On February 23rd, the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) filed a lawsuit against the EPA seeking to force the government agency to consider a petition aimed at banning a common toxic pesticide ingredient that is best known for its use in Agent Orange.
In a statement released by the organization, forty-six million pounds of 2,4-D are used in the U.S. annually, commonly in weed-and-feed type garden products used in school and playground areas, lawns and parks. And agriculturally, it can be found applied to pasture land, wheat, corn, soy, barley, rice, oats, sugar cane and timber.
The organization's lawsuit comes just as major chemical companies and manufacturers have begun to push for the USDA approval of genetically modified crops resistant to 2,4-D. Glyphosate, an herbicide commonly marketed by Monsanto as Roundup, is used aggressively on genetically modified seeds—mainly corn, soy, canola and cotton. But bugs, like the rootworm and some species of weeds have begun showing resistance to glyphosate, leading chemical and seed companies to engineer 2,4-D resistant seeds, despite the likelihood of resistance cropping up to 2,4-D and other pesticides engineered into resistant seeds.
According to the NRDC, 2,4-D is absorbed through the skin, putting anyone in contact with it at risk of serious health issues connected to the chemical, including cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cell damage, severe hormonal disruption, reproductive problems and birth defects. In a statement, NRDC senior scientist, Dr. Gina Solomon stated, " There’s no reason to continue allowing a toxic Agent Orange-ingredient in the places our children play, our families live and our farmers work. EPA must step up and finally put a stop to it.”
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