The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks public comments before the agency decides to register Dow AgroScience’s new herbicide, Enlist Duo. Dow’s Enlist Duo contains glyphosate and the choline salt of 2,4-D. The EPA states that 2,4-D is one of the most widely used herbicides in the US, however, the industry publication Farm Progress explained that Enlist Duo’s is not a 2,4-D amine or ester. “It’s brand new technology incorporated into 2,4-D chemistry called Colex D.
“Enlist Duo’s function is to control weeds in corn and soybeans genetically engineered (GE) to tolerate the herbicide, according to Agri-Pulse. According to Dow, last year’s data showed that weeds have become resistant to existing herbicides and are now difficult to control. More than 86 percent of GM soybean, corn and cotton growers in southern states and 61 percent in the Midwest expressed this difficulty, Agri-Pulse reported. Dow sent applications to the EPA asking for permission to introduce new formulation of the choline salt of 2,4-D and glyphosate to genetically modified corn and soy which, according to Dow, has less risk of seeping into areas where it wasn’t intended to be sprayed. Farm Futures, an industry magazine, explained, “The mixture, intended for use in the Enlist cropping system, requires EPA review due to the inclusion of choline form of 2,4-D. Glyphosate is already registered and used widely.”
Dow also asked for USDA approval to introduce new corn and soybeans that have been genetically engineered to tolerate 2,4-D application. These new plants that Dow would like to introduce to the US farmland are the first that have been developed that are resistant to 2,4-D. Dow suggests that given the resistance abilities that weeds have built up against RoundUp, the corporation’s Enlist Duo is needed.
Bryan Young is a weed specialist with Southern Illinois University. Young said resistant weeds are becoming a serious problem. Marestail, waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, and some populations of giant ragweed have all become resistant to glyphosate, Young explained to Farm Progress.”Weeds are becoming increasingly resistant to glyphosate-based herbicides and are posing a problem for farmers,” the announcement stated, explaining the industry’s need for Dow’s Enlist Duo and the new corn and soy which will withstand its poison.
According to Reuters, critics of Dow’s new Enlist Duo do not want more chemical herbicides approved, because 2,4-D and others used in industrialized agriculture have been associated with health problems such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, reproductive disorders and endocrine disruption. Currently used herbicides have recently been found to be contained within the leaves and the seeds of GM soy, which means more exposure to the public than previously believed. The EPA is accepting public comments on Dow’s Enlist Duo until May 30, 2014 on the government’s regulation website.