North American farm organizations have usually been eager adopters of new genetically modified crop varieties but opposition to some new GM corn, soybean and cotton varieties introduced by Dow and Monsanto might be a game changer.
The new varieties are resistant to 2,4-D and dicamba herbicides. The US farm group, Save Our Crops Coalition, organized for the specific purpose of fighting these new crop introductions, claims that 2,4-D and dicamba are dangerous and “are known to cause extensive yield damage to non-target crops” even at extremely low rates of exposure. Spray drift and volatilization are projected by the Coalition to increase as a result of a 600% increase in 2,4-D and dicamba use resulting from the introduction of the new 2,4-D and dicamba resistant GM crops.
Herbicide resistance is designed into some GM crops in order to allow farmers to use a specific herbicide on the growing crop. The herbicide will kill weeds but not the crop because of the herbicide resistance introduced into the crop plant by the genetic modification.
Save our Crops Coalition states that it is not opposed to GM crops in general but is concerned about the increased use of these pesticides that will occur because of the introduction of these particular GM crops that are awaiting regulatory approval. The Coalition has told the press that its members include more than 2,000 U.S. farmers and food companies.
The status of introduction of these herbicide resistant crops into Canada is not currently known. Details of the Save Our Crops Coalition opposition to the new GM crop introductions is available at http://saveourcrops.org