Roundup’s Lesser-Known Cousin Is Coming to a Farm Near You

roundup herbicedBy Jason Best

It’s the next wave in a revolution of GMO crops—and it’s happening right under our noses.

One of the world’s leading groups of cancer experts has just classified the industrial herbicide 2,4-D as a possible human carcinogen, and that’s got one of the world’s biggest ag-tech companies in an uproar. But why should we care about some corporate kerfuffle?

Because the U.S. is about to be deluged with 2,4-D—an herbicide similar to Roundup but lacking the comfort of a consumer-facing, trademarked name.

This week, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, released the results of its evaluation of three agricultural chemicals, including 2,4-D. The agency’s designation of the herbicide as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” is based on a review of the existing scientific evidence, which it deems “inadequate” in humans and “limited” in animal experiments—hence the emphasis on “possibly” carcinogenic. Nevertheless, the agency says, “There is strong evidence that 2,4-D induces oxidative stress, a mechanism that can operate in humans, and moderate evidence that 2,4-D causes immunosuppression, based on in vivo and in vitro studies.”

No surprise: Ag-tech giant Dow AgroSciences has reacted swiftly, calling the findings hogwash. The company says the IARC’s conclusions are “inconsistent with government findings in nearly 100 countries,” according to the Midland Daily News.

“No herbicide has been more thoroughly studied, and no national regulatory body in the world considers 2,4-D a carcinogen,” a Dow AgroSciences spokesman said in a statement.

So, Why Should You Care? It’s not as though Dow is an impartial observer in all this. The company has millions of dollars in profit at stake in keeping farmers from worrying too much about dumping countless pounds of 2,4-D on their fields. Dow is in the midst of rolling out the next generation of genetically modified crops—its Enlist Duo patented line of crops—which are engineered to withstand heavy application of 2,4-D as well as the herbicide glyphosate, itself deemed a possible human carcinogen by the IARC a few months ago. It’s all part of a dramatic escalation of the ag-tech industry’s mad-scientist warfare on Mother Nature. In the late 1990s, Monsanto “revolutionized” agriculture with its introduction of Roundup Ready crops, which were genetically modified to tolerate being soaked in glyphosate.

American consumers appear to be growing ever more wary of GMO crops, with an increasingly vocal number demanding the government step in and require companies to label any food that contains GMO ingredients. But the absence of such labeling thus far has arguably allowed Big Ag to engineer one of the most sweeping overhauls of agricultural production in the nation’s history—right under our noses. From virtually nothing just 20 years ago, today a staggering 90 percent of corn and 93 percent of soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified.

How has that worked out? As farmers have become more reliant than ever on glyphosate, they’ve unwittingly created a scourge of “superweeds” that have naturally developed their own resistance to the herbicide. Just as the overreliance of the livestock industry on antibiotics has given rise to the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, some areas of the country are now plagued by weeds that glyphosate alone just can’t kill.

Big Ag’s answer to this crisis (which only seems logical if you’re, well, a company whose profits depend on selling massive amounts of GMO seeds and the chemicals to go with them) has been to ramp up the chemical assault. Hence, Dow’s Enlist Duo, which combines glyphosate with 2,4-D in a bid to combat those resilient monster weeds.

According to the USDA, the use of Dow’s new crop “system” will result in a tripling of the amount of 2,4-D being sprayed by 2020, and the increase could be as much as sixfold. Agricultural communities in areas where 2,4-D-resistant crops are planted would be exposed to eight times the amount of the “possible human carcinogen” they are now. Nevertheless, the EPA in April expanded its approval of the use of Enlist Duo across an additional nine states, from North Dakota to Louisiana, bringing the total number of states where the chemical cocktail is approved to 15.

That may not sound like mad science to Dow—or to the EPA, for that matter—but it does to plenty of others, including Mary Ellen Kustin, a senior policy analyst for the Environmental Working Group.

“We have known for decades that 2,4-D is harmful to the environment and human health, especially for the farmers and farmworkers applying these chemicals to crops,” Kustin said in a statement. “Now that farmers are planting 2,4-D-tolerant GMO crops, this herbicide is slated to explode in use much the way glyphosate did with the first generation of GMO crops. And we know from experience—and basic biology—that weeds will soon grow resistant to these herbicides, making GMO crop growers only more dependent on the next chemical fix.”



2 Responses to “Roundup’s Lesser-Known Cousin Is Coming to a Farm Near You”

  1. Lynn says:

    They have been doing this for a few generations now…. these things are dangerous to all living things. These sneaky corporations will try anything, good to know they are being found out and shunned. We need to boycott all things corporate. They are clearly not interested in helping nature, only destroying it. Well we all know why….dont we. Operation Paperclip was the whole point.

    • Adam Spiritualwarrior Exposing the Secret Space Program says:

      Some good Blood Pressure articles and dot connetcting

      Sodium and Salt Eating. Natural salt is generally a very healthful product. Unrefined sea salt is an important source of minerals. This is especially today, as the food supply is mineral-deficient due to hybrid crops, modern agriculture methods and food processing and refining.

      Unrefined salt has little or no effect on blood pressure. It helps maintain electrolyte and osmotic balance. It also has an alkalinizing effect on the body and is an extremely yang food in Chinese medical terminology.

      Magnesium for the Prevention of Heart Disease

      Researchers from the Netherlands have completed two interesting magnesium studies showing that magnesium protects against high blood pressure and ischemic heart disease.

      Magnesium Lowers Blood Pressure, Prevents Arterial Calcification

      In the human blood pressure trials the best results occurred with doses from 370 mg up to 970 mg magnesium per day. The higher the dose the better the response. The study is important because magnesium deficiency is common in the United States, especially among people who struggle with ongoing health issues.

      Magnesium Improves Gene profiles of High Blood Pressure Individuals

      Magnesium is a common nutrient deficiency in just about anyone who is struggling with ongoing health topics. The problem worsens as stress levels go up, diet quality goes down, and with aging in general. A recent review of the importance of magnesium2 to health illustrated that magnesium deficiency is associated with a very large number of health problems. Specifically, a lack of magnesium is associated with high blood pressure, stroke, hardening of the arteries, arrhythmias, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, endothelial dysfunction, elevated LDL cholesterol, sticky platelets, inflammation, oxidative stress, cardiovascular mortality, asthma, chronic fatigue, as well as depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

      Magnesium Benefits Your Blood Pressure : Dr Mercola

      One out of three people have hypertension, or high blood pressure. This is a common and serious health concern, as uncontrolled hypertension can cause heart disease and increase your risk of having a stroke. Fortunately, people who have hypertension can normalize their blood pressure through lifestyle modifications, including getting enough magnesium. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and is responsible for the function of over 350 enzymes in your body. One study found significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure among people with hypertension after increased magnesium for just 12 weeks. It’s been estimated that up to 80 percent of the population is deficient in this important mineral.

      The best way to obtain magnesium is to eat green leafy vegetables, where the mineral is organically bound. If you decide to supplement with magnesium, it is important to understand that its complementary partner is calcium.

      [Adams note – please not even though natural chlorophyll rich foods provide great bioavailable magnesium, this might not be practical for high blood pressure individuals. Vegrtable capsules are one easy option to help. But please remember too calcium and magnesium worl together in a ratio. It might be worth too supplemting with a quality magnesium supplement I could recommend, and a quality calcium. In a 1.5:1 ratio I think I can clarify this. The molecular structure of chlorophyll is identical to RBC haemoglobin, except for one thing. Where theres an iron atom at the centre of haemoglobin, theres a magnesium atom at the centre of chlorophyll]

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