Lawmakers ask EPA to reconsider approval of Enlist Duo herbicide

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Thirty-five members of Congress are questioning Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy about her agency’s review of a controversial Dow Chemical Co. weedkiller that was the subject of a Chicago Tribune investigation last year.

In a letter sent to McCarthy [in mid-February], Democratic lawmakers from across the country said they were concerned about the health risks posed by Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide, which combines 2,4-D and glyphosate as a one-two punch to battle weeds that have evolved to become impervious to glyphosate alone. . . .

. . . .

“We were concerned to learn that, during this process, EPA dismissed a key study linking 2,4-D to kidney abnormalities based on one scientist’s analysis, and in doing so, effectively gave the green light for 41 times more of the chemical to enter the America diet than was previously allowed,” the lawmakers wrote.

Related article:  'Game changer' herbicide that could supplement glyphosate developed from anti-malaria chemical

The EPA is reconsidering its approval of Enlist Duo, but agency officials told the Tribune last December that its scientists solely are determining whether bigger no-spray zones are needed to protect endangered plants near the edges of farm fields. The fact that the agency’s review is focusing only on plants and not people was troubling to the lawmakers.

“These actions do not address questions about serious potential health risks brought to light by the Chicago Tribune,” the lawmakers wrote.

. . . . The group asked a dozen questions about the EPA’s review of the chemical and urged the agency to scrutinize everything from the human cancer risks to the environmental threat that the monarch butterfly faces when the herbicide wipes out its food source, milkweed.

Read full, original post: Congress questions EPA about Dow’s Enlist Duo pesticide risks

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