Making Chemical Giants Happy At Our ExpenseMay 9th, 2012 3:54 pm Jim Hightower
Thanks to the blessings of nature and good farmers, you and I can enjoy such scrumptious delights as fresh corn-on-the-cob, popcorn and many other variations of this truly great grain. And now, thanks to Dow Chemical and federal regulators, we can look forward to “Agent Orange Corn.”
The chemical giant is in line to gain approval for putting a genetically altered corn seed on the market that will produce corn plants that won’t die when doused with high levels of 2,4-D.
This potent pesticide was an ingredient in Dow’s notorious Agent Orange defoliant, which did such extensive and horrific damage to soldiers and civilians in the Vietnam War. However, the corporation and the feds claim that 2,4-D was not the deadliest ingredient of the killer defoliant and has not yet been proven to cause cancer in humans, so they’re pressing ahead to let this corporate-constructed seed be planted across America.
Dow now sells 2,4-D to help kill various weeds, but the herbicide is so strong that it also kills nature’s own version of corn plants. Thus, Dow’s genetic engineers went into the corporate lab and manufactured a new corn that’s immune to the weed-killer. This would let the chemical maker profit from selling the patented seed, plus enjoying a huge increase in sales of its 2,4-D herbicide. How happy for Dow!
Not so happy, though, for consumers worried about the untested long-term health consequences of the altered corn and the carcinogenic possibilities of ingesting more 2,4- D. Also, when sprayed, this herbicide can vaporize and spread for miles, killing crops that are not immune, poisoning the surrounding environment, and endangering the health of farmers and townspeople throughout the area.
Dow is hardly alone in pursuing its happiness at the expense of others. Indeed, rather than finding ways to cooperate with the natural world, America’s agribusiness giants generally reach for the quick, high-tech fix in a futile effort to overpower nature. Their attitude is that if brute force isn’t working, they’re probably not using enough of it.
Monsanto, for example, has banked a fortune by selling a corn seed that it genetically manipulated to produce corn plants that won’t die when sprayed with a toxic weed-killer called “Roundup.” Not coincidentally, Monsanto also happens to be the maker of Roundup, so it has profited from the seed and from the surge in Roundup sales that the seed generated. Slick.