The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced that Dow AgroScience Company is seeking deregulation of a new genetically engineered corn (DAS -4027809), tolerant to broadleaf phenoxy auxin herbicides such as 2,4-D and grass herbicides such as quizalofop, and is soliciting public comments by February 27, 2012, to be submitted at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!searchResults;rpp=10;po=0;s=APHIS-2010-0103
2,4-D toxicity well documented
A study of farm homes in Iowa in 2006 showed that 95% of the homes were polluted with detectable levels of 2,4-D ; 2,4-D was detected in 100 % of the surface drinking-water supplies of the Northern Great Plains of Canada . There is substantive evidence that 2,4 –D and its contaminant dioxins are implicated in soft tissue sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After Sweden banned the herbicide in the early 1970s the incidence of two cancers declined . Birth malformations and other adverse perinatal outcomes were observed in four US wheat-producing states. Infant death from congenital anomalies significantly increased in high-wheat counties for males but not for females. These results are especially of concern because of widespread use of chlorophenoxy herbicides . A significant increase in the use of 2,4-D is likely to increase the incidence of some cancers and birth defects.
Recent studies showed that 2,4-D was teratogenic to a South American toad, resulting in reduced body size, delayed development, microcephaly and abnormal cellular proliferation . At low concentration, 2,4-D stimulated transcription of the c-Myc cancer gene and induced apoptosis (cell suicide) in Syrian hamster embryo cells, suggesting that 2,4-D should be considered a hazard to humans . It has also been shown to affect the expression of many genes in human liver (hepatoma) cells, including those involved in DNA repair. Human hepatoma HepG2 cells were incubated with 2,4-D or nitrate alone for 24 h. Total RNA from treated and control cells were isolated, reverse transcribed and labelled, and hybridized to a human cDNA microarray. The hybridized microarray chips were scanned, quantified and analyzed to identify genes affected by 2,4-D or nitrate exposure. Low-level exposure altered the expression of many genes. The affected genes were those involved in stress response, cell cycle control, immunological and DNA repair . A 2005 report prepared by the Sierra Club of Canada made reference to over 75 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the toxicity of 2,4-D documenting genotoxicity, cancer, teratogenicity, neurotoxic, immunosuppressive, cytotoxic and hepatoxic impacts in humans and animals . In view of the numerous toxic effects of the herbicide, introducing GM maize resistant to 2,4-D is simply out of the question.
DAS-40278-9 Maize is a step backward in terms of environmental pollution. The raison d'etre of the product is that it provides an alternative to GM crops which have grown useless as a consequence of weeds resistant to herbicides for which they have been made tolerant. However, replacing them with GM tolerance to a herbicide that has been around for over seventy years is surely a retrograde step, as during that time, a number of weeds resistant to it such as wild carrot and water hemp has already evolved; not to mention its documented toxicity. The plan to stack 2,4-D resistance with glyphosate simply multiplies the calamities in terms of herbicide toxicities and weed resistances.
It is a sure sign that the herbicide treadmill has run its course, and the only way ahead is organic, integrated pest-management and agro-ecological farming  (Food Futures Now: *Organic *Sustainable *Fossil Fuel Free , ISIS publication).