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