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Dow Chemical's New 2,4-D Resistant GM Corn Causes Concerns

SOCC Petitions USDA and EPA to Explain Cumulative Impacts of 2,4-D and Dicamba Tolerant Crops
In an effort to prevent crop damage resulting from off-target exposure to the herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba, the Save Our Crops Coalition has petitioned USDA and EPA to conduct an environmental impact statement on the cumulative effects of synthetic auxin tolerant crops, like Dow’s 2,4-D tolerant corn. 2,4-D and dicamba are known to drift and volatilize, causing damage to plants over 10 miles away from the point of application.
The Save Our Crops Coalition is not opposed to genetic modification, however it does seek a sensible and effective review of genetically modified crops with harmful environmental impacts.
USDA has thus far chosen to consider genetically modified crops in a piecemeal fashion, one crop at a time. But synthetic auxin tolerant crops represent a dramatic shift in American agriculture, because:
  • Synthetic auxin tolerant crops are expected to dramatically increase the use of the dangerous herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba
  • At even extremely low rates, 2,4-D and dicamba are known to cause extensive yield damage to non-target crops
  • 2,4-D and dicamba tolerant crops are expected to be grown in close proximity to crops like soybeans, tomatoes, grapes, green beans, peas, cucumbers, squash, melons, pumpkins, all of which are highly sensitive to exposure to these herbicides
Thus, the Save Our Crops Coalition has petitioned APHIS and EPA to prepare an environmental impact statement to consider the cumulative impacts of the deregulation of all synthetic auxin herbicide tolerant crops.

“My farming operation was decimated by 2,4-D exposure. The government’s consideration of the impact of its actions is a necessary first step in ensuring no other specialty crop producer has to endure the devastation that my farm has experienced,” said Gary Phelps, a tree farmer based in Kentucky.

“We are facing a huge increase in use of America’s most dangerous herbicides. The federal government ought to take stock of how that would work out,” said Jody Herr, a vegetable farmer from Indiana.

These farmers’ concerns are echoed by the vegetable processors they sell to, names like Seneca and Red Gold.

“The dramatic increase in the use of 2,4-D and dicamba, and these herbicides known impacts on off-target crops threaten the survival of the specialty crop production in the Midwest. It’s time USDA, the stewards of American agriculture, stood up and considered the cumulative impacts of all these crops,” said Steve Smith of Red Gold, an Indiana-based food processor.

The Save Our Crops Coalition is confident USDA and EPA will act to address the concerns of a multitude of growers and processors representing nearly every segment of American agriculture.

Download a copy of both petitions here.

April 10, 2012

SOCC Opposes Deregulation of Dow 2,4-D Tolerant Corn

Today, the Save Our Crops Coalition announced its opposition to the deregulation of Dow 2,4-D Tolerant Corn.  The Save Our Crops Coalition considers Dow’s 2,4-D Tolerant Corn and other synthetic auxin tolerant crops a significant threat to broadleaf crops in the U.S..  The Save Our Crops Coalition, itself, intends to submit a comment to USDA to voice its concerns about 2,4-D spray drift and volatilization, but wanted to publicly provide a form summary comment to its membership to allow them to appropriately and effectively engage the regulatory process.

The comment period closes on April 27, 2012, so please get your comments in as soon as possible!

How to Submit Your Comment to USDA

  1. Download the SOCC – One Page Comment.
  2. Open “SOCC – One Page Comment.doc” in your word processing program.  Edit the fields enclosed with brackets “[...]“.  These fields include name, address, name of organization, date of the submission, description of organization/person/membership.  Remove any unused fields. Please also edit your comment to include any concerns you may have about 2,4-D and dicamba tolerant crops.
  3. Once you have finished editing your comment, save the document to a place where you can later find it.
  4. Open your web browser to:!submitComment;D=APHIS-2010-0103-0001
  5. Fill in the fields under “1. Enter Information”.  Required fields are marked with an asterisk “*”.
  6. Skip the field marked “2. Type Comment”.
  7. Under “3. Upload Files(s) (Optional)”, select “Choose File”.
  8. Select your saved comment document, and click open.
  9. When you are ready to submit your comment, under “4. Submit Comment”, click “Submit”.
April 4, 2012

Dow AgroSciences Responds to SOCC

The Save Our Crops Coalition is pleased Dow AgroSciences has chosen to respond to SOCC’s announcement of its formation yesterday. SOCC is heartened by Dow’s statements expressing a commitment to delivering new solutions to address the concerns of the coalition’s membership, many of whom are Dow’s customers.

SOCC is pleased to have an ongoing dialogue with petitioners for non-regulated status before the US Department of Agriculture, and pesticide registrants before the Environmental Protection Agency. SOCC has never declined a request to meet with petitioners or registrants.

However, SOCC is disappointed by Dow’s suggestion that the coalition’s participation in the regulatory process is “adversarial.” Just as Dow has chosen to engage the regulatory process, SOCC intends to participate in an appropriate and respectful manner to ensure its concerns are addressed.

SOCC looks forward to an ongoing dialogue with Dow and the other petitioners and registrants about how to best address injuries to non-target crops caused by an unprecedented increase in the use of 2,4-D and dicamba.

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