The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a 2008 petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) seeking to cancel 2,4-D herbicide registrations and revoke all the tolerances for use.
“The impact of this decision should not be understated,” said Jim Gray, executive director of the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data. “EPA’s comprehensive review of one of the most extensive scientific data bases of a pesticide confirmed the Agency’s previous finding that the 2,4-D tolerances are acceptable.”
In the decision, EPA noted that based on “studies addressing endocrine effects on wildlife species and the adequacy of personal protective equipment for workers, the Agency concluded that the science behind our current ecological and worker risk assessments for 2,4-D is sound and there is no basis to change the registrations.”
“This has been one of the most widely used and successful herbicides in history and growers along with other users around the U.S. and the world can continue to use it with confidence”, added Gray. “EPA’s most recent decision is consistent with findings of other authorities such as the World Health Organization, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the European Commission.”
The US EPA conducted a thorough evaluation of all of the available information, including GLP studies, peer-reviewed studies, as well as the anecdotal information submitted by the pressure groups. This determination follows the 2005 Re-registration Eligibility Decision which encompassed 17 years of scientific evaluation.
As EPA correctly notes, “2,4-D is a phenoxy herbicide and plant growth regulator that has been used in the U.S. since the 1940s. It is currently found in approximately 600 products registered for agricultural, residential, industrial, and aquatic uses.” The original patent for 2,4-D was actually issued in 1945 and today it is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world for a variety of crops including wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, potatoes, sugar cane, pome fruits, stone fruits and nuts. In addition, 2,4-D controls invasive species in pastures, aquatic areas and federally protected areas and broadleaf weeds in turf grass.
Give EPA some brownie points for this decision!
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