Despite widespread opposition from food safety, environmental and watchdog groups, as well as health professionals
and concerned consumers, the USDA has paved the way for the commercial
use of genetically engineered crops dubbed "Agent Orange" corn and
In its Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) released Friday, the agency said that its "preferred" option for
Dow AgroSciences' "Enlist" corn and soybean, genetically engineered (GE)
to be resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D, is to deregulate them.
2,4-D, the third most widely used herbicide in the U.S., is made by
Dow Chemical, and was a component of Agent Orange. The herbicide has
been linked to Parkinson's, birth defects, reproductive problems, and endocrine disruption.
Critics say that green-lighting these two genetically engineered
crops will expand the use of toxic herbicides at the expense of public
and environmental health, while padding the coffers of he pesticide
"'Agent Orange crops' are designed to survive a chemical assault with
2,4-D. They will increase the use of toxic pesticides in industrial
agriculture while providing absolutely no benefit to consumers," said Center for Food Safety executive director Andrew Kimbrell.
Some see a cautionary tale from Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops, which
led to an increased use of glyphosate and the creation of "super