Renewable Farming

EPA suspension of Enlist Duo registration could be temporary

Several environmental groups are celebrating yesterday’s “revocation” of EPA’s approval for the herbicide Enlist Duo, a combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate.

However, EPA’s language in responding to litigation indicates EPS’s “vacatur” or setting aside a registration, as more of a pause to reconsider than a permanent cancellation. EPA officials haven’t responded to our phone message as of Nov. 25.

The registration “issue” could well be resolved in favor of renewed clearance before spring.


On Nov. 25, Reuters reported that Dow Chemical predicts EPA’s concerns will be resolved soon.

On Nov. 30, Dow released a statement saying it expects Enlist Duo will be available for use in the 2016 season in North America.

As EPA describes in a legal document responding to a lawsuit by the National Resources Defense Council, the agency said it has recently discovered that Dow Agrosciences claimed a “synergism” between the two active ingredients which enhances weed control.

That synergism claim had not been seen by EPA earlier — before EPA registered Enlist Duo in several states.

Thus, EPA concluded that a 30-foot “downwind in-field buffer” may not be adequate to protect sensitive areas from spray drift.

If you download and read the PDF document linked above, you’ll gather that EPA is being hyper-sensitive on this registration, in the face of legal challenges.

EPA chose to react to “new evidence” instead of claims made in the lawsuit challenging registration of Enlist Duo.

If Dow were to simply void its “synergism” claim for example, EPA may again reaffirm the registration.

The environmental website Sustainable Pulse was saying EPA’s action “resolves” a year-long challenge of several environmental groups opposed to the registration of Dow’s Enlist Duo.

The Center for Biological Diversity issued a news release celebrating EPA’s revocation, signaling that the new herbicide is history. 

Moms Across America e-mailed their members, saying:

“Although Enlist Duo never should have been approved in the first place, we applaud the sound decision and courage it took to put the health of our people and planet before the profit of a chemical company. THANK YOU EPA! The number to call and thank the EPA (and then ask them to revoke the license for glyphosate) is 202-564-4700.
Can you imagine the same email and announce that they have revoked the license for glyphosate? Please pray and take action to have this happen because it can and it will!

“We want to thank 
Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety, on behalf of Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Working Group, the National Family Farm Coalition, and Pesticide Action Network North America for suing the EPA over the Enlist Duo approval.

“We want to thank the hundreds of people who made signs and held them up, took pictures and sent the pictures us so we could send them to the EPA!
We want to thank the 100,000 people who signed and shared the Dr.Oz petition in two weeks to stop Due Enlist!

And from our ground-level view… we will wait and see how long this EPA “vacatur” remains vacated. it’s equally likely that the legal battle will only delay registration… perhaps re-approved with a 60-foot “downwind in-field buffer” requirement.

Meanwhile, we’re thinking about some Texas organic cotton growers desperate to find some way to save their tiny enclave from an atmosphere so glyphosate-saturated that organic, non-GMO cotton production is virtually impossible even with the maximum “buffer” they can manage.

Mom Across America posters