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Another Challenge to New Herbicide for Use in Iowa

PHOTO: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being taken to court over its approval of an herbicide for use on genetically-engineered soybean and corn crops in Iowa and 14 other states. The plaintiffs allege the Dow AgroSciences product, Enlist Duo, poses a threat to human health and to endangered animal species. Photo credit: Jo Naylor/Flickr.
PHOTO: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being taken to court over its approval of an herbicide for use on genetically-engineered soybean and corn crops in Iowa and 14 other states. The plaintiffs allege the Dow AgroSciences product, Enlist Duo, poses a threat to human health and to endangered animal species. Photo credit: Jo Naylor/Flickr.
April 23, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa - A legal battle is being mounted against the Environmental Protection Agency over its expanded approval of a new herbicide for use in Iowa and other states across the Midwest. The herbicide from Dow AgroSciences is called Enlist Duo.

The legal documents say it contains glyphosate along with 2,4-D which includes a component also found in the wartime defoliant known as Agent Orange. Among the groups challenging the approval is the Center for Food Safety. Sylvia Wu is the staff attorney.

"There are many risks associated with the use of Enlist Duo, which is contrary to the agency's duty to ensure that its approvals would not have adverse effects," says Wu. "So, the human health and environmental harms are the reasons why we are challenging this decision."

Dow AgroSciences describes Enlist Duo as a "powerful tool for fighting hard-to-control weeds" that features low odor and less potential for drift. But Senior Scientist Marcia Ishii-Eiteman with the Pesticide Action Network says this powerful new herbicide cocktail will have serious impacts on ground water, endangered species and those who live and work near the fields where it's applied.

"Two, 4-D has been linked to birth defects, developmental harms and endocrine disruption, as well as cancers like non-Hodgkin's lymphoma," says Ishii-Eiteman. "Now we have the new finding from the World Health Organization that glyphosate is considered a probable carcinogen."

The Center for Food Safety and other members of the coalition had challenged the use of Enlist Duo when it was initially approved for use on genetically-engineered corn and soy crops in six states, including Iowa. This latest motion comes as the EPA has expanded where the herbicide can be used to another nine states.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA