WASHINGTON— The Environmental Protection Agency today issued seven-year reapprovals for both Enlist Duo and Enlist One for use on conventional and genetically engineered corn, cotton and soybeans.
Enlist Duo is an herbicide cocktail containing the active ingredients 2,4-D and glyphosate; Enlist One contains only 2,4-D. Both products are widely used on crops genetically altered to withstand what would normally be a fatal dose of the chemicals.
The agency also announced that for the first time it had evaluated the pesticides’ impacts on endangered wildlife and was putting in place measures to protect dozens of protected species from harm.
“It’s good that the EPA is finally putting at least some on-the-ground measures in place to protect the nation’s most endangered species from these highly toxic products,” said Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “But we’re deeply concerned that the agency failed to complete consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service during this process, and we hope that the Service will step in quickly to ensure that the nation’s most endangered plants and animals are adequately protected.”
The new measures to protect endangered species represent a sharp departure from the previous registration of Enlist Duo in 2014. At that time the EPA declared, without engaging in formal Endangered Species Act consultation, that the chemical cocktail would cause no harm to any endangered species.
Key protective measures include prohibiting use of the products where they may harm or kill endangered species in the field. That change effectively bans their use on about 3% of corn acreage, 8% of cotton acreage and 2% of soybean acreage.
However, the EPA has made its determinations about how to protect endangered species without the legally required final input from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the nation’s expert wildlife agency.