EPA asks court to vacate approval of Dow's Enlist Duo herbicide (updated)

21:27 PM | November 25, 2015 | Robert Westervelt

EPA has asked a federal court to allow it to vacate and remand registration of Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo herbicide, saying it has received information from Dow that suggests the active ingredients could result in greater toxicity to non-target plants. “This new information could lead EPA to a different decision on the restrictions for using Enlist Duo,” EPA said. “Specifically, this could result in changes to the width around application areas of no-use buffer zones that EPA imposed to protect unintended plants, including those listed as endangered.”

EPA said it has not yet completed a review of the new information. Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide was developed in tandem with Dow’s Enlist trait, which confers resistance to glyphosate and 2,4-D.

Dow said in a statement it is confident in the supporting data for Enlist Duo and expects the herbicide to be available for the 2016 US crop season. “We believe the questions that have been raised about any potential synergy between 2,4-D choline and glyphosate can be promptly resolved in the next few months, in time for the 2016 crop-use season,” said Tim Hassinger, Dow AgroSciences president and CEO. “Based on the ongoing dialogue with EPA, we do not expect these issues to result in the long-term cancellation of the Enlist Duo product registration.”

The Enlist platform is a key component of Dow’s targeted $1-billion in revenue from new seed and crop protection chemical products by 2018. “We continue to prepare for commercial sales of Enlist Duo for the 2016 growing season with enthusiastic grower adoption,” Dow said.

Dow received registration approval from EPA for use of Enlist Duo herbicide for use with Enlist corn and soybeans in six key states in October 2014. Several environmental groups sued EPA that same month in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the decision to register Enlist Duo.