Issue Date: April 16, 2012
EPA Declines To Ban 2,4-D
EPA has denied a 2008 petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban the widely used herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). After reviewing studies provided by NRDC, an environmental advocacy group, as well as additional studies submitted by manufacturer Dow Chemical on 2,4-D’s neurotoxicity, immunological effects, and potential for endocrine disruption, EPA concluded that the approved uses of 2,4-D are safe. EPA also examined studies on endocrine effects in wildlife and the adequacy of protective equipment for workers and concluded that there is no reason to make changes to the approved uses of 2,4-D. The herbicide has been used since the 1940s and is currently found in about 600 products registered for agricultural, residential, industrial, and aquatic uses, according to EPA. NRDC claims that more effective and less toxic herbicides are available, but 2,4-D is less expensive. The group is worried that the amount of 2,4-D sprayed on fields will increase dramatically if Dow wins approval to sell corn that has been genetically engineered to be resistant to 2,4-D.
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