Despite its own admission that it will cause an up to sevenfold increase in chemical pesticide use, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is poised to approve a new type of genetically engineered seed built to resist one of the most toxic weedkillers on the market.
Now, total approval hinges on the Environmental Protection Agency.
If that federal body approves the new GMO, farmers will be free to plant corn and soy seeds genetically manipulated to live through sprayings of Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide, a chemical cocktail containing both glyphosate and the antiquated, toxic chemical 2,4-D.
Ironically, in the 1990s, chemical companies said the development of GMOs would eliminate the need to use older, more dangerous chemicals like 2,4-D. But as GMO use ramped up over the last few decades, chemical use increased, and many weeds are no longer responding to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup and the current chemical of choice for GMO farmers.
This has created a “superweed” crisis, resulting in millions of acres of U.S. fields’ being infested with hard-to-kill weeds.
With this week’s USDA final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) suggesting approval of the new GMO is eminent, many food and public-safety experts say the American public faces unprecedented risks as a result of the decision.