Dow Chemicals Push the EPA for Approval of Enlist Duo

Farmer in a tractor spraying pesticides in a vineyard, Meursault, France
Farmer in a tractor spraying pesticides in a vineyard, Meursault, France

In Case Monsanto’s Roundup Isn’t Toxic Enough For You

Dow Chemical is looking for EPA approval for a weed killer called Enlist® Duo. It is a toxic mix of 2,4-D a component of Agent Orange, which was used during the Vietnam War to kill foliage and glyphosate the chemical used in Monsanto’s Roundup. After years of spraying with glyphosate, famers are encountering superweeds that are resistant to glyphosate alone, so the industry is looking to create stronger chemical formulas to eradicate superweeds.

2,4-D is commonly used for broadleaf weed control in agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Sites for use include farms, pasture, ranges, residential lawns, roadsides and crops such as corn, soy, spring wheat, hazelnuts, sugarcane and barley. (1)   According to the Environmental Working Group, “ If the EPA approves Enlist® Duo and if the USDA allows the unregulated use of 2,4-D-resistant GE crops, nationwide use of 2,4-D could more than triple by 2020. Communities near 2,4-D-resistant corn and soybean fields would be exposed to eight times more 2,4-D than is now the case, according to the USDA, and even greater amounts, according to independent estimates. Americans’ exposure to this toxic herbicide would soar.” (2)

 

Wind drift affects everyone

Pesticides drift with air currents. Everyone is at risk of exposure to 2, 4-D due to wind drift from local farms, fields and cities that spray this along roadsides. Check out these farms that were destroyed by wind drift:

250,000 acres of Arkansas cotton were damaged by 2,4-D drift in 2012. In California, 15,000 acres of the San Joaquin Valley were accidentally treated with a fog of 2,4-D in the same year. (3)

USDA organic certification rules require that land be free of banned pesticides and other chemicals for three years. An organic farmer’s livelihood can be swept away by a single gust of wind. An heirloom tomato farmer in Mississippi experienced such a loss earlier this year. (4)

Because grapes are highly sensitive to a commonly used classes of herbicides which kill broadleaf plants. Vineyards located near corn and soybean producers are at risk if the herbicides drift onto their crops. (5)

The damage is not limited to sprays alone, drift damage can occur when a neighbor has their lawn treated with granular herbicides containing 2,4-D. In addition to droplets carried on the wind, damage can occur when the herbicide vaporizes and a persistent chemical cloud forms close to the ground. (3)

 

What are the health risks with 2, 4-D ? (6 , 7, 9)

2,4-D exposure is linked to:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Non Hodgkin Lymphoma
  •  Adverse Effects on Thyroid
  •  Suppressed Immune Function
  •  Lower Sperm Motility
  •  Greater percentage of abnormal sperm

Because 2,4-D has demonstrated toxic effects on the thyroid and gonads following exposure, there is concern over potential endocrine-disrupting effects.

2,4-D was detected at low concentrations in urine samples collected from all age groups in a large study of the American public.

Traces of 2,4-D were detected in 49.3 percent of finished drinking water samples and 53.7 percent of untreated water samples.

 

Signs and symptoms of toxicity (8)

  • Symptoms of acute oral exposure to 2,4-D include vomiting, diarrhea, headache, confusion, aggressive or bizarre behavior.
  •  A peculiar odor is sometimes noted on the breath. Skeletal muscle injury and renal failure may also occur.
  •  Symptoms following dermal exposure may include irritation.
  •  Inhalation exposure may lead to coughing and burning sensations in the upper respiratory tract and chest.
  •  Prolonged exposure leads to dizziness.

 

What can you do?

Click  on the link below  to add your name to Environmental Working Groups petition telling the EPA to deny Dow Chemical Co.’s application. http://www.ewg.org/24D?utm_source=20140624Demail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20140624Demail

 

To read EWGs official letter to the EPA outlining how the agency’s risk assessment of Enlist Duo is too flawed to proceed click the link below.

http://cdn3.ewg.org/sites/default/files/testimony/EWG_24D_Comments_20140604_FINAL.pdf

 

To find a list of products containing 2,4-D which are registered in your state, visit the website

http://npic.orst.edu/reg/state_agencies.html   and search by “active ingredient.”

 

Know the trade names of 2, 4-d     http://ipm.illinois.edu/ifvn/volume16/herbicides_containing_24d.pdf

 

Learn More about 2, 4 D with the links below

http://www.ewg.org/24D/rise-of-superweeds

http://www.ewg.org/24D/human-health-24D

http://www.ewg.org/24D/farming-24D

http://www.ewg.org/24D/risks-to-children-from-24D

http://www.ewg.org/24D/pets-wildlife-24D

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/2,4-DTech.pdf

http://www.ewg.org/release/epa-seeks-expand-use-toxic-pesticide-24-d

http://www.rodalenews.com/enlist-herbicide

 

 

References

1.  http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/2,4-DTech.pdf

2. http://www.ewg.org/24D

3. http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/24d-herbicide-zb0z1402zsto.aspx#axzz34pPhGagG

4. http://djournal.com/news/tupelo-organic-farmer-loses-crop-to-herbicide-drift/

5. http://www.wisconsinwatch.org/2013/09/08/wisconsins-booming-grape-crop-at-risk-from-herbicide-drift/

6. http://www.ewg.org/24D/human-health-24D

7. http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/24d-herbicide-zb0z1402zsto.aspx#ixzz34pey0u6X

8. Reigart, J. R.; Roberts, J. R. Chlorophenoxy Herbicides. Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings, 5th ed.; U.S. ‘Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 1999; pp 94-96.

9. http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/2,4-DTech.pdf

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