A new biotech corn developed by Dow AgroSciences could answer the prayers of U.S. farmers plagued by a fierce epidemic of super-weeds.
Or it could trigger a flood of dangerous chemicals that may make weeds even more resistant and damage other important U.S. crops.
Or, it could do both.
“Enlist,” entering the final stages of regulatory approval, has become the latest flashpoint in the debate about the risks and rewards about farm technology. With a deadline to submit public comments on Dow’s proposal at the end of this week, more than 5,000 individuals and groups have already weighed in. Dow Agrosciences, a unit of Dow Chemical Co, hopes to have the product approved this year and released by the 2013 crop.
The corn itself is not the issue — rather it is the potent herbicide chemical component 2,4-D that is the center of debate.