Will the USDA Allow Biotech to Poison the Food Supply With 2,4-D Crops?

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As much as I like to impart nutrition information on food selection and preparation, I feel I must also educate you on what decisions are being made by government agencies about your food–giving you information that the government fails to give you about the food that is supposed to nourish your body, so you and your family can survive and thrive in this very stressful world we live in. I would think that these critical issues should appear on television and radio news reports, but they don’t. You have to dig around to see what comes up, like the subject of 2,4-D crops

What are 2,4-D crops? 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is an herbicide that was part of the mixture known as “Agent Orange” used in the Vietnam War era—excuse me, the Vietnam “conflict.” Congress never declared war, but that’s another issue. Anyway, it is currently being used to kill broadleaf weeds by causing water- and nutrient-carrying cells in the plant to divide and grow uncontrollably. It is not supposed to harm “most grasses.” It is the most common herbicide used worldwide and the third most commonly used herbicide in the United States. The subject of 2,4-D crops is where genetic engineering comes into the picture. These are genetically-engineered (GE) crops, whose seeds were created in a lab to resist the harm caused by the 2,4-D herbicide. Does that make good sense? Why does a corporation get to create something that can be harmful to plants and then create a Frankencrop specifically to survive the harmful chemical? Sounds like undercover domestic terrorism to me: “Let’s cause a problem and then provide the solution to the problem we caused in the first place. It is a win-win situation, because we profit on the problem and the solution.” That is what the evil biotech company says as they figure out how to make more profit at our expense.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is going to make an extremely important decision that will determine whether we get into a bad entanglement with the biotech company, Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, regarding ingesting these 2,4-D herbicide-resistant corn and soybean Frankencrops, either directly or through our food chain. Dow AgroSciences is at the forefront of a petition to the USDA to allow Dow to market its Frankenseeds. Despite the opposition from farmers, agricultural scientists, medical doctors and other healthcare professionals, the USDA is considering Dow’s request.

What problems could 2,4-D and 2,4-D crops cause? It has been documented that genetically-engineered species such as GE salmon and GE crops cannibalize or overrun vulnerable species like an infection. The survival of an untampered species is greatly at risk. The biotech companies don’t care, because if they can control the food, their profits will only go higher. They will try to minimize the effects of their deadly crops by downplaying everything that is thrown at them. Of course their studies are extremely biased and cannot be accepted as fact. There have been reports of cancer, endocrine problems, reproductive disturbances and Parkinson’s Disease being linked to 2,4-D. Depending on the form of 2,4-D, contact with this herbicide can cause vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and behavior changes (confusion or aggression) when ingested, and some people suffered from muscle damage or kidney failure. Pets who had ingested products containing 2,4-D suffered from vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, drooling, staggering, lethargy or convulsions. 2,4-D is full of dioxins, which are highly toxic compounds that accumulate in the food chain, particularly in animal fatty tissue. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins. You can read more about dioxins on the following link:

World Health Organization on Dioxins. It doesn’t seem like the herbicide would be something we would want to increase in our food system by changing the genetics of the food to survive its attack on plants’ genetic makeup.

How will these genetic changes affect our genetic makeup? Since we humans are not smart enough to know how everything works in our bodies, I’m sure we are not smart enough to tamper with plants’ genetics and think that it won’t affect anything else. That is like a bicycle repairman trying to work on a Ferrari engine and thinking his minor changes won’t affect anything. When the Ferrari driver causes a 30-car pile-up on I-5 due to some mechanical malfunction, the bicycle repairman would not accept any responsibility for the disaster, because he knows the changes he made to the Ferrari were good. Dr. Mercola explains how eating the wrong foods will negatively influence our DNA: Dr. Mercola on Eating Wrong Plants Can Mess DNA Expression.

Why would the USDA approve 2,4-D if it is so bad for our health? That’s a good question. I have no idea unless money is going in someone’s pocket. That is why it is so important to keep up with what is going on.

It was just a few weeks ago that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stated that GE crops and bee-killing pesticides (nicknamed “neonics”) will be banned from all national wildlife refuges, which covers over 150 million acres of federal land. The FWS has set a nice precedent of protecting our land, wildlife and citizens. So the USDA’s decision should be easy.

The deadline to protest Dow’s intention to bring these toxic herbicide-resistant Frankencrops into the food system—and to your table—is Monday, September 8, 2014. Here is the link to sign the petition created by the Center for Food Safety:

Center for Food Safety Petition Against 2,4-D Crops

Let’s go to Food Stuff to check out a few terms to consider for keeping it as non-GMO and chemical pesticide-free as possible.

Food Stuff

Real organic produce will not be part of the group of genetically-engineered crops and will not contain chemical pesticides. Unless you grow your own food or know the farmers that are growing it, you do not know what is in it or how it is grown. Here are some terms to consider:

  • Natural. This term means the food is minimally processed and does not contain artificial ingredients, but can contain natural pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.
  • Contains organic ingredients. This means there are some ingredients that are organic, but the rest of it could be anything, including genetically-engineered ingredients.
  • USDA Organic label. If the country of origin is the United States, the land on which the food was grown was inspected and tested by the USDA and passed USDA organic standards. If it is outside of the U.S., there are some countries that have not been inspected, and the word of the country’s government is taken as the truth. Not good. The standards allow natural pesticides, not 2,4-D. If you want more information about natural pesticides, look at: NPR on Organic Pesticides
  • 100% Organic. This claim on the label must have all ingredients USDA certified organic.
  • Pesticide-Free. This is not regulated, so there may be pesticides in the product. Either because the land wasn’t tested to be pesticide free for three years, as in USDA organic standards, or natural pesticides are used.

On produce, there are codes to indicate how the produce was grown. Here are the codes on the produce labels:

  • Conventionally grown: 4-digit code (example 4723)
  • Organically grown: 5-digit code starting with #9 (example 94723)
  • Genetically-engineered: 5-digit code starting with #8 (example 84723)

The best way to keep genetically-engineered food and chemical pesticides off your table is to either grow the food yourself and/or know who is growing your food. Ask questions to find out where the farmers get their seed, how they control pests, how they feed and house their poultry and cattle.

How do you feel about 2,4-D crops and more GE crops on the way?

In Good Food We Trust,

Renée

 

The views and opinions in this blog do not necessarily represent those of the SouthSoundCommunityGuide. We do however value your opinion.

Renee Paden About Renee Paden

Renée graduated with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in 2010, after over 20 years in the IT corporate world. Her first nutrition teacher was her grandmother, who showed her how to prepare a balanced plate. Renée spent hours in the kitchen with her grandmother, learning the importance of our relationship with food. She wants everyone to understand how urgent it is for our families to appreciate real food. Our lives depend on it, literally.

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