At least two well-known anti-biotechnology groups have begun a campaign to prevent the approval of Dow AgroSciences’ corn trait that is designed to withstand applications of 2,4-D herbicide.

Beyond Pesticides is calling for the public to make comments on USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Web site against the approval of the trait. APHIS opened a public comment period on the trait over the holidays. Public comments are being accepted through Feb. 27, 2012, for Dow’s 2,4-D tolerant corn and Monsanto’s stearidonic acid soybeans, which the group also opposes.

The group condemns the technology because it claims the trait will spread the use of a toxic chemical in the environment as well as increase the risk of super weeds.

“In 2012 the USDA is proposing approving a new GE corn variety that is resistant to a different toxic herbicide, escalating the toxic treadmill in chemical-dependent agriculture,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “This is nothing more than a band-aid solution to a serious problem, and will only give rise to more superweeds, more herbicide pollution in our environment, more herbicide poisoning, while likely leading to the need for even more toxic herbicides a couple of years down the line. This foolish circle has to end,” he added.

The Center for Food Safety is raising money to begin a lawsuit against the trait’s approval, according to reports from Agri-Pulse.

Dow spokeswoman Kenda Resler-Friend told Agri-Pulse, “The threat of a suit was not unanticipated. Given that CFS has filed a legal action of some sort against virtually every crop biotechnology product submitted to U.S. regulatory authorities in recent years, it's hard to imagine their failing to do so in this instance."