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Corn Modified To Deter Agent Orange Nears USDA Approval

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On the heels of Dow AgroSciences' development of genetically engineered corn, teams of farmers, scientists and consumer groups scheduled a news conference Thursday calling on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to end Dow's regulatory application for a multi-crop project called "Enlist." These groups believe the project will cause damage to the environment and human health.

Dow's new strain of corn is said to be resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D, the New York Times reported, and was submitted for U.S. regulatory approval.

The herbicide 2,4-D is also one of the active ingredients in Agent Orange, the widely known militarized defoliant cocktail that was used in Vietnamese jungles during the Vietnam War. Causing deformation in people and widespread cancers, Agent Orange impacted all those who were exposed to it.

"Most experts agree that the harm from Agent Orange was caused primarily by its other ingredient, 2,4,5-T, which was taken off the market long ago. By contrast, 2,4-D, first approved in the late 1940s, is considered safe enough for use in many home lawn care products," according to the NY Times.

The critics of Dow's new Enlist corn said opponents have sent over 350,000 letters, emails and other public comments discouraging the new strain of corn.

by RTT Staff Writer

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