Commentary: Concerned Scientists blasting Enlist

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The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) organization was quick to react to Dow AgroSciences announcement that the Enlist Weed Control System had completed another Department of Agriculture step toward having herbicide and seed available for use by farmers of the nation.

The UCS sent out its “heads up” warning to media immediately following Dow’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its draft environmental impact statement of experimental corn and soybean seeds genetically engineered by Dow Agrosciences “to tolerate application of the weed killer 2,4-D and other herbicides.”

As known by everyone in the agricultural industry, UCS reported that Dow “put these new seeds forward for regulatory approval because of the spread of weeds that have grown resistant to another herbicide—Monsanto’s Roundup.”

It is definitely a planned approach to use Monsanto’s name in the UCS news because of the hatred toward anything associated with Monsanto by environmental activists. The weeds, which the UCS calls “superweeds,” actually have resistance is to all glyphosate herbicides.

The UCS contends it has put together its own report/brief that says “USDA approval of additional herbicide-tolerant crops would only make the problem worse.” The UCS is against herbicide-tolerant crops and herbicide combinations of any type, not just because of 2,4-D potentially being used more than in recent years.

UCS is trying to drum up interviews with its senior scientist—who co-authored the brief—especially interviews with the consumer/general media reporters. 

The UCS spokesman scientist said, “As many weed scientists have noted, approval of these crops will only exacerbate resistant weed problems, as overuse of the associated herbicides will lead to a new round of resistant weeds. Some will be likely become resistant to all of the most effective remaining herbicides. And because there are no new herbicides in the development pipeline, farmers could soon have no good chemical options for weed control. So approval of these crops will only throw fuel on the fire. Fortunately, sustainable answers are available. Growing crops using ecological methods, such as cover crops, longer crop rotations, mulches and judicious tillage and herbicide use can control these weeds and provide high productivity, profit and environmental benefits.”

The non-agricultural media might run wild with sound bites like UCS is and will be issuing.  


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