Just when you wonder if all this grassroots action really matters, you get a resounding victory.
Responding to a lawsuit brought by Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice, yesterday EPA announced it is revoking the registration of “Enlist Duo,” a toxic combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D – the main ingredient in Agent Orange.
Approved by the agency just over a year ago, Dow’s Enlist Duo was created for use on the next generation of genetically engineered (GE) crops, what we dubbed “Agent Orange crops”, designed to withstand being drenched with this potent herbicide cocktail. In its court filing, EPA stated it is taking this action after realizing that the combination of these chemicals is likely significantly more harmful than it had initially believed.
EPA had approved use of Enlist Duo in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and had intended to approve it in additional areas in the near future.
Dow created Enlist crops as a quick fix for the problem created by “Roundup Ready” crops, the previous generation of genetically engineered crops designed to resist the effects of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Just as overuse of antibiotics has left resistant strains of bacteria to thrive, repeated use of Roundup on those crops allowed glyphosate-resistant “superweeds” to proliferate, and those weeds now infest tens of millions of acres of U.S. farmland. Enlist crops allow farmers to spray both glyphosate and 2,4-D without killing their crops, which they hope will kill weeds resistant to glyphosate alone. But some weeds have already developed 2,4-D resistance, and the escalating cycle of more toxic pesticides in the environment will continue unless EPA stops approving these chemicals, and USDA stops rubber-stamping new genetically engineered crops.
The decision by EPA to withdraw the illegally approved Enlist Duo crops is a huge victory for the environment and the future of our food!