2, 4-D Crops
“Less herbicides, less toxic herbicides, protecting the environment and farm workers from impacts of agrochemicals, stopping soil erosion.” Those were the slogans to promote the first generation of genetically modified (GM) crops, engineered to be tolerant to herbicides. This envisioned golden future was all too brief, however, and is in fact already past. After the introduction of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops – tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate – in the USA and a few other countries, weeds soon became resistant to glyphosate and have posed increasing problems to farmers. Instead of stepping back from herbicide-tolerant crops, the GM industry is now stepping up the development of new GM crops that are tolerant to multiple – and often older, more toxic – herbicides. Among them: GM crops engineered to be tolerant to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). In their 2013 report “The rise of superweeds – and what to do about it”, the Union of Concerned Scientists (USA) described in detail the main failings of herbicide-tolerant crops, in particular Roundup Ready crops. For several years, Monsanto’s system did seem to work as intended. But after a temporary reduction, herbicide use on US farms has increased dramatically because of growing weed resistance to Roundup; given that other chemical agents also have to be employed, overall pesticide use is an estimated 404 million pounds greater than if Roundup Ready crops had not been planted (Benbrook 2012).
|Title:||2, 4-D Crops|
|Publisher:||Third World Network|
|Appears in Sub-Collections:||Highly Hazardous Pesticides|
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