Superweeds, as profiled in the New York Times, are weeds that have become resistant to the ubiquitous herbicide RoundUp, grow uncontrollably, and now infect 13 million acres of land throughout the U.S.
How to deal with this?
The chemical and biotech industries say that the only solution to kill the superweeds is to throw more toxic chemicals at the problem. So, what they have proposed is a genetically-engineered corn that is resistant to 2,4-D. (They’ll plant this genetically-engineered corn and spray it with 2,4-D, with the goal of killing the weeds that grow around the corn but not kill the corn itself.)
2,4-D was the primary ingredient in Agent Orange, the herbicide warfare program in Vietnam that killed an estimated 400,000 people and caused 500,000 kids to be born with birth defects.
Advocacy groups, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, have cited numerous studies linking 2,4-D exposure to serious illnesses and cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
I have written in previous posts about the absolute insanity of this proposed GE-corn, and the Obama administration is close to approving it.
On the train heading back to Boston last night, I found out that:
1) The group Vietnam Veterans of America has written a letter to President Obama urging him not to approve this GE-corn until a full environmental impact study has been completed and its results reviewed by scientists not affiliated with Dow Agroscience, the seed’s owner.
2) A group of prominent chefs in Washington D.C., including Nora Pouillon (chef and owner of Restaurant Nora — America’s first certified organic restaurant), Jose Andres, Todd Gray, Ellen Kassoff Gray, and Rob Weland, is urging caution in the government’s apparent rush to approve GE-corn resistant to 2,4-D.
Not only are the chefs are worried about the local farms in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. area being contaminated, but they see the bigger picture as well.
Chef Nora Poullion says “it took decades for the risks of other inventions like DDT and asbestos to be exposed. It is not right to ask Americans to be guinea pigs in another chemical experiment before we have the facts. American farmers can grow the best crops in the world without 2,4-D resistant seeds created in a laboratory.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1) Get involved, donate money, and spread the word about the California ballot initiative to label GMOs.
Right now, we are the only developed country in the world not to label GMOs. If we can make the labeling of GMOs mandatory:
– the demand for GM-food will drop.
– the demand for organic will surge.
– toxic pesticide use will decrease, thus making our water supply cleaner.
In California, citizens – instead of politicians and bureaucrats – will be voting on this issue later this fall and if California approves this measure, other states will most likely do the same.
Please read this post about the California ballot initiative and consider donating money.
I have read that the major chemical and seed companies have committed to spend $60 million to kill this proposed measure.
2) Sign up for Just Label It, the federal campaign headed by Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg, and tell the FDA to make GMO-labeling mandatory.
Thank you so much for your continued support of organic food and have a great holiday weekend!