As we’re all watching and praying for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, it looks like we’ve got yet another disaster on our hands.
Only this time, it’s one of our own making.
It all has to do with an herbicide that reportedly can kill better than any other. And that’s exactly what it’s doing, only it’s killing much more than weeds. Any plants that get in its way — and aren’t grown from Monsanto’s new GMO seeds — are history.
And, as far as people go, this chemical has been linked to several cancers.
It’s an unimaginable crisis, and our regulators need to wake up and smell the toxic fumes before it’s too late.
An old poison with a new name
If Earth had been attacked by aliens from outer space who set out to destroy our farms, ruin our food, and alter the landscape, it would make more sense.
This, however, is an inside job.
At the end of last year, we told you how this new herbicide from Monsanto called Xtend was approved by the EPA almost secretly while our attention was focused on the presidential election. It contains a decades-old poison called dicamba that’s up to 400 times more toxic to plants than Roundup is.
We predicted it was going to be a disaster — and, unfortunately, we were right.
The reason it was developed in the first place is because Roundup use has backfired, creating superweeds that it can no longer kill.
So, enter Xtend — along with two new genetically-modified seeds for soy and cotton that can withstand being sprayed with it instead of being killed off.
But Xtend doesn’t always stay where it’s sprayed. In fact, it’s known to often extend its reach far beyond the crops it’s used on, killing everything in its path.
Everything. Even trees that line roads miles from where it’s been sprayed are dying.
Farmers who have lost their entire harvests this year due to dicamba drift stand very little, if any, chance of getting help from federal crop insurance, as that typically only covers them for natural disasters.
Even organic farms have had to suspend sales after they found evidence of dicamba on their crops. And as a result, record numbers of farmers who aren’t growing Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant GM seeds are in jeopardy of going under.
In fact, crops are being destroyed in such large numbers by drift from Xtend that this summer Arkansas and Missouri issued temporary bans on the chemical.
And with use expected to jump from under a million pounds a year to over 25 million, it looks like things are only going to get worse.
Now, you may be wondering how this can affect you if you don’t farm for a living — and that’s a good question.
We know right now that dicamba exposure has various adverse effects on humans, including interfering with an enzyme in the nervous system that helps nerve impulses to be transmitted. In a study done over 15 years ago, it was also found to significantly increase the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
But when you consider how much more powerful this herbicide is considered to be than Roundup (a.k.a. glyphosate), which has been identified by the WHO as a probable human carcinogen, is it really something you want to be part of your daily diet or exposed to in your environment?
Of course not! So, here’s what you need to do:
#1: Ditch any food products that contain soy unless it’s organic or has the “Non-GMO Project Verified” label on it.
#2: Steer clear of any foods containing cottonseed oil, as it’s possible that they could harbor residues of the chemical as well. Cottonseed oil is often an ingredient found in nuts and snack foods.
#3: Whenever possible, buy USDA-certified organic products, on which pesticide use is not permitted.
And if you live in a rural area, check to see if any farms close to your child or grandchild’s school are growing soy or cotton. If so, chances are they’re using Xtend.
As we know how easily this chemical can drift, it’s important to contact your school board immediately and find out what they’re doing to keep our kids safe.
“This miracle weed killer was supposed to save farms. Instead, it’s devastating them.” Caitlin Dewey, August 29, 2017, The Washington Post, washingtonpost.com