Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:33 PM
marmar (70,077 posts)
Dow and Monsanto Team Up On the Mother of All Herbicide Marketing Plans
from Mother Jones:
During the late-December media lull, the USDA didn't satisfy itself with green lighting Monsanto's useless, PR-centric "drought-tolerant" corn. It also prepped the way for approving a product from Monsanto's rival Dow Agrosciences—one that industrial-scale corn farmers will likely find all-too useful.
Dow has engineered a corn strain that withstands lashings of its herbicide, 2,4-D. The company's pitch to farmers is simple: Your fields are becoming choked with weeds that have developed resistance to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. As soon as the USDA okays our product, all your problems will be solved.
At risk of sounding overly dramatic, the product seems to me to bring mainstream US agriculture to a crossroads. If Dow's new corn makes it past the USDA and into farm fields, it will mark the beginning of at least another decade of ramped-up chemical-intensive farming of a few chosen crops (corn, soy, cotton), beholden to a handful of large agrichemical firms working in cahoots to sell ever-larger quantities of poisons, environment be damned. If it and other new herbicide-tolerant crops can somehow be stopped, farming in the US heartland can be pushed toward a model based on biodiversity over monocropping, farmer skill in place of brute chemicals, and healthy food instead of industrial commodities.
Yet Dow's pitch will likely prove quite compelling. Introduced in 1996, Roundup Ready crops now account for 94 percent of the soybean crops and upwards of 70 percent for soy and cotton, USDA figures show. The technology cut a huge chunk of work out of farming, allowing farmers to cultivate ever more massive swaths of land with less labor. .............(more)
The complete piece is at: http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/01/dows-new-gmo-seed-puts-us-agriculture-crossroads
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Dow and Monsanto Team Up On the Mother of All Herbicide Marketing Plans (Original post)
Response to marmar (Original post)
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 06:39 PM
russspeakeasy (6,539 posts)
1. These companies are ruthless and will kill whatever plant life or
person that gets in their way.
I worked for one of them. I've seen their insides.
Response to marmar (Original post)
Thu Jan 26, 2012, 07:45 PM
LiberalEsto (22,837 posts)
2. More info about 2,4-D
"Different organizations have taken different stances on cancer risk of 2,4-D. On August 8, 2007, the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a ruling that stated that existing data does not support a conclusion that links human cancer to 2,4-D exposure. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified 2,4-D among the phenoxy acid herbicides MCPA and 2,4,5-T as a class 2B carcinogen - possibly carcinogenic to humans. A 1995 panel of 13 scientists reviewing studies on the carcinogenicity of 2,4-D had divided opinions, but the predominant opinion was that it is possible that 2,4-D causes cancer in humans.
A 1990 study of farmers in Nebraska, even when adjusting for exposure to other chemicals, found that 2,4-D exposure substantially increased the risk of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). A 2000 study of 1517 former employees of Dow Chemical Company who had been exposed to the chemical in manufacturing or formulating 2,4-D found no significant increase in risk of mortality due to NHL following 2,4-D exposure, but did find an increase in risk of mortality due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis."
Same source: "Concerns regarding neurotoxicity have been voiced with increased sensitivity to amphetamine and thus concerns of increased risk of drug addiction among those exposed."
I wonder if this can be tied to the rampant problem of meth addiction in rural areas.
from a report prepared by the Cooperative Extension Services of four major universities and the USDA Pesticide Impact Assessment Program in 1993:
"Low doses fed to rats for two years caused an increase in malignant tumors (10). There was some question about whether the tumors were associated with specific organs or were non-specific. Female mice given a single injection of 2,4-D developed cancer (reticulum-cell sarcomas) (10).
The studies of 2,4-D carcinogenicity mentioned above are considered to be inadequate by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). New studies, completed in 1986, show a low incidence of brain tumors at moderate exposure levels (45 mg/kg/day) over a lifetime.
In humans, a variety of studies give conflicting results. Several studies in Sweden and the United States (Kansas (1) and Nebraska (21)), suggest an association of 2,4-D exposure with cancer. An increased occurrence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was found among a Kansas and Nebraska farm population associated with the spraying of 2,4-D. Other studies done in New Zealand, Washington, New York, Australia, and on Vietnam veterans from the United States were all negative. There remains considerable controversy about the methods used in the various studies and thus with the results of the various studies (20). Investigations are continuing."
Some formulations of 2,4-D are highly toxic to bees, and it can also impair the reproduction of honeybees, according to this report. It can cause serious eye and skin irritation in farm workers.
2,4-D was a component of Agent Orange, the defoliant used during the Vietnam War.
According to scientists in the United Kingdom, "The US authorities have also been reluctant to declare 2,4-D as a potential human carcinogen, but the US courts decided that a forestry worker contracted cancer and died as a direct result of his exposure to 2,4-D during the course of his work." http://www.pan-uk.org/pestnews/Actives/24d.htm