Enlist Duo: EPA proposes adding cotton, increasing use to 34 states

By Stephen Davies

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2016 - The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to increase the number of states where Enlist Duo can be used and add genetically engineered cotton to the label, which already allows use on GE corn and soybeans.

The proposal follows a review of new data submitted by registrant Dow AgroSciences. The data confirm EPA's initial findings of no synergy in the Enlist Duo formulation,” EPA said today in announcing a public comment period that will end in 30 days.

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After “discovering” in the middle of litigation brought by environmental groups that Dow patent applications had made claims of synergy between 2,4-D and glyphosate, the two active ingredients in the herbicide, EPA asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year to vacate the registration. The court rejected that request, but remanded the registration to EPA in January.

“These data demonstrate that the combination of 2,4-D choline and glyphosate in Enlist Duo does not show any increased toxicity to plants and is therefore not of concern,” EPA said.

Dow AgroSciences applauded the proposal, saying Enlist Duo “offers a much needed solution for growers, who are struggling with resistant weeds.”

The proposal would expand the number of states where Enlist Duo can be used from 15 to 34. It is currently registered for use on GE corn and soybean crops in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The proposal would allow use on cotton in those states and extend use on GE corn, soybean and cotton crops to include Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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The herbicide was approved for use in October 2014, but environmental groups sued, claiming that EPA had not properly studied its effects on endangered species.

One of those groups, the Center for Biological Diversity, said today that EPA had conducted only a “cursory review” and that allowing increased use is a mistake.

“We're disappointed that EPA has doubled down on Enlist Duo rather than pulled its registration of this hazardous pesticide. Unless EPA makes substantial changes to its previous registration of Enlist Duo, we remain confident it violates the law,” said Paul Achitoff, a managing attorney at Earthjustice.

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