Herbicides contain chemical mixtures designed to kill plants, but a newly proposed mixture could also hurt wildlife, habitat and people.
The Dow Chemical Company wants to combine the active chemical already found in Roundup, glyphosate, with 2,4-D — a major component of the chemical weapon Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam War. Wildlife habitat, plants and agricultural crops that have not been genetically engineered to withstand this dangerous cocktail will be harmed.
And the EPA is currently planning to approve this dangerous combination, which will ramp up the use of herbicides.
The use of 2,4-D will further endanger threatened species like California red-legged frogs, Alameda whipsnakes and several types of salmon by destroying plants where these species live. Herbicides also put increasing pressure on monarch butterflies — whose populations have dropped more than 80 percent — while a plant they depend on, milkweed, has declined over 50 percent because of herbicides.
And people are also at risk: 2,4-D has been associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Parkinson's disease and an increased risk of birth abnormalities.
Act now and tell the EPA to reject this alarming new herbicide mix and protect people, wildlife and the places they live.
I am opposed to the EPA's proposed registration of the herbicide Enlist Duo by the Dow Chemical Company.
The Enlist Duo herbicide, containing glyphosate and the choline salt of 2,4-D, shouldn't be approved for use to control weeds in fields of genetically engineered 2,4-D tolerant corn and soybeans. Although glyphosate is no longer as effective as it once was, adding the use of 2,4-D will have more unreasonable adverse effects than benefits. Not only are there risks for insects and animals -- there are also potential harms to people.
Threatened species such as California red legged frogs, Alameda whipsnakes, and several types of Pacific salmon would be hurt by the use of 2,4-D. In turn these species -- whose populations are already threatened -- would be placed in further danger. Also, other species that aren't currently threatened have already shown drastic population declines, and evidence points toward the use of herbicides as the cause. Specifically monarch butterflies, which only lay their eggs on milkweed plants, have had a population decline of 81 percent. Meanwhile milkweed populations have decreased by 58 percent -- likely due to herbicide use.
2,4-D has been shown to be associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Parkinson's disease and an increased risk of birth abnormalities. 2,4-D is also the seventh largest source of dioxin, which is highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones, and cause cancer. The chemicals used in Agent Orange, such as 2,4-D, have also been associated with a range of other health problems.
The increased use of herbicides has caused weeds to become resistant to chemicals, and using more herbicides isn't the right solution to this problem. Using herbicides drastically reduces the variety of plant life in any area where they end up. When plants are killed, the insects and animals that are dependent on them are also affected. Please -- don't approve the use of the Enlist Duo herbicide containing glyphosate and choline salt of 2,4-D.
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