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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Approval of Dow's Enlist Duo Herbicide May Soon be Revoked

New information obtained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggesting that Dow Chemical’s newly approved Enlist Duo herbicide is more toxic to surrounding plants than originally thought, is prompting the agency to seek to revoke its approval for the weedkiller.

After granting approval for the chemical only last year, this week the EPA has requested that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacate the agency’s approval for Enlist Duo to give the agency time to re-evaluate the product.

Enlist Duo was designed specifically to be used on genetically modified crops to combat ‘super weeds’, and was given approval for use in six U.S. states in October 2014, and nine additional states earlier this year. After the agency granted its approval for the chemical, multiple environmental groups including the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice sued the EPA claiming insufficient due diligence regarding the herbicide’s effects on endangered plants and species.

However, new information not provided prior to the herbicide’s approval has become known to the EPA, which the agency claims could result in it handing down a ‘different decision’ in regard to the restrictions it will enforce on farmers using the spray, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Dow Chemical had announced that Enlist Duo would be available for the 2016 growing season, and the company is continuing its preparations for the commercialization of the product.

“We are working with EPA to quickly provide further assurances that our product’s conditions of registered use will continue to protect the environment, including threatened and endangered plant species,” said Dow spokesman Garry Hamlin reports the Wall Street Journal. “We expect that these new evaluations will result in a prompt resolution of all outstanding issues.”

Following the EPA’s motion, Dow Chemical will now have the right to respond before the appellate court decides whether or not to vacation the herbicide’s previous approval.

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