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Take Action Against Dow Chemical and Monsanto ‘Agent Orange’ GMO Crops

Cassandra Anderson
Natural Society / Call to Action
Published: Tuesday 24 April 2012
“The USDA has failed to require tests of how 2,4-D herbicide and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide interact synergistically in the environment and in humans.”
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You can help to hold the USDA and Dow Chemical accountable simply by posting your comments on the official public record of Dow Chemical’s petition with the USDA to approve their 2,4-D herbicide resistant GMO crops (remember that 2,4-D herbicide is half of the recipe for Agent Orange).

The USDA is required to respond to all UNIQUE comments publicly. Therefore, it is essential that you write your own message in addition to using any of the issues listed below. It’s also important to note that comments close April 27th, so make sure to get them in today. It’s simple to do, and you can view the list of issues and links below. Simply go to the USDA website to leave your comments and take action!

Here is a list of issues concerning the new dangerous 2,4-D herbicide resistant crops and source links that we encourage you to use, along with your own message, in your comments to the USDA:

Effects on human health:

  • I am demanding a full Environmental Impact Statement on these crops because they can affect human health.
  • What are the cumulative effects for these crops and the increase in 2,4-D herbicide usage?
  • EPA documents show that 2,4-D herbicide is the seventh largest source of dioxin in the US.

Pollution of the environment:

  • EPA documents reveal that 2,4-D agricultural runoff has polluted groundwater across the US. Dioxin has a half-life of more than 100 years when leached into soil and embedded in water systems. Additionally, when contaminated fish are used as a food source, humans absorb dioxin.

Ramped up 2,4-D herbicide in crops:

  • The commercialization of GMO 2,4-D herbicide resistant crops will dramatically increase the usage of 2,4-D herbicide that is linked to dioxin to be used on food crops.

Dioxin in diet and food sources:

  • The FDA admits that 95% of human dioxin absorption is from diet, especially animal fats. Corn and other crops are used for animal feed and dioxin levels are likely to rise in animals if they are fed 2,4-D herbicide resistant GMO crops, due to increased herbicide use.

Connection to cancer and birth defects:

  • The EPA says that dioxin increases risk of cancer and current dioxin levels are already “uncomfortably” close to dangerous levels that can cause other health damage.
  • EPA admits that dioxin in 2,4-D causes blood, liver and kidney toxicity in addition to birth defects in lab-tested animals.
  • The Veteran’s Administration recognizes these diseases that have resulted from Agent Orange exposure (2,4-D is half of the recipe of Agent Orange): Amyloidosis, chronic B-cell leukemias, chloracne, diabetes mellitus type 2, Hodgkin’s Disease, ischemic heart disease, multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Parkinson’s Disease, peripheral neuropathy, liver dysfunction, prostate cancer, respiratory cancers (including lung), soft tissue sarcomas and birth defects in subsequent generations.
  • The USDA has failed to require tests of how 2,4-D herbicide and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide interact synergistically in the environment and in humans, which may present a real danger.

Take action on the USDA comments website:!submitComment;D=APHIS-2010-0103-0001

Please note that your comments should contain an original message by you (instead of a form letter) so that it is counted as a unique message requiring a response from the USDA. It’s also important to be aware that only your name, city and country are required information, the rest of your personal information like your home address and e-mail are voluntary.

Personal stories of individuals affected by agent orange:

Vietnam Veteran suffers from cancer and heart disease. His daughter is afflicted with birth defects. He explains how Vietnam Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange.


Vietnam Veteran suffers from ischemic heart disease and is receiving aid from the Veterans Administration that now recognizes this disease is linked to dioxin exposure from Agent Orange.


Vietnamese family struggles with 2 children that have severe birth defects from Agent Orange. Currently, many children are still being born with serious Agent Orange birth defects in Vietnam.


Daughter of Vietnam Veteran who died from a heart attack at age 56 describes her injuries resulting from Agent Orange in the second generation.


Please do your part to stop the USDA from approving these dangerous crops! Here’s the USDA link again:

Take action now!

I have had the same

I have had the same experience of not being able to leave comments with the FDA. I tried searching, but all results were "not receiving comments" or "closed for comments". Please advise. I have written a letter and want to be sure it is included. Thank you.

When I tried to access the

When I tried to access the petition site, I received a notice that the page does not exist.

Thanks to JBP and John Holmes

Thanks to JBP and John Holmes for reminding us that the cause here SHOULD be about stopping demonstrable harm to human beings, animals, and our planet. In far too many NationofChange columns the "news" that is at the heart of the call to action is laced with inaccuracies, falsehoods, innuendo, and nonsense. If we want to assess the relative benefits and harms of the fruits of science, we need to use good science to do it. How can we locate credible science? John Holmes' advice is excellent.

"Seek help from those who have worked in Agriculture, pesticide regulation or R&D in the chemical industry. Look for people from small companies, and different countries. They know where the real bodies if any are buried."

But JBP's caveat is important. When you turn to good science to support your cause, be prepared to listen to what you may not wish to hear. In the interest of truth and integrity you may have to give up your blanket condemnation of GMOs (or Big Pharma, or the Corporation, or Agrigiants).

If we conduct our campaigns with the principle aim of making ourselves feel good and self-righteous, we cheat each other, sacrifice the well-being of the living things with which we share the planet, and damage the Earth that sustains it all. Too many of the "journalists" who contribute to NOC seek nothing more than to inflame with anger and righteousness uncritical readers who will donate to "the cause" (NOC). Instead they damage the real cause specifically, and the progressive agenda in general. The progressive movement is about transcending the myopic, infantile, greed that infects so many of our institutions and continuing to write an evolving human story that we can be proud of when it comes to an end. If we don't do it right, it will not get done. Get it right - get it done!

Being a European liberal (in

Being a European liberal (in US I would probably be considered a communist ;-), it is a bit saddening to see this quasi-religious approach so typical for your Great Nation. Being a trained molecular biologist doing research in the nineties and now residing in sales & marketing, I have come to develop a more balanced - some might say cynical - view.
Now let me make this clear: Constructing a device making an organism capable of sustaining life when exposed to poison to improve the survival rate of that specific organism amongst others in the biosphere is perverted!! I fully support the notion that Official Bodies (and best internationally) should ban such devices (in most cases). My contribution here is to correct the fact that no one in this dedicated forum is talking about the benefits of GMO?
A few examples:
In SE Asia maybe 50% or so of the population is suffering from iron deficiency causing impaired intellectual capacity, immune system and other serious consequences, mainly arising from the fact that people primarily feed on rice. Now, with an Iron depositing system, the rice could be enriched with iron with immense positive consequences especially for the poorest 99% of the population! There are numerous projects working on producing rice with e.g. recombinant Transferring or Ferritin, proteins that is absolutely harmless when in the biosphere. Would that be a bad GMO?
Why am I writing …(in most cases) … above? Well, the example is, that it is possible to genetically manipulate certain microorganisms making them even more efficient in degrading oil, which for most other organisms is poison. This would be an extremely efficient and natural way to fight the consequences of oil spills, like the BP Gulf disaster not so long ago.

In conclusion, although I sympathize with the notion of a world not exposed to human activity, and believe this scenario is not so far down the path(!), GMO's are not all bad. It depends on the setting and the way we humans handle our knowledge and where we implement it. …And of course, quick profit is NOT the long term smart driver.

As a funny little coda the Danish company originally holding the patents for using the enzyme degrading Glyphosate in plants, closed their facilities in Denmark when the authorities banned use of the device within the EU. That made 90+ scientists job seekers in DK, just as I was in the process of looking for work back in ’99. The company was Maribo Froe ('Maribo' is the name of a small town south of Copenhagen and 'Froe' means seed), which was a subsidiary of Danisco a DK corporation working with sugar manufacturing and food ingredients a.o.. Last year Dupont acquired Danisco for a couple of billion (5.6 or so) USD. So be prepared: Dupont is strengtening their position on the Stage!

Thank you, JBP for your

Thank you, JBP for your measured comments.

For me, there is one potential glitch, even with 'sound scientific conclusions,' which is that not all possibilities have been incorporated into the experiment's design or purpose. That is, certain results are proven, but others are not even considered, even imaginable.

As with oil-eating bacteria, it is difficult if not impossible to predict all possible ramifications, especially in the long term—even if that intention exists, which is questionable. The world is just too complex. GMOs are included in this caviat. Science can be relatively good, but perhaps not absolutely so. Then technology 'runs off a the mouth.'

An example is the ostensible effectiveness of 'miracle' antibiotics, which were utilized freely for decades without understanding that they also kill our intestinal flora, and can thereby cause many other symptomatologies. Thus, among a few other things, antibiotic 'abuse' can be said to account for new waves of illness, including chronic degenerative things.

Scientists who oppose GMOs say two important things: 1) Too much is still mystery in this field. It's like immature people wielding deadly weapons. The science is not quite as precise as scientific arrogance projects. There's just a ton of money in it. Thus, to trot these things out brazenly at our present level of knowledge (which ain't Wisdom) is foolhardy; and how often do we hear the phrase, "Scientists once thought ... but now ..."?

And 2) insufficient long-term study is rarely if ever done, due, obviously, to economic 'pressure,' aka greed and competition.

There is also the very scary issue of horizontal gene transfer, if I understand correctly, wherein modified genes are not as stable as natural ones, and can split apart unpredictably and 'infect' other organisms directly (not via any reproductive process)? This can produce unprecedented organisms that could be very dangerous. What if, for example, a fish gene from GMO tomatoes should get into our gut bacteria?

And now we have the horrendous issue of GMOs 'taking over' unmodified crops against the will of farmers.

There is now an entirely new organism associated with GMO, which USDA scientist Don Huber has been warning about, which seems to be causing infertility and high abortion rates in cattle. Can you say for certain that this could never happen with the GMO rice? I don't believe anyone can.

My suggestion for the iron-deficient folks is for them to begin growing and eating an iron-rich plant, rather than some unproven GMO, which, when my paranoid nature surfaces, I could easily suspect to be part of the elite's illness/slow genocide agenda (what I suspect of all GMO crops here in America).

As for the poverty, the rice 'solution' only perpetuates that, which is the direct result of an entirely rigged, inequitable, global economic system. Besides, 'poor' is just a definition. 'Poor' people lived off the land quite well in Asia for eons, until science, technology, capitalism, and war screwed up the place, creating an oppressive framework where simple ways no longer work.

Thanks, Peter, for your

Thanks, Peter, for your thoughtful post. I read Dr. Huber's cover letter and intend to read the original that was "leaked" without his permission. His concerns appear to be very real and should give us pause about the long-term effectiveness of the transgenic crop strategy in general and the wisdom of approving GMO alfalfa and sugar beets in particular. I plan to pursue the leads supplied in Dr. Huber's letter and will follow with interest any developments that arise out of research on the possible links between glyphosate and soil insults, including new pathogens, and GMO crops and the growing list of negative long-term burdens on humans, animals, and the environment.

I'm sorry.... I forgot to

I'm sorry.... I forgot to mention that I am a Vietnam veteran having been treated for Ischemic Heart disease and have undergone surgery twice for one stent and then a triple bypass (agent orange related). PTSD, diabetes and alzheimers, Ischemic heart disease and more. this is all under social change and comes from the top four layers of the pyramid. You know..... the one on the dollar.It is the real significance and true story. Sign up for MAYday.

I want to say that I had a

I want to say that I had a similar experience on posting this afternoon. I replied to several comments on another story about Monsanto from Nation of change. It seems that there is some serious censoring going on. If this issue is not addressed then I will assume this is a Monsanto front designed to take flak and give people a forum to vent their issues without ever really having a serious conversation with each other and misdirecting energies better spent elsewhere. If I do not hear from someone to explain then I will unsubscribe from Nation of Change. I hope this gets posted and we get other comments.

Truncating comments with out

Truncating comments with out warning ?? Bit disconcerting!

/continued from above

We also used our own field experience plus the informal net work of Government and private R&D people to confirm that. We had been using these chemicals and needed to know if there was a problem for us, our families, or clients.

Ethical issues of telling lies to support good project. Tends to discredit the campaign. Seek help from those who have worked in Agriculture, pesticide regulation or R&D in the chemical industry. Look for people from small companies, and different countries. They know where the real bodies if any are buried.

The USA is not the holder of all knowledge and other countries are not subject to the same intense political / corporate spin as the US is. But make sure that the data is consistent to those published in the scientific literature.

Reality is much more complex than the simplistic messages which seem to be being promoted via some of these campaigns.

What other action can we

What other action can we take? A petition? Let's start one here on Nation of Change.

Agent Orange was a military

Agent Orange was a military grade herbicide which was produced with out any regard for its safety by people who wanted a quick buck. Typical Monsanto practice where the lawyers dictate the outcomes. (personal experience on several occasions ). The Scientists are over ridden in favor of profit at any price. Problems with both 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T produced by various factories in Australia and New Zealand were impossible to demonstrate. We had more hope in proving the existence of Ghosts.

At the time, and I worked in 3 different State Agricultural Departments and was one of the field guys also reviewing the data on these and other chemicals. The reports were meters deep and we spent alto of time reading and checking them.

Here is my song for all to

Here is my song for all to share.
"Just Kill It! Now There's DOW"

Well done! Impressive. I have

Well done! Impressive. I have passed on the link to my friends and family. Nice voice and styling too.

I tried to post a comment.

I tried to post a comment. It seems as if you do not word it the way THEY want you to word it, it is not accepted. Typical Bureaucratic Bullshit!!

Do you think starting a

Do you think starting a petition would be more effective?

I copied and pasted all the

I copied and pasted all the bullet points (without the links) and succeeded, until I tried to add my own comments. But I was able to add F**K Y*U! at the end. I spelled it out though ;p

Being a veteran of Vietnam

Being a veteran of Vietnam and petrified of dioxins, I am all for urging USDA and EPA not to act in ways that would increase the environment's burden of dioxins. But a fast and loose conflation of 2,4-D, dioxins, and Agent Orange will encourage the USDA to discount our public comments. While the above article is well intentioned, any of us who comment on the USDA website (see the URL in the article) should read thoroughly the EPA document linked above ( and cite specifically what our worries are. 2,4-D is not a dioxin, nor is it the offensive half of Agent Orange. But its manufacture appears to involve thermal processes that can create dioxins as unintended contaminants. This, along with other potential problems, would seem to advise against approving a 2,4-D resistant crop the widespread use of which would result in a huge increase in the use of 2,4-D and, presumably an increased risk of unintended dioxin poisoning. Note that a carefully-worded call for rejection of Dow's application must be sent immediately to meet the deadline. THANKS TO MS. ANDERSON FOR HER CALL TO ACTION!

I have personally watched

I have personally watched several dozen Vietnam vets die from multiple types of cancer complicated by a myriad of organs system failures. A few others seem to be hanging on with grossly compromised lives.
It is clear that the USDA is nothing but a rubber stamp federal bureaucracy for corporate interests of Big Pharma and the chemical industry.

Asking them to consider stopping Dow, Monsanto or any of these corps. is a sad joke though they may monitor public opinion. Much easier to convince a starving fox to stay clear of an unguarded hen house...

The revolving doors between government and industry is disgusting leaving a wake of death and destruction at our expense.

N.Irving Sax's "Dangerous

N.Irving Sax's "Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials" (Toxicologist's Bible) lists 2,4-D herbicide (aka 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid//C8H6Cl2O3) as an experimental carcinogen that can cause liver and kidney damage. The lowest published oral lethal dosage (LD(LO)) for humans is 80 mg/kg, which is a highly acute toxic substance orally (a moderately acute toxic substance dermally). It can cause nausea, vomiting, and central nervous system depression.
Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to the defoliate Agent Orange can add volumes of physical and psychological effects of the substance on humans through personal experience. Skin rashes and lesions to various terminal cancers and many other ailments in-between were inflicted on people in the field where it was employed to kill vegetation in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese people who were exposed to Agent Orange and who remained in the country after the war are a toxicological treasure chests whose health problems could provide warehouses of medical and toxicological information about the effects on humans since they were the most exposed to the poisonous substance through direct contact and collateral exposure through food sources in soil, on land, and in water.

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