Fouled Play: Toxic GMO Pesticides Drift Near Athletic Fields
In an Environmental Working Group (EWG) survey, more than 90 percent of athletic fields and parks in six sample states are within 1,000 feet of a corn or soybean field where two toxic weed killers, glyphosate and 2,4-D, are commonly sprayed on genetically modified (GMO) corn, soybeans and other crops, meaning that nearby athletes are likely to be exposed. More than 56 percent of the facilities in the study were within 200 feet of such farmland.
Corn and soybean farmers in at least 15 states now have the option of planting GMO crops that can withstand repeated spraying with Monsanto’s glyphosate and the 2,4-D mixture sold by Dow AgroSciences under the brand name Enlist Duo. Sprayed herbicides readily drift through the air, potentially exposing people and the nearby environment.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of Enlist Duo for GMO crops shortly before the World Health Organization concluded that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Dow’s 2,4-D also possibly causes cancer, according to leading experts; exposure has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism and suppression of the human immune system.