Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

EPA, Deny Dow's Pesticide for GMO Crops

EPA, Deny Dow's Pesticide for GMO Crops

Ashley Ugarte is the student advisory board president for the Bay Area based non-profit, Teens Turning Green. This passionate foodie, environmental activist and Teens Turning Green chef-in-residence is a senior at Rice University in Houston, TX majoring in Health Sciences and minoring in Water and Energy Sustainability. 

Ashley Ugarte, a rising senior at Rice University in Houston, TX.

For me, a typical day consists of informing myself and others about the pertinent issues facing our environment—GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, toxic chemicals—they’re all on my radar. After reading article after article about the recent (and disturbing) actions of the EPA, one of these pieces of journalism was finally my tipping point. I couldn’t simply READ any longer, I needed to ACT. Maybe if I did, other people would join me, and together, we could finally begin taking steps in the right direction. [You can help by signing this petition]. So I decided to write a letter…

Subject Line: EPA, Please Protect My Generation

To the Honorable Administrator Gina McCarthy,

My name is Ashley Ugarte, a rising senior at Rice University in Houston, TX, and Student Advisory Board President for Teens Turning Green. On April 30, 2014, the EPA proposed the impending approval of Enlist Duo™, a double herbicide combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate from Dow Chemical Co. Today, I am writing to you as a daughter, a sister, a friend, a leader and an environmental activist concerned for the future of my generation to advise the EPA to not approve Dow’s Enlist Duo.

It wasn’t until I came across a devastating article on EcoWatch, "Environmental Groups Fear EPA Could Approve Dow Pesticide for GMO Crops," that I first became aware of this proposal. Upon finishing the article, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed, appalled, and betrayed by the news that was brought to my attention. After engaging in further research, I discovered information that couldn’t be ignored. According to the Environmental Working Group, Enlist Duo’s toxic formula—a mixture of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (an herbicide invented in 1946) and glyphosate (the main ingredient in RoundUp)—are two highly toxic chemicals that have been “linked to multiple adverse effects on human health and the environment.” If the EPA moves forward with this proposal, the use of 2,4-D nationwide could more than triple by 2020. Such an increase would accelerate herbicide resistance and expose communities near 2,4-D-resistant corn and soybean fields to eight times more 2,4-D than today’s current rates.

The actions and decisions conveyed recently by the EPA, especially in regards to the issues pertaining to genetically modified organisms and toxic chemicals in our food supply, has caused me and my peers to question the sanctity and reputation of the organization altogether. If the EPA’s Environmental Risk Assessment for 2,4-D found “information gaps, key uncertainties and insufficient information” in the analysis of its impact on non-target organisms, then why is approval still an option? If the EPA also admitted concerns for direct and indirect effects on birds, mammals, insects and plants, then again I ask, why is approval still an option?

Above all, I find it hard to understand that the EPA could base all of its safety determinations on a study that was conducted by the chemical company itself. Even to the untrained eye, the biases here are blatantly clear. As the next generation of global citizens and procreators, we are charged with the task of bringing new life into this world and to responsibly regenerate the existence of humanity. With this in mind, I'm curious as to how our current generation of leaders expects us to be successful, while well aware of (and contributing to) the present obstacles that face our health and the environment. 

While I understand that the EPA will be issuing its final decision later this summer, I believe that the EPA cannot and should not ignore the thousands of signatures from citizens concerned for our future and environmental organizations such as Food & Water Watch, Center for Food Safety and the Pesticide Action Network. I cannot stand here and allow one company to poison our shared planet and jeopardize the health of my family, friends, peers, neighbors and our future generations. With my peers standing by my side, I hope you will take our concerns into consideration and not be involved in a decision that would demean our right to health in lieu of corporate profits. I greatly honor and admire your expertise in environmental health, which is why I believe that it is essential for us to protect and abide by EPA's own mission "to protect human health and the environment." Let us set an example together by banning this toxic band-aid of a solution and taking a step in the right direction; the direction of repair and sustainability for our planet and its resources on which we so heavily rely.

Sincerely,
Ashley Ugarte

 

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab's sample of the whitest paint on record. Purdue University / Jared Pike

Scientists at the University of Purdue have developed the whitest and coolest paint on record.

Read More Show Less

Less than three years after California governor Jerry Brown said the state would launch "our own damn satellite" to track pollution in the face of the Trump administration's climate denial, California, NASA, and a constellation of private companies, nonprofits, and foundations are teaming up to do just that.

Read More Show Less
The Biden administration needs to act quickly to reduce carbon emissions. Andrew Merry / Getty Images

By Jeff Goodell

The Earth's climate has always been a work in progress. In the 4.5 billion years the planet has been spinning around the sun, ice ages have come and gone, interrupted by epochs of intense heat. The highest mountain range in Texas was once an underwater reef. Camels wandered in evergreen forests in the Arctic. Then a few million years later, 400 feet of ice formed over what is now New York City. But amid this geologic mayhem, humans have gotten lucky. For the past 10,000 years, virtually the entire stretch of human civilization, people have lived in what scientists call "a Goldilocks climate" — not too hot, not too cold, just right.

Read More Show Less