November 10, 2008
Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data Comments on a Petition Seeking to Cancel 2,4-D and Revoke Tolerances
Kansas City, November 10, 2008 - - "Extensive research, independent scientific reviews and regulatory evaluations worldwide have consistently found that authorized uses of 2,4-D do not pose risks of concern for human health or the environment," said Jim Gray, Executive Director for the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data, responding to a recent petition urging the U.S. EPA to cancel registrations and revoke tolerances of the herbicide 2,4-D.
The Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data, (AGRO-GOR, Dow AgroSciences, and Nufarm USA) a consortium of manufacturers of the herbicide who have conducted and submitted to EPA over 300 toxicology, ecotoxicity, residue and environmental fate studies on 2,4-D, will urge the Agency to deny the NRDC petition on the grounds that EPA have repeatedly reviewed these and other studies, including studies cited in the petition, and concluded that 2,4-D does not pose an unreasonable risk to man or the environment when used according to its label.
"It's unfortunate that during these tough economic times that organizations would tie up scarce EPA resources concerning an herbicide that has already been recently reviewed and proven safe," Gray said.
The Agency concluded its Re-registration Eligibility Decision (RED) of the popular herbicide in 2005, following a 17-year review process. In 2007, following more than 21 years of research and agency review, the Agency was able to determine that no correlation exists between 2,4-D and human cancer. In April 2008, Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) published its Re-evaluation Decision finding the herbicide to meet all of Canada's strict pesticide safety regulations.
"These recent findings by the US EPA and Health Canada's PMRA bolster previous decisions made by authorities including the World Health Organization, European Commission and recent studies by the U.S. National Cancer Institute that deem 2,4-D to be a valuable and useful herbicide that does not pose additional human health or environmental risks when used according to label instructions," Gray added.
2,4-D, one of the most widely used herbicides in North America and worldwide, is applied to crops such as wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, potatoes, sugar cane, pome fruits, stone fruits and nuts. It controls invasive species in aquatic areas and federally protected areas and broadleaf weeds in turf grass. Effective weed control in home and professional turf protects property values and provides safe playing fields. Well-managed turf improves the effectiveness of filtering pollutants, preventing soil erosion, improving water infiltration, moderating temperatures, and reducing noise.
An economic evaluation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (NAPIAP Report 1-PA~96) concluded that the loss of 2,4-D would cost the U.S. economy $1.7 billion annually in higher food production and weed control expenses. A similar study prepared for Canada found the loss of2,4-D in the agricultural sector would cost the Canadian economy $321 million and the industrial infrastructure segment an additional $17.5 million annually.