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Chemical Used as Weapon in Vietnam War May Be 'Carpet Bombed' on U.S. Crop Fields

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Dow AgroScience, an Indianapolis, Indiana-based subsidiary of the multinational corporation The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, is petitioning the Unites States government to deregulate a genetically engineered variety of corn that is resistant to the pesticide 2,4-D, reported Natural News.

The pesticide 2,4-D, first commercially released in 1946, controls broadleaf weeds in wheat, corn and rice. But it is extremely toxic and also comprised 50 percent of Agent Orange, the code name for one of the herbicides that the U.S. military sprayed over Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The pesticide destroyed their opponent's crops and forest that concealed its troops and supply lines. But the chemical concoction was even more powerful than its intention, killing or maiming roughly 400,000 people and causing birth defects in approximately 500,000 children, estimates the Vietnam government, reported The Globe and Mail.

Even the man responsible for inventing Agent Orange spent years of his life trying to prevent its further use. U.S. biologist Arthur Galston died in June 2008 at the age of 88. “Nothing that you do in science is guaranteed to result in benefits for mankind,” he has said, reported The Globe. “Any discovery ... can be turned either to constructive ends or destructive ends.”

Furthermore, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified 2,4-D as a class 2B carcinogen, which is considered possibly carcinogenic to humans.

If Dow's petition request is approved, crops across the country may be "carpet bombed" with 2,4-D chemicals. As the GE corn is resistant to 2,4-D, it may incorporate those chemicals into its own structures and grain kernels, reported Natural News. Thus, humans would consume "corn laced with 2,4-D" when they ate corn-based breakfast cereals or corn tortillas. Additionally, corn is a component in the majority of groceries, considering it is a main feed source for animals such as cows and cross-bred with so many crops.

Read Dow's petition in the Federal Register. Submit comments or objections to the Federal Register by mail: Docket No. APHIS-2010-0103, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238