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Dow AgroSciences Statement on Save Our Crops Coalition (SOCC)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:08 am EDT

Dateline:

Indianapolis

Dow AgroSciences has heard and addressed SOCC’s concerns.
Dow AgroSciences strongly supports SOCC’s basic goals of preventing herbicide injury to non-target crops. We are, however, disappointed in the organization’s recent actions, given that we have worked with many current SOCC members for years to develop a product specifically designed to address their concerns.

An additional environmental assessment is unnecessary.
We are confident that EPA and USDA will make data-driven determinations under their respective statutory authorities for environmental protection and plant health.  In addition, USDA has already issued a draft environmental assessment for comment which must be finalized before any determination is made on the new Dow AgroSciences herbicide-tolerant corn.  2,4-D has been extensively evaluated by EPA and is currently already authorized for use on corn.  The new version of 2,4-D that growers would be required to use as part of the Enlist Weed Control System requires EPA approval and will be accompanied by appropriate EPA label directions and a state-of-the-art stewardship program. USDA and EPA should be allowed to do their jobs without being distracted by conjecture and misinformation.

Our new technology package has reinvented 2,4-D and addresses SOCC’s concerns.
The 2,4-D choline to be used in the Enlist™ Weed Control System with our herbicide tolerant corn is a new product. It is not the traditional form of 2,4-D that SOCC is expressing concerns about.

SOCC is concerned about volatility and drift. The technology package featured in our Enlist Weed Control System has demonstrated a 92 percent reduction in volatility and a 90 percent reduction in drift, based on research data recently presented at scientific meetings.

Given that principals in SOCC have seen data and witnessed field trials clearly demonstrating these enhancements, we are disappointed in SOCC’s continued public statements attributing claims associated with traditional 2,4-D with our new Enlist technology package.

Our new technology package is a product of ag stakeholder input.
Dow AgroSciences has met with more than 10,000 agricultural stakeholders in the development of this new technology package, including fruit and vegetable growers, growers of commodity crops, ag economists, academic researchers (including weed scientists and horticulturalists) in 21 states, and we have also met with regulatory authorities in 17 states.

Based on their input our new technology package will be released with a state of the art stewardship program, Enlist Ahead, featuring technology improvements, best practice recommendations and education and outreach programs supported by a suite of benefits including user friendly tools and discounts on recommended equipment.

Farmers need new technology now.
The weed resistance problems currently infesting U.S. farms are rapidly getting worse, and growers need new technology now to maintain productivity. Within the past year, the number of weed-resistant farm acres in the U.S. has increased by about 25 percent.

In the absence of new technology to address these problems, U.S. growers will be forced to revert to earlier cultural practices that contribute to soil erosion and agricultural runoff. They will also risk losing their competitive edge as use of these technologies is authorized in other nations.

At a time when global food production is barely keeping pace with global population expansion, these urgent needs of production agriculture need immediate attention. Regulatory agencies should be urgently considering how to encourage innovation to support agriculture, not listening to calls for throttling back new crop technology.

Dow AgroSciences is committed to ag stakeholders.
Dow AgroSciences is committed to working with all production ag stakeholders to address their concerns, as demonstrated by our work with them in developing our new Enlist Weed Control System with documented reductions in off-target movement potential.

Many agricultural stakeholders have expressed support and appreciation for our approach with the Enlist Weed Control System and have also strongly voiced immediate needs for this technology. Surely, there is a better way to address concerns than for one group of ag stakeholders to attempt to deny access to tools that are urgently needed by their neighbors.

Dow AgroSciences continues to seek and encourage dialogue with interested ag stakeholders, including SOCC members, to address concerns in ways that unite agriculture not divide it.

About Dow AgroSciences
Dow AgroSciences, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, develops leading-edge crop protection and plant biotechnology solutions to meet the challenges of the growing world. Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and had annual global sales of $5.7 billion in 2011. Learn more at www.dowagro.com. Follow Dow AgroSciences on Facebook and YouTube or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

 Enlist is a trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Components of the Enlist Weed Control System have not yet received regulatory approvals; approvals are pending.  The information presented is not an offer for sale. ©2012 Dow AgroSciences LLC

 

Contact:

Garry Hamlin
Dow AgroSciences
(317) 337-4799
garryhamlin@dow.com