Enlist Duo: Chemical Herbicide Violates Endangered Species Act, EPA Lawsuit Claims

Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo chemical herbicide violates the Endangered Species Act, according to an EPA lawsuit. Approval of Dow’s Enlist Duo Herbicide Violates Endangered Species Act. Enlist Duo 2,4-D was reportedly designed to combat “superweeds” that are plaguing farmers and could ultimately become detrimental to the food supply.

Farmers who use Enlist Duo will effectively be doubling the amount of chemicals poured onto the land and carried via wind, rain, birds, and bees, onto crops and into the water supply, according to some environmental researchers. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, superweeds will now reportedly face a stronger chemical herbicide via the mixture used in Dow’s Enlist Duo. The EPA recently approved a new chemical pesticide, against the objections of many environmentalists and organic farmers. Enlist Duo is a mix of glyphosate and an herbicide called 2,4-D and was created by Dow AgroScience.

Excerpt from the Dow Enlist Duo lawsuit filed against the EPA in order to protect the whooping crane:

“A coalition of farmers and environmental groups filed a motion late Friday to stay the EPA’s October 2014 decision to approve a powerful new herbicide called ‘Enlist Duo’ for use on genetically engineered (GE) crops in six Midwestern states. The groups maintain that EPA violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding the impact of Enlist Duo on two endangered species in those states, the whooping crane and the Indiana bat. The motion builds on an earlier challenge of EPA’s approval led by Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice on behalf of Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group, the National Family Farm Coalition, and Pesticide Action Network North America.”

The Endangered Species Act mandates that all federal agencies determine if its actions “may affect” any endangered species or “designated critical” habitats. If any regulation or action is deemed to have an impact on an endangered species or such a habitat, the agency must consult with either the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to “insure” that actions are “not likely to jeopardize the continued existence” of listed species.

The EPA admitted that during their migration, whooping cranes “will stop to eat and may consume arthropod prey” that may have been exposed to 2,4-D in fields sprayed due to EPA’s registration of Enlist Duo, and that in sufficient amounts, such exposure is toxic to the cranes, according to the Enlist Duo lawsuit.

The Environmental Protection Agency also reportedly admitted its action may affect the whooping crane and Indiana bat, but instead of consulting FWS as required, “engaged in a series of elaborate internal calculations,” according to the Center for Food Safety. “EPA is well aware that pesticides routinely drift and affect public health and wildlife beyond the fields in which they are sprayed. To ignore this known risk and avoid consultation with other expert agencies is unlawful and irresponsible,” George Kimbrell, senior attorney for organization, said.

“EPA admits that its approval of a toxic pesticide cocktail including 2,4-D for widespread use may affect endangered species, including the whooping crane, one of the most endangered animals on earth. We ask only that the court decide whether EPA has violated the law, as we believe it has before putting these imperiled birds at further risks,”Earth justice managing attorney Paul Achitoff,” said.

The whooping crane reportedly one of the most endangered animals on the planet. Conservation efforts over the past seven decades have proven only somewhat successful. As of 2006, there were only an approximately 338 whooping cranes left in the wild.

The EPA reportedly proposed restricting the use of 2,4-D Enlist Duo to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin – initially. It’s now anticipated that the federal agency tasked with protecting the environment, and by extension our food supply, will allow Enlist Duo to be used in another 10 states, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota, will follow.

Do you think chemical herbicides and pesticides pose a threat to the environment, animal species, and our food supply?

[Image via: Friends of the Wild Whoopers]