Tell the USDA to reject Monsanto’s petition to approve its new GE corn seed!
This Genetically Engineered (GE) corn seed is resistant to FIVE different herbicides. Approving the use of this seed will result in an increased use of these herbicides, some of which have harmful impacts on human health, like increased risk of cancer, neurotoxicity, birth defects, and decreased fertility.
Plus, these herbicides spell disaster for our air, water, soil, and pollinators—which provide one in every three bites of our food.
With so much else capturing our attention, we cannot let the USDA or Monsanto get away with poisoning our soil or our health!
I am deeply concerned about Monsanto’s petition to approve the use of its new GE corn seed that is resistant to five herbicides. The USDA must reject this petition in the interest of farmers, farm workers, consumers, and the planet.
Monsanto has a history of poisoning our land and people, most recently resulting in a $10 billion settlement with victims of glyphosate (Roundup) who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a $400 million settlement with farmers harmed by dicamba drift, and a court order banning the use of dicamba. This GE corn will result in escalating the use of these and three other dangerous herbicides.
The reason Monsanto is petitioning for approval of GE corn seed resistant to five herbicides is because superweeds have become resistant to glyphosate alone, resulting in Monsanto’s request to increase the toxicity of the herbicides its corn is resistant to.
The approval of the new GE corn seed will result in the increased use of toxic herbicides that could cause increased rates of cancer, birth defects, neurotoxicity, and decreased fertility. In particular, farmworkers, who experience the greatest exposure to these chemicals, are at the highest risk. During the COVID-19 crisis, exposure to toxic chemicals will put them at even greater risk of serious health impacts from the novel coronavirus.
Approval of this seed also risks consumers’ health, as nearly all non-organic foods have pesticide residues. While the EPA has established limits to keep consumers safe, these only address individual chemicals; it’s unclear how these combined chemicals will impact health at the dinner table. This makes Monsanto’s toxic cocktail of five herbicides even more concerning.
At a time when farmers are increasingly turning to regenerative, organic, and transitional organic practices that reduce or eliminate synthetic herbicides while increasing yields and profits, approval of Monsanto’s new GE corn seeds could once again result in harms from the drift of potent herbicides, particularly dicamba. As farmers are increasingly working to restore soil health, exposure to multiple toxic pesticides will further degrade agricultural soils.
These herbicides also negatively impact the environment, including polluting local waterways and killing pollinators. For example, research demonstrates that 2,4-dichlogophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)—one of the five herbicides in Monsanto’s petition—is linked to honeybee deaths. This has disastrous consequences for our food supply given that one in three bites of our food relies on pollinators.
USDA's mission is to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. The best available science tells us that the increasing use of toxic herbicides is negatively impacting human health, soil health, and wildlife. For these reasons, USDA must reject Monsanto’s petition.