The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is registering the herbicide, Enlist Duo with first-time ever restrictions to manage the problem of resistant weeds. The pesticide is for use in controlling weeds in corn and soybeans genetically-engineered (GE) to tolerate 2,4-D and glyphosate. The agency’s decision reflects a large body of science and an understanding of the risk of pesticides to human health and the environment.
The herbicides 2,4-D and glyphosate are two of the most widely used herbicides in the world for controlling weeds. 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.
Previous assessments confirm that these uses meet the safety standards for pesticide registration and, as approved, will be protective of the public, agricultural workers, and non-target species, including endangered species.
The agency evaluated the risks to all age groups, from infants to the elderly, and took into account exposures through food, water, pesticide drift, and as a result of use around homes. The decision meets the rigorous Food Quality Protection Act standard of "reasonable certainty of no harm" to human health.
This assessment is the third time in recent years that EPA has evaluated the safety of 2,4-D and the safety finding is consistent with past assessments that EPA has performed for 2,4-D. EPA comprehensively reviewed 2,4-D in 2005, and once more in 2012 and now again in 2014 in response to the current application.
EPA is registering the pesticide in six states: Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ohio, SD., and Wis. The agency is accepting comments until Nov. 14, 2014 (30 days) on whether to register Enlist Duo in ten more states: Ark., Kan., La., Minn., Mo., Miss., Neb., Okla., Tenn., and ND.
The EPA’s final regulatory decision document is available in EPA docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0195 at www.regulations.gov. You can also find a list of frequently asked questions with answers on EPA.gov.