EPA rejects NRDC’s petition ban 2,4-D

EPA rejects NRDC’s petition to ban 2,4-D

4:18 AM, 12th April 2012
EPA rejects NRDC’s petition to ban 2,4-D

WASHINGTON DC, US: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that the widely used herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) would remain on the market, denying a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), that sought to revoke the chemical’s approval. The EPA said that NRDC, had not adequately shown that 2,4-D would be harmful under the conditions in which it is used. Use of the chemical is expected to grow substantially in the coming years because Dow is seeking federal approval to sell seeds of corn genetically engineered to be resistant to 2,4-D.

The council filed its petition in 2008 asking that the registration of the herbicide, as well as the permissible residue levels on various foods, be revoked. The group cited various studies suggesting that exposure to 2,4-D could cause cancer, hormone disruption, genetic mutations and neurotoxicity. In its ruling, the EPA said that while some studies cited suggested that high doses of the chemical could be harmful, they did not establish lack of safety, and in some cases they were contradicted by other studies.

The agency in particular cited a study, conducted by Dow, in which the chemical was put into the feed of rats. The study did not show reproductive problems in the rats or problems in their offspring that might be expected if 2,4-D were disrupting hormone activity, said the EPA. The EPA has reviewed the safety of 2,4-D several times, particularly with regard to an increased risk of cancer. Some studies have shown a higher risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among farmers who use the chemical. But EPA reviewers have said the farmers might have been exposed to many things, making it difficult to state that 2,4-D was the cause.

© The New York Times News

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