It is indeed a "brave new world" we are embarking upon when we consider our use of agricultural chemicals, especially glyphosate and now 2,4-D resistant transgenic crops recently approved by the EPA.  Throughout the entire country, you will consistently hear that weeds are soaking up more nutrients in the soil and space within usable farmland is dwindling. They are hindering yields annually.  It would be false to disagree with that sentiment, but we do have to understand that a complete lack of foresight and overuse during the past 40 years of spraying herbicides now has many ramifications.  However, instead of acknowledging this fact, the chemical industry has made a concerted effort to move ahead into even more toxic territories, and it seems like there is no going back from this mindset, unless we stand our ground against it.   

 

Developed by Dow AgroSciences, 2,4-D was originally registered in the 1940s and then developed as a component of the Vietnam-era wartime chemical known as "agent orange" where it had been used as a defoliant. It had been proven to be a highly toxic chemical that caused thousands of traumatic health effects during and after that time frame.  Most notably, it had been the 7th largest source of dioxins in the entire country, directly linked to reproductive issues, immune system cancers, Parkinson's Disease and endocrine disruption. Even with those understood and clearly demonstrated risks, the chemical companies still sought to utilize it as a line of defense against the weed problem that they had exacerbated.  

 

You may even be inclined to ask the question, "Why are they using this chemical in the first place if there are so many question marks around it?".  The long and short of it is, because they absolutely have to use it.  In it's latest incarnation, 2,4-D is used in tandem with glyphosate, as the famous herbicide is no longer working as designed any longer.  Due to overuse, RoundUp and other products that use glyphosate have caused new "superweeds" to grow all over the world. These superweeds have become either partially or completely resistant to this form of control. In response, the chemical companies simply reverted to a wartime chemical, supposedly synthesized it into a completely newer "safer" state, and are now touting it as ready for human consumption.  

 

Despite dozens of scientific studies clearly linking this chemical to cancer, endocrine disruption, genetic mutation, reproductive toxicity and neurotoxicity, they want to use it anyway.  It had even been approved in September of 2014 by the EPA, which is a stunning contrast to their own primary directive.  Now, consider for a moment, your child eating food that not only contains glyphosate, along with other toxic adjuvants associated with it, but now they will also be ingesting 2,4-D as well.  Can we possibly imagine, as the health impacts are adding up around glyphosate, the long lasting effects on our children and all future generations eating food with these chemicals combined?  For now, we are forced to trust the companies creating the chemicals and allow them to base all of their results on rats in a lab.  

 

They (chemical companies) have asked us to trust them without asking questions, and to make it more perplexing, no one is even allowed to test their products due to the protection offered by our patent laws. The government is even happy to open up their wallets from taxpayer dollars to subsidize this toxic food so we can pay for a "cheaper" meal and then eat it without any real understanding about the true situation at hand.  Then, when we ask for simple labels to understand what it is that we may be eating, what happens almost like clockwork?  The chemical companies use their money, influence, political pressure and attorneys to ensure that this practice will continue unabated, despite what the people have to say about it. The people must speak up and speak up loudly, because when you look down at the children eating these chemicals, no one wants to think about playing with their fate due to something like this practice.  

 

We have certainly crossed a precipice in our collective opinion, as the chemicals have been extremely toxic in the past, and are clearly becoming more so in the future.  Even by the USDA analysis, they expect use of this new controversial chemical to be up to 176 million pounds used per year by 2020. 

 

Unless we emerge as one by creating a line of hope for future generations against this type of agriultural system, we will be faced with the unenviable task of living with it.