the USDA by Friday, April 27, 2012. I stand in opposition of this technology being released to the gene pool.
If this gene modification is approved, a host of chemical companies are working on follow up species. The first two already in work are soy and cotton. "Of the 20 genetically engineered crops awaiting government approval, 13 are intended to be resistant to one or more herbicides." (web) Just as we saw with the exponential use of Round Up, I fear these even more powerful chemicals will dramatically rise in use. This is not the way to confront the weed problem! Already there is a weed that has shown genetic resistance to 2,4-D.
The effect is many fold:
- Genetic modification to the plant which could stimulate allergic response just from tampering with the corn genes.
- Increase in the use of the chemical 2,4-D is virtually guaranteed. This will build up in the environment and could affect other vegetable crops.
- 2,4-D resistance substances made by the gene, and/or the broken down sub-components of the drenching of the plant in 2,4-D would be residuals on the corn. The inserted gene allows the plant to break down 2,4-D. Who is to say the sub parts are any better for our health? Corn is used in a lot of American food, and these substances WILL make it into the food supply.
- 2,4-D volatilizes, and could affect land miles away from the sprayed crop as noted here. (web)
I encourage you to act.
The USDA is open to your feedback for a limited time. You can submit your feedback here: