Fifty members of congress expressed grave concerns in a formal letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The letter asked the USDA and the EPA to reject the next wave of genetically engineered crops. Both organizations are currently reviewing applications from DOW Chemical for new varieties of GE corn and soybeans including Enlist Duo which consists of a mix between 2,4-D and glyphosate resistant genes.
The letter has been included below and reads in part:
“We request that USDA and EPA fully review the facts, law, and science in this case. …the risks of approving 2,4-D crops are simply too great and benefits too few to jeopardize public health, the environment and the long-term sustainability of our food supply. We therefore request EPA not to register Enlist Duo for use on 2,4-D crops and USDA maintain the regulated status for 2,4-D resistant crops.”
“We currently stand at an agricultural crossroads. The first generation of ‘Roundup Ready’ GE crops increased herbicide use by 527 million pounds between 1996 and 2011, triggering an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant ‘superweeds’ which now infest over 61 million acres across 36 states. 2,4-D crops are among the ‘next-generation’ of GE crops engineered to withstand applications of older, more toxic herbicides. While they are often touted as a solution to herbicide-resistant weeds, even the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recognizes in its draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that deregulating 2,4-D crops will spur the further evolution of 2,4-D resistant weeds and cause a three to seven fold increase in 2,4-D use.”
The 50 members of congress signing the letter are:
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Robert A. Brady (D-PA-01), Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), David Cicilline (D-RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY-09), Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11), John Conyers Jr. (D-MI-13), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Keith Ellison (D-MN-05), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA-18), Sam Farr (D-CA-20), Alan Grayson (D-FL-09), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03), Mike Honda (D-CA-17), Jared Huffman,(D-CA-02), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH-02), James Langevin (D-RI-02), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), James McGovern (D-MA-02), Michael Michaud (D-ME-02), Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), James Moran (D-VA-08), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-01), Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ-09), Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01), Mark Pocan (D-WI-02), Jared Polis (D-CO-02), Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), Charles Rangel, (D-MY-13), Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-01), Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), Dina Titus (D-NV-01), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), Maxine Waters (D-CA-43).