EPA reconsiders Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide registration

Enlist system

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to withdraw registration of Enlist Duo herbicide from Dow AgroSciences, saying new information suggests the product is more toxic to nearby plants than previously thought.

In a court filing Nov. 24, the EPA asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco to vacate its earlier registration decision.

“EPA can no longer be confident that Enlist Duo will not cause risks of concern to nontarget organisms, including those listed as endangered, when used according to the approved label,” the agency said in its filing.

In response, Dow issued a statement saying it believed the concerns could be resolved promptly and it still planned to have the new soybean system on the market in time for the 2016 crop season.

“It’s possible that we could see some changes to use conditions on the existing Enlist Duo label,” Dow AgroSciences President and CEO Tim Hassinger said in the statement. “However, based on the ongoing dialogue with EPA, we do not expect these issues to result in the long-term cancellation of the Enlist Duo product registration. We continue to prepare for commercial sales of Enlist Duo for the 2016 growing season with enthusiastic grower adoption.”

Enlist Duo, a tankmix of glyphosate and 2,4-D choline, was designed to be used with Dow’s Enlist soybeans that have been genetically engineered to resist the two herbicides. Tolerant cotton varieties and corn hybrids also have been developed as part of the Enlist system.

Enlist Duo, which contains a low-drift formulation of 2,4-D, received EPA registration in October 2014. In addition to the federal label, 16 states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, subsequently registered the herbicide.

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