2,4-D from AGENT ORANGE is a NEW GMO FOOD Ingredient.

  • GMO foods are genetically engineered to withstand specific herbicides. 11
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees herbicides, which includes the herbicides used on GMO foods.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees food, including  “GMO crops that are eaten by humans or animals.”

In Oct 2014, the EPA approved Dow Chemical Company’s Enlist Duo chemical combination and its matched genetically modified corn and soy seeds.

  • Enlist Duo is an herbicide combination composed of two chemicals:
  • One is 2,4-D which is Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid.  2,4-D is half of Agent Orange from the Vietnam War. Agent Orange has at least 10 cancers associated with it.
  • 2,4-D is the herbicidal ingredient in Scots Weed and Feed as well as other commercially available herbicides (package labeling).
  • The other chemical is glyphosate, the herbicidal part of Roundup.
  • Enlist Duo has been sprayed on corn and soy seeds which have been genetically modified to not die when drenched with a cocktail of the two herbicides.

There was limited public information so there was no huge public outcry.  In April 2015, the EPA added nine more states to those already allowed to use Enlist Duo. Thus the number of states approved was increased to fifteen, with four of those being major beef producers according to www.agriculture.com. That’s notable because both corn and soy are food staples of our beef and dairy industries. According to the USDA, in 2015, 89% of our corn was GMO and 94% of our soy was GMO. 

A lawsuit followed the EPA’s approval of Enlist Duo demanding that the EPA  reverse its decision. Ironically the lawsuit was based on President Nixon’s Endangered Species Act, not on the possible health hazards to our kids/grandkids because that might set a precedent for the entire GMO food industry. (Please see last bullet point at end of article.) The lawsuit predicted the toxic cocktail would adversely affect monarch butterflies whose populations have drastically dropped in recent decades.

In November 2015, the EPA did just that, temporarily reversing its decision. It requested the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the EPA’s own approval of Enlist Duo crops until the agency can reevaluate “new information.” The new information is the difference in wording Dow used in its licensing application to the EPA versus the wording used in its patent application to the U.S. Patent Office. The Wall St. Journal wrote that Dow Chemical, which owns Enlist Duo will appeal and win.  “It’s basically a speed bump on the ramp more than anything else,” Bernstein analyst, J. Oxnaard said. You should learn what this means.   
 
Enlist Duo, which has half of Agent Orange as part of its herbicidal cocktail, was approved to be sprayed on two of our biggest food crops (corn and soy).

  • ​​​2,4-D will become part of the food chain. As part of the spraying  of Enlist Duo food crops,  it will leave residues on the corn and soy much as glyphosate already does.
  • The herbicidal part of Roundup has left residues on Roundup Ready (corn, soy, canola, sugar beets) food crops.

In 2005, “According to the EPA, 25% of samples of 2,4-D  were contaminated with dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) which is mutagenic, carcinogenic and causes reproductive problems at very small doses.” More recently, the EPA claims that 2,4-D is benign; that the only toxic ingredient in Agent Orange was its other half: 2,4,5-T. And presumably that was only toxic because dioxins were created in the imperfect manufacturing of it. Dioxins are considered especially toxic to gestating babies.

  • In 2013, the U.S. had triple the infant mortality rate of Japan and Norway and double the rate of Ireland, Israel and Italy.

The real problem in understanding GMOs is that chemistry is not like math where 8+5 =13. The reaction of the chemicals to each other can be much greater than the sum of the chemicals and often react to each other in surprising ways.  For example, when ammonia and bleach, common household cleaners, are combined they create Chlorine Gas, a WWI chemical weapon.   Even if the 2014 opinion of the EPA is correct and their 2005 opinion is incorrect, we should still be concerned. Here’s why.

  • There are no studies done on the interactions of 2,4-D and glyphosate (the “Duo”) with each other.
  • There are no studies done on the “Duo” plus the chemical surfactant they put in the herbicide formula to make it stick to/and or penetrate the leaves. 
  • There are no studies done on the “Duo” plus a chemical adjuvant (to intensify the strength of the herbicides).
  • A National  Institutes of Health publication states that herbicidal formulas always have adjuvants.
  • There are no studies done on the “Duo” and a chemical preservative.
  • The EPA calls these surfactants, adjuvants and preservatives “inert.
  • The EPA’s definition of inert is that they don’t harm pests or weeds. But that says nothing about how the chemicals interact with the normal chemical processes in humans, pets, or livestock.
  • There is a reason to be concerned with how easily the FDA approves new GMOs especially since there are few impartial studies proving GMO foods are safe.
  • There is a study from the University of Caen which found one of the inert ingredients in Roundup to be more toxic than glyphosate to embryonic and placental cells.
  • There is a 1991 study on the relationship between dog owners using 2,4-D as a lawn herbicide, e.g. Scot’s Weed and Feed, and an increased cancer rate among their dogs.
  • The Institute for Science in Society found a correlation between the creation of tumors and  glyphosate.
  • It would be wonderful if our government was willing to spend the money by either running the tests or by very rigorously overseeing the chemical companies testing in order to determine that these chemicals together won’t harm us or our pets, but it is unlikely.
  • The EPA does no testing of herbicides or on its own. The Toxic Substances Control Act allows the EPA to rely on the same companies that manufacture the chemicals to supply the data. There are studies from university scientists but the primary data used by the EPA is from the chemical companies.  
  • The World Health Organization considers 2,4-D a possible carcinogen. The same health organization considers glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, a probably carcinogen. For Enlist Duo, the EPA has approved a possible and a probable carcinogen, as indirect food additives (considering the residues they leave on the food crops) to our mainstream food supply(Please see “Herbicides Sticking to Our Dinner” section, “Agent Orange, Vietnam Vets and their Kids“ section  & “Money Matters But Kids Matter More” section)     

 

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