Congressional briefing raises concerns about new GMO crops with 2,4-D herbicide resistance

The next argument over genetically engineered crops has arrived with Dow AgroScience’s bid to gain federal approval for soybean and corn varieties that resist the herbicide 2,4-D and for Enlist Duo, a 2,4-D-glyphosate mix that can be used on the new varieties.

The double-headed proposal has angered opponents of biotech crops, who say it’s the second coming of “Roundup Ready.”

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., convened a congressional briefing on the topic May 21 and, in a prepared statement, said food manufacturers and chemical companies are “running a dangerous experiment with the food we eat.”

He said chemical companies got farmers “hooked” on their earlier products and now want to do the same with 2,4-D. David Mortensen, a Pennsylvania State University weed scientist who took part in DeFazio’s briefing, said the applications could result in a huge increase in 2,4-D use across a broad swath of America’s cropland.

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“This is not a minor tweak in our agriculture system,” Mortensen said. “There are downsides when you use pesticides like this.”

Related article:  Afraid of glyphosate and other synthetic pesticides? You eat 10,000 times more of the natural ones made by plants

Iowa farmer George Naylor, who also took part in the briefing, said 2,4-D use should not become a routine practice. Naylor, who grows non-GMO corn and soybeans, said he’s used 2,4-D twice in 38 years of farming. The herbicide should be used only as a last resort, “rescue” application against weeds, he said.

Read the full, original article: Biotech critics oppose 2,4-D resistant crops

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