Washington, D.C. – More than 500,000 people have submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urging it to reject an application to market a new toxic herbicide called Enlist Duo, a mix of 2,4-D and glyphosate.
Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, is seeking a permit to sell Enlist Duo for use on genetically engineered corn and soybean crops. It would be the largest expansion in the approved use of a toxic defoliant in more than two decades.
A number of organizations – including Environmental Working Group, Food and Water Watch, Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety, Just Label It, CREDO, SumOfUs, National Family Farm Coalition and Organic Consumers Association – have also submitted comments to EPA and encouraged their supporters to do the same.
Earlier this week, 35 doctors and scientists sent a letter calling out the agency for disregarding toxicity tests in its assessment of the new product. EPA’s public comment period ended on June 30.
Today, EWG released a new interactive map and analysis that shows that more than 5,600 schools across the country would be within 200 feet of crop fields that could be blanketed with Enlist Duo. Children in schools and daycare facilities closest to the fields would be at increased risk of exposure whenever spraying takes place.
In its comments, EWG pointed out several major flaws in the agency’s risk assessment for Enlist Duo, highlighting multiple serious scientific errors, including the failure to apply a key safety factor required by federal law when a chemical presents potential risks specific to children.
“The opposition to Enlist Duo makes it clear that people are outraged and do not want this toxic herbicide on the market,” said Mary Ellen Kustin, EWG Senior Policy Analyst. “Exposure to 2,4-D has been linked to some serious health problems including Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other thyroid issues. And now we know that hundreds of thousands of children across the country would be at risk of increased exposure if this product is approved.”
“The EPA must take a closer look at the dangers of Enlist Duo,” added Kustin. “More than 500,000 comments should be a wake-up call for the agency to keep this harmful weed killer away from our food and out of our environment.”