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Headline:Debate Fumes Over ‘Agent Orange Corn’ as Dow

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Trinityz1   Monday, 06/18/12 10:47:24 PM
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Debate Fumes Over ‘Agent Orange Corn’ as Dow Awaits Federal Approval
of the Genetically Engineered Seed

Critics of a new genetically modified corn created by Dow AgroScience,
a division of The Dow Chemical Company, are voicing fears that the
crop could pose serious threats to human health and the environment,
reported CBSNews.com.

The corn called “Enlist,” though widely known as “Agent Orange Corn,”
awaits federal approval. It was genetically engineered to be resistant
to the chemical 2,4-D, an ingredient being carpet-bombed over American
crops to kill “super weeds,” which have become resistant to
traditional herbicides. The powerful chemical is linked to the
infamous “Agent Orange” sprayed by the U.S. military during the
Vietnam War. The pesticide was originally created to destroy crops and
forests that concealed enemy troops and supply lines. But the chemical
concoction was even more powerful than its intention, killing or
maiming roughly 400,000 people and causing birth defects in
approximately 500,000 children, estimates the Vietnam government,
reported The Globe and Mail.

And despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s rejection in April
of environmentalists’ petition to pull 2,4-D from the market, and
Dow’s insistence that the herbicide is safe to use, the International
Agency for Research on Cancer has classified 2,4-D as a class 2B
carcinogen—considered possibly carcinogenic to humans. In May, the
group Vietnam Veterans of America wrote President Barack Obama,
imploring the United States Food & Drug Administration (USDA) to
examine how increased use of 2,4-D might harm people’s health.

Health advocates’ concerns are rising that greater amounts of 2,4-D
could be used due to Dow’s recent invention, leading to even more use
of toxic chemicals. Until now, 2,4-D could only be doused on crops
very early or late in the growing season. Otherwise, it kills the
crops along with the weeds. But Enlist allows the herbicide to be
sprayed year-round.

“Many studies show that 2,4-D exposure is associated with various
forms of cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, nerve damage, hormone disruption
and birth defects,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food &
Water Watch, in a statement. “USDA must take these significant risks
seriously and reject approval of this crop.” .... (cont)


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