Herbicide-resistant crops may soon see exposure to a new vastly dangerous toxin, shades of Agent Orange. Foodandwaterwatch.org cites Dow Agrosciences’ interest in repurposing the once weaponized poison for use in agricultural production, outraging many. Despite new toxicity inquiries and historically documented contamination of a human population, the federal government continues to push for its use.
Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) once composed half the chemical concoction that was Agent Orange, used militarily from 1961-1971. In Vietnam, and possibly elsewhere, planes sprayed vast quantities of toxins over the wartime jungle, officially, to clear bush out for troops. Grotesque deaths in the countryside from exposure were reported, survivors often suffering lifelong symptoms. Vietnam today is a country forever stunted by the now decades-old war, birth defects of disturbing variety continue to plague its people at large. Agent Oranges’ illegal use also afflicted American soldiers, www.vva.org reports, some 3-5% of their children being born with congenital defects. 2,4-D is known to cause cancers, skin sores, reproductive determinants, occasional death in animals, and neurological devastation.
The Detroit Press relayed the plight of Vo Duo, a 58-year-old Vietnamese man whose family has long been haunted by American biowarfare. Vo Duo is diabetic, his wife has breast cancer, and their daughter has suffered several miscarriages leaving her childless. “More than five out of every 100 children born” suffer cancers, learning disorders, malformation, and other disturbing diseases asserts Vietnamese scientists, according to the Chicago Tribune.
American officials dodged official responsibility by linking poor diet and other, widely accepted phenomenon to the health crisis. Vietnamese studies, however, show the now unprecedented defect rate has more than quadrupled since the war began. Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid is also linked to cell damage and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Like with many GMO-related ingredients, you will not be informed such a toxin is used in the growth and production process of your food. The FDA insists, according to foodandwaterwatch.org, that corn resistant to 2,4-D is no different from conventional corn, any fears are misinformed. Officials maintain this despite their own biotechnology consultant noting several fatty and amino acid, mineral, and vitamin differences in the corn.
Harm to humans aside, the toxin is extremely volatile and could easily cause massive damage to natural habitats. In Vietnam, the spray’s official use was to thin the guerilla’s jungle shield, spray then bomb then send shock troops. Farm animals died from eating contaminated plants or feed, tainted drinking water poisoned whole villages. American and Vietnamese troops operating in heavily sprayed areas were damaged genetically if they weren’t stricken with illness. The scars the war left proves that any containment policy was either ignored, ineffective, or a complete illusionary concept. NMFS [National Marine Fisheries Services] warns; “the proposed registration of pesticides containing 2,4-D…are likely to jeopardize the continued existence of one or more of the 28 endangered and threatened pacific salmonids and 2,4-D are likely to adversely modify or destroy the designated critical habitat for one or more of the 28 threatened and endangered salmonids.” A EPA toxicity report suggests, “very highly to slightly toxic to freshwater and marine invertebrates.” Despite these findings, USDA claims 2,4-D will not adversely affect endangered wildlife or their ecosystems, though new investigations have been launched.
By implementing Agent Orange-related toxins in agricultural production, Dow expected $1.5 million in additional yearly profits, not to mention others. Corporate culture of profit over all else is a ticking time bomb nestled deeply in our countries economic and social structure. We need not hypothesize over what 2,4-D exposed food could do, look to the still suffering country of Vietnam as an example. Its people endured America’s unofficial, and illegal, chem-war for over a decade leaving a looming shadow plaguing thousands to this day. Ask yourself, what’s the purpose? Why expose food to toxins linked directly with mass human suffering, toxins deemed criminally hanus in wartime. Adults in this country are expected to make responsible choices for themselves, it would seem blind choices are more favorable in the government’s eyes.
-I’m just saying
By Isiah Holmes