The EPA recently decided to increase the allowable concentration level of herbicides farmer can spray on genetically modified crops (GM). This latest mandate may result in a public health crisis for a variety of reasons.
The mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment. However, it appears that the federal government agency is ignoring scientific evidence, and warnings about the toxic chemicals sprayed on the U.S. food supply.
The majority of herbicide chemicals being used today have an active ingredient known as glyphosate. In addition, other herbicides contain Agent Orange; a component used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, where millions of gallons of this toxin and other chemicals were sprayed to clear vegetation and trees in Vietnam.
Companies like Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical manufactured Agent Orange for the U.S. Department of Defense. Agent Orange contains the component 2, 4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid, or 2,4D.
Many people and organizations have petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the EPA to prohibit the use of 2,4D. Repeated exposure to 2,4D results in increased risks of birth defects, Parkinson's disease, and cancer. In fact, some countries in the European Union have banned the use of 2,4D.
Despite the public health danger of using 2,4D and other toxic chemicals, the EPA is allowing farmers to increase concentration levels of herbicides to spray on U.S. genetically modified soy and corn crops.
According to CNN, 2,4D is soon to be expected to increase in our environment 30 times the levels in 2010, creating the potential for a public health disaster. Additionally, non-GM crops are also being sprayed with hazardous chemicals. In essence, the entire U.S. food supply is exposed to toxic and deadly agricultural chemicals that cannot be washed off food.
All crops need protection from an invasion of weeds and insects. Farm workers use herbicides and insecticides to control weeds and detract insects from damaging crops.
Weed killers, or herbicides are comprised of a mixture of chemicals, originally manufactured to spray on weeds. Before genetic engineers figured out how to resolve the threat of insects and weeds, farmers would spray the soil with herbicides prior to planting.
When genetically modified crops became more prevalent, scientists figured out a way to spray herbicides and other toxic chemicals, known as surfactants, directly on a GM crop to make them more resistant to weeds and insects. GM crops are specifically engineered to resist herbicides and surfactants, so the toxic chemicals are absorbed by the food crop, and the surrounding weeds are killed.
The EPA decided to increase the allowable herbicide concentration level to be sprayed on weeds and the soil around GM and non-GM crops, since weeds and insects have become more resistant to herbicides.
The EPA is aware of the dangers of herbicide chemicals like glyphosate, 2,4D, and surfactants. These toxins accumulate in our food supply and drinking water; they cannot be washed off.
Considering the recent mandate by the EPA to increase allowable concentration levels of toxic herbicides on American food crops organically certified corn and soy products are perhaps safer food alternatives.