New Coalition Petitions USDA over Herbicide Tolerant Crops

A new group concerned about injury to specialty crops from 2, 4-D and dicamba herbicides filed a petition Wednesday with USDA and the EPA. Save our Crops Coalition wants the government to request an environmental impact statement on the cumulative effects of synthetic auxin tolerant crops.

Steve Smith is director of agriculture at Indiana based Red Gold and also the coalition chairman. He tells HAT their mission is clear.

“We are out to do whatever we can to prevent the injury of sensitive crops from the off-target movement from 2,4-D and dicamba that are likely to occur once the widespread use of these products is made available because of the new crops that will be coming on the market.”

But Smith also says this is a different type of group.

“There could be some confusion with some groups who are opposed to GMO technology, and so are opposed to the release of these crops solely on the basis that they’re not conventional. That is not our group at all. Matter of fact we are unique in the industry as we’re looking at these issues. We are not opposed to the technological advances. We are opposed to the off-target movement that is likely and no doubt to occur with these historically known chemicals that move off target.”

Earlier in April the coalition announced its opposition to Dow AgroScience’s 2,4-D tolerant corn and has asked members and interested parties to send comments to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service before the comment period closes on April 27.[audio:|titles=Save our Crops – Steve Smith]

Hear more from Smith in the full HAT interview:[audio:|titles=Steve Smith on SOCC]

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