April 23, 2024

WHO Classifies 2,4-D Herbicide as Possible Carcinogen

The Center for Food Safety has announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that the herbicide 2,4-D, used in Dow Chemical’s “Enlist Weed Control System”, is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Enlist corn and soybean seeds are genetically engineered to resist this herbicide, which means it can be sprayed on crops and won’t kill them.

WeedsEnlist is comprised of glyphosate, the chemical used in Roundup, a well-known herbicide, and 2,4-D, which was an ingredient in Agent Orange, an herbicide used during the Vietnam war. Glyphosate has also been determined as “possibly carcinogenic.”

Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, said in a statement, “this last thing we need is genetically engineered crops that dramatically increase the spraying of potentially carcinogenic chemicals. Dow’s GE crops will be sprayed with Enlist Duo, which combines 2,4-D and glyphosate There are better ways to control weeds that don’t involve cancer-causing herbicides.” Center for Food Safety and other groups sued the EPA in February 2015, alleging violation of federal law in approving Enlist Duo.

Since Roundup Ready crops were introduced, the tons of glyphosate used in farm fields in the United States has increased dramatically. Weeds have become resistant to the herbicide, which means more of the toxic chemical must be used to control them. In fact, glyphosate is the most heavily used herbicide in America at this time.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer of WHO has found that 2,4-D suppresses the immune system in animals and causes oxidative stress. Many human epidemiological studies have found that exposure to 2,4-D is associated with the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer. In fact, in 1992 the U.S. National Cancer Institute found that the “frequent use of phenoxyacetic acid herbicides, in particular, 2,4-D, has been associated with a 2- to 8-fold increase of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in studies conducted in Sweden, Kansas, Nebraska, Canada, and elsewhere.”

The Center for Food Safety is urging the EPA to conduct independent testing of the herbicide instead of relying on industry tests before making decisions about approving these new pesticide combinations. The EPA has not responded to these requests, and may not ever respond.


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