USDA Moves to Approve 2,4-D Ready Crops
The USDA released the final environmental impact statement for 2,4-D ready GMO crops during January and approval during February seems likely, according to Judith McGeary, executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.
“The USDA took a major step towards approving 2,4-D resistant genetically engineered crops, announcing its intention to greenlight both corn and soy 2,4-D resistant crops from Dow. If we can’t get the agency to change its mind, these crops could be commercially planted this year. The agency is taking public comment until February 24,” McGeary said.
While some grape growers are reconciled to the new GMO crops that work in combination with herbicides that are more toxic to grapes than traditional glyphosate, others intend to fight drift damage in court. Ted Kearns, a grape grower and winery owner in Wisconsin, won a civil suit against a grain farmer who improperly applied herbicides. The court settlement was reportedly around $150,000. Reportedly, there was an out of court drift damage settlement in Ohio for over $1 million during 2013. (Many drift damage cases are settled out of court with the stipulation that the plaintiffs don’t discuss the case.)
McGeary of the Texas-based Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, said farmers often tell her that their biggest challenges are “the weather and the government.” McGeary told Midwest Wine Press, “I keep trying to convince them (farmers) that, while we can’t change the weather, we can change what the government does!”
The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance has more information on 2,4-D and Dicamba resistant crops on their website at Farm and Ranch Freedom. org. The Alliance also has a petition rejecting Dow and Monsanto’s new line of GMO crops at “Urge USDA to Reject Dow and Monsanto.”
See related story: Dow, Monsanto Respond to Herbicide Damage
See related story: New Herbicide Resistant Crops Being Considered by USDA