WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2014—The Environmental Protection Agency today announced its approval of the dual herbicide produced by Dow AgroSciences known as Enlist Duo.

The product is used to control weeds in corn and soybeans genetically-engineered (GE) to tolerate 2,4-D and glyphosate, two of the most widely used herbicides in the world for controlling weeds.

Along with the registration, EPA is imposing a new set of restrictions on the use of Enlist, which some consumer groups say poses a serious health threat.

While the approved formulation contains the choline salt 2,4-D, which is less prone to drift than the other forms of 2,4-D, EPA will require users to maintain a 30-foot “no spray” buffer zone around the application area. Users are also not to apply the pesticide when the wind speed is over 15 mph, and only ground applications are permitted. There are also surveying and reporting requirements as well as remediation plans.

The registration will expire in six years, when EPA plans to revisit the issue of weed resistance.

“In the future, the agency intends to apply this approach to weed-resistance management for all existing and new herbicides used on herbicide tolerant crops,” EPA said in a news release.

EPA is registering the pesticide for use in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  The agency is accepting comments until November 14 on whether to register Enlist Duo in 10 additional states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota.

EPA noted that its assessment of the product is the third time in recent years that it has evaluated the safety of 2,4-D. The agency comprehensively reviewed 2,4-D in 2005, in 2012 and again in 2014, each time finding that the use of the herbicide meets the safety standards for pesticide registration.

“Dozens of other countries including Canada, Mexico, Japan and 26 European Union members have approved these pesticides for use on numerous crops and residential lawns. Last year, Canada approved the use of Enlist Duo for the same uses that EPA is authorizing,” EPA noted. “The agency’s decision reflects a large body of science and an understanding of the risk of pesticides to human health and the environment.”

EPA’s final regulatory decision document is available in EPA docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0195 at www.regulations.gov


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