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For Immediate Release

Press Release

EPA Ignores Concerns Over Pesticide Drift, Proposes Expanded Use of Dow’s Product

Earlier today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ignored concerns about the hazardous combination effects of Dow Chemical Company’s Enlist Duo product — of which a main ingredient is the drift-prone herbicide, 2,4-D — and proposed expanding the product for use in additional states across the country.

EPA’s announcement comes just two days after The New York Times published a front-page story highlighting the increased use of pesticides following the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) crops, as well as a lack of evidence that the introduction of GE crops has improved yields.

PAN and other food and farming organizations had legally challenged the approval in 2014, and concerns raised at that time have yet to be resolved. Among these include issues of pesticide drift, likelihood of the pesticide contaminating and persisting in the air and damage to sensitive crops.

PAN senior scientist, Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, PhD, issued the following statement in response:

“Once again, EPA has failed to protect the health, well-being and livelihood of America’s farmers and rural communities. One of Enlist’s two main ingredients, 2,4-D, has been linked to a wide range of health harms, including cancer and birth defects, and is highly toxic to many plants. The agency’s decision today — and its proposal to extend the pesticide’s registration to another 19 states — dramatically increases the risk of pesticide drift causing both harms to human health and severe crop losses, threatening the livelihoods of non-GMO and organic farmers. Unfortunately, EPA continues to rely on a narrow set of industry-funded studies to justify its decisions. Our regulatory system is clearly broken when our public agencies bow so quickly and easily to industry pressure. We need a new and much more rigorous approach to regulating GMO crops and their associated pesticides that puts the public interest first.”

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PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America) works to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five autonomous PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens' action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.

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