WASHINGTON— The Environmental Protection Agency today reapproved and proposed a dramatic expansion of the use of the toxic pesticide Enlist Duo after only a cursory review of troubling data showing the two chemicals in the pesticide combine to have “synergistic” effects that are potentially harmful to endangered species and the environment. If approved the pesticide cocktail could be used on corn, soy and cotton in 35 states — up from 16 states where the product was previously approved for just corn and soy.
The rush to expand the use of Dow AgroSciences’ toxic chemical concoction of glyphosate and 2,4-D for use on the next generation of genetically engineered crops comes only one year after the EPA asked a court to revoke its previous approval. That request, filed in response to litigation challenging Enlist Duo’s approval, resulted from the agency’s discovery that Dow AgroSciences had filed patent applications for the product filed with the U.S. Patent Office claiming “synergy.” EPA believed the product therefore could have significant and unknown environmental impacts. Today the EPA announced it does not believe the product has synergistic effects, despite Dow’s claims to the Patent Office.
“EPA’s decision is a capitulation to the agrichemical industry,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety. “We will continue to protect farmers, consumers, and the environment from this toxic crop system, and are exploring all legal options.”