<strong>A Dirty New Pesticide is On the Way</strong> As we move towards the 2015 crop season, we have a new and troubling development in the conventional farming industry to contend with this year. The approval of Enlist Duo, a new pesticide product manufactured by Dow Chemical and accompanied by new variants of Genetically Modified Corn and Soybean means that we will see a limited introduction of this product into our ecosystem this summer. <strong>The Super Weed Problem</strong> In the 1980s, when Monsanto introduced the first Genetically Modified crops into our food system, they were engineered to withstand applications of the herbicide 'Roundup'. &#160;The principle being that a grower could plant the genetically modified soybean or corn crop, apply the herbicide to the field, and all weeds would die leaving the crop intact and healthy. &#160;A massive success, this technology has enabled the levels of pesticides applied to agricultural fields&#160;to&#160;increase by several hundred-fold over the past 30 years, to 1.1 billion pounds&#160;last year alone. By their very definition, pesticides are poisons that pollute the ecosystem and do great harm to agricultural workers. &#160;The increasing use of these products on farmland has been driven by the increasing resistance of weeds to the pesticides, to the point where today it is estimated that 70 million crop acres in the United States are now blighted with super weeds, resistant to Roundup application in the same way that the genetically modified crops resist the pesticides. There are currently fourteen weed varieties in the United States that are resistant to Roundup, and four in Canada. <strong>Enter Enlist Duo</strong> In response, the chemical companies which patent and manufacture the seeds and pesticides have developed a new product called 'Enlist Duo' - a combination of&#160;glyphosate (the active compound of Roundup) and 2,4-D, a&#160;core component of the chemical warfare compound 'Agent Orange', used by the US Military during the Vietnam war. <ul> <li>2,4-D is a particularly harmful pesticide that has been banned for residential use by the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and outright banned in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.</li> <li>It has been linked to canine malignant lymphoma, doubling the risk of dogs developing this cancer in homes that use this product.</li> <li>Farm Workers applying this compound have demonstrated high levels of nervous system disorders and soft tissue damage.</li> <li>2,4-D can persist for up to one full year on surfaces that have been contaminated. &#160;It has a half-life of between 20 and 200 days, far longer than Roundup.</li> <li>This compound is highly mobile, and it is estimated that over 90% of the pesticide sprayed will migrate into the ground water systems of the surrounding land, putting the health of the ecosystem and quality of our drinking water sources at risk.</li> </ul> 2,4-D has been used in controlled and minor applications for decades. &#160;Even without the widespread use that is being proposed today, four weed varieties in the United States and two in Canada have developed resistance. &#160;It is unlikely that Enlist Duo is the answer to weed resistance to pesticides. &#160;This is only another stop-gap and in a generation we will see a new onslaught of weeds resistant to this new pesticide and requiring further escalation in the chemical war against weeds. <strong>Organic is the Answer</strong> Organic crop production systems prohibit both the use of Genetically Modified (GMO) crops and any pesticides not included on the <a href="http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/programme-program/normes-standards/internet/bio-org/permises-permitted-eng.html">Permitted Substance List</a>&#160;approved by the CFIA. &#160;Neither Roundup nor Enlist Duo are approved for use in organic crop production. Organic farms use a variety of weed control measures that include beneficial insects, seed control, crop rotation and mechanical removal (pulling them out) that are far more successful at eliminating weed pressure while preserving the soil health, farm ecosystem and worker safety. By choosing Organic, you are choosing health. &#160;Voting with your dollars is how the organic industry will continue to grow and strengthen its position as the only true viable alternative to the chemical arms race being waged against weeds on our farms. <strong>You are not Alone</strong> In Alberta, the organic industry is the fastest growing production system and food segment for 3 years running. &#160;With double digit annual growth, we are enjoying the beginning of a food renaissance that demonstrates that our communities are beginning to understand the importance and value of food production that is in harmony with the soil and the ecosystem. <strong>Thank You</strong> On behalf of our food family far and wide, we thank you for your support. &#160;You are truly making a difference and your voice is being heard. All the best, Danny Co-Founder <strong>Sources:</strong> Sierra Club Pesticide Fact Sheet:&#160;<a href="http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/programs/health-environment/pesticides/2-4-D-fact-sheet.shtml">http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/programs/health-environment/pesticides/2-4-D-fact-sheet.shtml</a> Pesticide Action Network:<a href="http://www.panna.org/current-campaigns/24D">&#160;http://www.panna.org/current-campaigns/24D</a> Canadian Biotechnology Action Network:&#160;<a href="http://www.cban.ca/Press/Background-Genetically-modified-2-4-D-tolerant-crops2">http://www.cban.ca/Press/Background-Genetically-modified-2-4-D-tolerant-crops2</a> Delta Farm Press:&#160;<a href="http://deltafarmpress.com/limited-2015-launch-enlist-duo-herbicide-enlist-weed-control-system">http://deltafarmpress.com/limited-2015-launch-enlist-duo-herbicide-enlist-weed-control-system</a> &nbsp; &nbsp;