USDA Recommends Deregulation of 2, 4-D-Resistant Corn and Soybean TraitsFri, 03 Jan 2014 16:39:42 CST
In a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released today, the USDA said it prefers full deregulation for Dow AgroSciences’ corn and soybean traits resistant to the herbicide 2, 4-D.
The genetically-engineered corn and soybean traits in Dow’s Enlist Weed Control System are the first to be developed that are resistant to 2, 4-D.
Dow has been working with the USDA for several years and said that 86 percent of corn, soybean and cotton farmers in the South are affected by herbicide resistance. Sixty-one percent of farmers in the Midwest report problems with herbicide-resistant weeds.
“Growers need new tools now to address this challenge,” Dow noted in a statement released after the USDA published its draft EIS.
Several environmental groups quickly responded to the USDA’s announcement.
Scott Faber, executive director of Just Label It, said, “Relying on dangerous weed killers like 2,4-D to combat the growth of super weeds will just keep us the same chemical treadmill. No wonder consumers want the right to know whether their food is from the GE crops that have caused the explosion of super weeds. As today’s USDA study shows, super weeds have now spread to 27 states.”
Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety called on the Obama administration to overturn the USDA’s proposal.
The Environmental Protection Agency is conducting its own risk assessments to determine if it will approve 2, 4-D for use on crops with Dow’s Enlist traits.
Canadian regulators in October approved the use of the 2, 4-D-resistant corn and soybean traits for use in 2014.
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