The EPA has asked a federal court to remove Dow AgroSciences’ pesticide Enlist Duo from the market in response to a lawsuit filed by environmental groups.
The Dow pesticide contains 2,4-D, a chemical that the Natural Resources Defense Council says has been linked to cancer in “dozens of studies.” NRDC is one of the groups that sued to rescind the approval of Enlist Duo.
Enlist Duo also contains the pesticide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, also identified as cancer causing this year by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the EPA.
Dow says the Enlist Duo pesticide is hazardous to humans and animals, and toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates.
The EPA had approved Enlist Duo just over one year ago for use on genetically modified corn and soybeans but is now asking the court to vacate that approval in light of new concerns about environmental harm.
In its court filing, the EPA said that when it registered Enlist Duo, it had overlooked the “synergistic effects” of the pesticide’s chemicals on plants growing outside treated farm fields, especially plants that are endangered. The agency is now concerned that the pesticide is more toxic than it first concluded: “EPA has learned that it did not have all relevant information at the time it made its registration decision.”
Dow AgroSciences has until Dec. 7 to respond and then it will be up to the court to decide if the pesticide will be pulled from the market.
The EPA had approved use of Enlist Duo in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and had intended to approve it in additional areas in the near future.