Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
“A coalition of organizations including Food & Water Watch, the Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network, National Family Farm Coalition, Environmental Working Group, Just Label It, CREDO Action, SumOfUS and Organic Consumers Association has submitted over 500,000 comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging it not to approve Dow’s registration for its new version of the pesticide 2,4-D. If approved Dow AgroSciences’ ‘Enlist’ package, would include the Enlist Duo herbicide, composed of 2,4-D and glyphosate, that will be used with Enlist 2,4-D and glyphosate-tolerant corn and soybeans.
“Instead of recognizing that adding 2,4-D tolerant GMO crops and Dow’s new 2,4-D formulation into our food supply is not a sustainable solution to the problem of herbicide-resistant weeds, the EPA could instead allow this herbicide’s use in new ways. This will only address the glyphosate-resistant weed problem until weeds become resistant to 2,4-D. The minimal benefits of this expanded use of 2,4-D will very quickly be outweighed by its myriad negative impacts. Susceptible plants and animals will be exposed to this dangerous herbicide, and organic and non-GMO farms situated near farms growing Enlist crops may be affected through drift. This could ultimately affect consumers who will be exposed to foods from 2,4-D crops and to 2,4-D residues without even knowing it.
“In its Environmental Risk Assessment for 2,4-D, the EPA found ‘information gaps,’ ‘key uncertainties’ and ‘insufficient information’ in the analysis of the impacts of 2,4-D on nontarget organisms. The agency even admitted concerns for direct and indirect effects on birds, mammals, insects (like honeybees) and plants. But despite the defined and undefined risks revealed by the EPA, the agency has decided that the approval of Dow’s 2,4-D herbicide will ‘not cause any unreasonable adverse effect on the environment.’
“As for its human health evaluation, the EPA based all of its safety determinations on a study that was conducted by Dow AgroSciences. Not only is the study inherently biased due to its funding source, but basing health risks off of just one study ignores evidence of health impacts, ranging from reproductive toxicity to immunotoxicity, found in many of the other studies acknowledged by the EPA.
“It is abundantly clear that by approving this herbicide, EPA would be overtly violating its own mission to protect human health and the environment.”