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Ignoring the legal requirement to examine threats to endangered species, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved Wednesday the use of the dangerously toxic herbicide dicamba on crops genetically modified to tolerate the chemical.
Dicamba has been around for decades, but this new EPA decision allows the herbicide to be sprayed directly on genetically modified (GM) cotton and soybeans — opening the door for dicamba use to jump from less than 1 million pounds to more than 25 million annually on these two crops.
According to news agencies, the EU Commission has allowed the import of genetically engineered soybeans produced by Bayer and Monsanto. The imported soybeans can be used in food and feed despite unresolved concerns about health risks.
These crops can be sprayed with a combination of glyphosate and other herbicides such as dicamba or isoxaflutole. Market authorization has been issued after massive pressure from industry, which already sold its patented seeds in the US for cultivation and now wants to import the harvest to the EU within the next months.
Today, U.S. soybean producers spend 88 percent more on crop protectant products than they did six years ago, stated the 2015 National Ag Statistics Survey last month.
“Aside from seed expense, crop protection products (chemicals) are the most expensive input soybean producers pay for,” said Tong Wang, SDSU Extension Advanced Production Specialist, referencing the 2015 farm enterprise analysis data from FINBIN, the farm financial management database, which showed the average cash-rent soybean production farms in Minnesota, North and South Dakota incurred a crop chemical cost of $39 per acre.
To help producers reduce expenses, Wang encourages growers to consider modifying their pest management practices to include non-chemical options.
The EU Commission should not authorize the use of glyphosate-tolerant GM soybeans in food and feed, said the European Parliament on Wednesday.
MEPs noted that glyphosate, a herbicide, classified as “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and that GMOs are being authorized in the EU without the support of member states.
Glyphosate (Roundup) alone is causing cancer and birth defects, among many other things, so this cocktail of death should be even safer.
What could possibly go wrong?
In a letter to Testbiotech and GeneWatch UK, the responsible EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis admitted Monday that “it is true that the legislation requires cumulative and synergistic effects of pesticide residues to be considered,” for the new genetically-modified (GM) soybean varieties that have been designed to be grown with multiple herbicides.
At the same time, Andriukaitis also states that methods to assess these health effects are not yet available. The letter from the Commission was written in response to a call by the two organisations to stop market authorization of herbicide resistant genetically engineered soybeans. These plants can be sprayed with a combination of herbicides, such as glyphosate with dicamba or isoxaflutole.
Monsanto’s Intacta RR2 PRO soybeans are outperformed by non-GM soybeans in the major soy-producing regions of Brazil, according to a new scientific study reported in Valor Econômico.
Source: Valor Econômico pratoslimpos.org.br
Translated by GM Watch: www.gmwatch.org
Intacta soybeans contain genes for tolerance to glyphosate herbicide and a Bt insecticidal toxin.
Mexico’s Supreme Court last week supported rulings from March 2014 that blocked genetically modified (GM) soy from being grown in the Mexican sates of Yucatan and Campeche. The Supreme Court ruling means that Mayan communities in the area will be completely protected from GMO contamination in their honey production.
It was a very bad week for the Biotech industry in Mexico. On Wednesday Demanda Colectiva Maíz (Acción Colectiva), announced that opponents of genetically modified (GM) maize in Mexico also prevailed in an important new federal appeals court ruling.
– Children Suffer Genetic Damage from Pesticides in Argentina GM Soy Region (Sustainable Pulse, March 23, 2015):
Children exposed to pesticides sprayed in a GM soy-producing region of Argentina have genetic damage, a team of researchers from the National University of Río Cuarto, Cordoba (UNRC), found in a new study.
Sources: Main Source: www.gmwatch.org/ By Claire Robinson
The study compared 50 children living in the town of Marcos Juárez (Córdoba) at different distances from pesticide-sprayed areas with 25 children from the city of Río Cuarto (Córdoba), who were considered not to be exposed to pesticides.