My “in” basket includes this scary story from Consumers Union –
To deal with the “superweeds” that developed from the overuse of the herbicide glyphosate (RoundUp™), the chemical company Dow has genetically engineered crops that are also resistant to 2,4-D. This older herbicide is linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease and hypothyroidism. We wrote the EPA opposing approval of the glyphosate/2,4-D herbicide. (link to letter)
(In part, the letter reads)
Consumers Union urges you not to register a double herbicide mix of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and glyphosate (“Enlist DuoTM“), which would be used in conjunction with crops that have been genetically engineered to resist these herbicides.
We are concerned that the risks to public health, fruit and vegetable growers and the environment far outweigh the short-term benefits to row crop growers of controlling weeds with 2,4-D.
Scientific studies show that farmers and farmworkers who apply 2,4-D or work in fields sprayed with 2,4-D are at risk of numerous negative health impacts. Such negative health effects include higher rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma,1 Parkinson’s disease2 and hypothyroidism.
Studies have also found higher rates of certain kinds of cancer among farmers and farmworkers working with 2,4-D, or residents living in areas with high use of 2,4-D.
Several studies have reported higher rates of certain cancers in communities with high exposure to chlorophenoxy herbicides, including 2,4-D.6 The higher rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma seen in farmers and farmworkers working in fields sprayed with 2,4-D have also been observed in residents living in areas where 2,4-D exists in high concentrations.
A study of rural communities in Minnesota found increased rates of birth malformations in areas where chlorophenoxy herbicides, including 2,4-D, are applied.
2,4-D exposure has also been shown to lower sperm count,11 and the State of California determined in 2005 that 2,4-D meets the criteria for listing it under Prop 65 as causing reproductive toxicity.
2,4-D causes injury to broadleaf (non-cereal) crops, like soybeans, dry beans, green beans, peas, tomatoes, grapes, cucumbers, squash, melons, pumpkins, and other fruits and vegetables, particularly at flowering stage.
We urge the EPA to deny the approval of the 2,4-D and glyphosate mixture to protect human health, specialty crop growers and the environment.