Dow AgroSciences LLC is asking the Department of Agriculture to sign off on a new genetically engineered corn seed that is resistant to not only glyphosate, but also 2,4-D
Naylor fears that if the corn is approved, the use of 2,4-D will also shoot up, eventually leading to weeds that develop their own resistance to the chemical. Industry, he said, is on the verge of stepping onto a treadmill where stronger and more toxic chemicals will be used to combat increasingly resistant weeds — at the expense of the environment and farmers’ health.
“It’s a big turning point for agriculture,” Naylor said. “If they are going to keep going down this road by coming up with a quick fix to the problems they created in the first place, then the problems are just going to compound.
“My neighborhood and a lot of farm neighborhoods are just going to be sacrificed zones,” added the farmer, whose efforts against genetically engineered corn were chronicled by Michael Pollan in his 2006 book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” “There is going to be stuff in the air all the time.”
Dow AgroSciences filed its petition with USDA last December to little fanfare. In February, the agency extended the public comment period through the end of next month.