January 19, 2018

EPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Duo 2,4-D Herbicide

Against many objections from consumer advocates, food safety advocates, and environmentalists, the EPA approved Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo herbicide, a new blend of 2,4-D and glyphosate that will be used on Dow’s GMO corn and soybeans. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been implicated in many diseases, including cancer. And 2,4-D is part of the chemical Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam War, that has sickened and killed many veterans.

Farm FieldDow developed Roundup Ready crops that were resistant to the herbicide. Those plants could be sprayed with Roundup and not be harmed. That use caused an explosion in Roundup resistant weeds. So Dow decided to develop more GMO crops that are resistant to this new herbicide. 2,4-D is linked to reproductive problems, Parkinson’s disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins in the U.S. Dioxin bioaccumulates in human tissue and increases the risk of cancer and other serious illnesses.

The EPA chose not to listen to the more than 400,000 comments made against Enlist Duo on the Federal Register. Dow will sell the herbicide and the crops as “Enlist Weed Control System.” USDA estimates that approval of these 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans will cause an unprecedented 2 to 7-fold increase in the yearly use of the herbicide by 2020, from 26 million pounds today to 176 million pounds.

An article in Scientific American in 2009 brought more attention to Roundup and its effects on human beings. Researchers found that one of Roundup’s inert ingredients, called polyethoxyalted tallowamine, or POEA, is more deadly to human embryonic, placental, and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself. And that “inert” ingredient amplifies the toxic effect of glyphosate on human cells, even at very diluted concentrations.

Center for Food Safety strongly objects to this approval. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety said in a statement, “EPA has turned its back on those it purports to protect – the American people and our environment. In the wake of our government’s abdication of its responsibilities, Center for Food Safety will pursue all available legal options to stop the commercialization of these dangerous crops.”

Dow presents these new crops as a “quick fix” to the problem caused by their Roundup REady crops. But the USDA acknowledges that the Enlist crop system will foster more week resistance. Kimbrell added “Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops led us down this futile path of chemical dependency. Now imagine Roundup on overdrive. Why are our agencies listening to chemical companies and not the scientists, doctors, and lawmakers who know that more chemicals are not the answer to the superweed problem?”

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