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August 9, 2007


EPA Says No Special Review of 2,4-D Needed after Years of Research Data Prove it's Not a Human Carcinogen


(Washington, DC, August 9, 2007) – Following its recent decision to reregister 2,4-dichloro-phenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday announced its Decision Not to Initiate a Special Review 2,4-D. EPA’s decision states: “Because the Agency has determined that the existing data do not support a conclusion that links human cancer to 2,4-D exposure, it has decided not to initiate a Special Review of 2,4-D, 2,4-DB and 2,4-DP.”

EPA first considered Special Review for 2,4-D in 1986, and after more than 21 years of research and agency review, EPA was able to determine that no correlation exists between 2,4-D and human cancer.

“Based on extensive scientific review of many epidemiology and animal studies, the Agency finds that the weight of the evidence does not support a conclusion that 2,4-D, 2,4-DB and 2,4-DP are likely human carcinogens,” according to a notice released by EPA. The herbicides 2,4-DB and 2,4-DP were considered for Special Review based solely on their similarity for 2,4-D.

“The impact of this decision should not be understated,” said Jack Dutra, executive director of the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data. “Today EPA definitively stated that 2,4-D is not a human carcinogen . This has been one of the most widely used and successful herbicides in history, and growers around the U.S. and the world will continue to use it with confidence.”

Since 1989, the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data developed and submitted to EPA over 300 Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) toxicology, environmental and residue studies which EPA scientists reviewed to assess the herbicide’s safety under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA).

The Industry Task Force II will develop studies required by EPA’s reregistration review of 2,4-D, most of which are being required of all pesticides. 2,4-D is commonly applied to a variety of crops such as wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, potatoes, sugar cane, pome fruits, stone fruits and nuts. It controls invasive species in aquatic and federally protected areas and broadleaf weeds in turf grass. 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.

Full text of EPA’s decision may be found at the EPA website or at the link below.

Download PDF: 2,4-D, 2,4-DP, and 2,4-DB; Decision Not to Initiate Special Review