WASHINGTON, July 23, 2014 -- The Environmental Working Group hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill Wednesday where researchers and doctors sought to persuade EPA to reject Dow AgroScience’s application for a new herbicide mix called Enlist Duo.
The product contains glyphosate and the choline salt 2,4-D for use in controlling weeds in corn and soybeans genetically engineered to tolerate 2,4-D. EPA closed the comment period on proposal to register Enlist Duo earlier this month.
The researchers and doctors at the EWG event said approving the herbicide for use on thousands of acres of farmland “would put human and environmental health at risk.”
Catherine Thomasson, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, said doctors are concerned about exposure to the combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate “because of the potential lifelong and irreversible effects on the health of vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women and farm workers.”
Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farm and Just Label It, said the agricultural industry is operating on a “chemical treadmill” that only benefits patent holders for genetically-engineered products. “The toxic herbicide mix is being proposed because glyphosate alone is no longer working, since its overuse has led to the development of herbicide-resistant ‘superweeds,’” he said.
In a statement responding to the briefing, Dow AgroSciences said EWG is “repeating alarmist claims that have been rejected by experts for many years.”
Dow said the EWG briefing consisted of theories and opinions that are not supported by science.
“And in fact, they are at odds with the conclusions of government regulators in more than 70 countries around the world, who have repeatedly approved the use of 2,4-D based on thousands of pages of scientific studies,” Dow stated.
The company also cited USDA and EPA information that supports the safety of 2,4-D. For example, USDA’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement issued in January says 2,4-D “has been thoroughly reviewed and registered by all major regulatory agencies in the world within the last 10 years.”
Dow said that “the latest state of the science continues to support the use of 2,4-D,” and American farmers need new weed control technologies like Enlist Duo to maintain productivity, remain globally competitive, and conserve resources.
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