Summoned by the Center for Food and Safety and Earthjustice on behalf of various green groups, a lawsuit was filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against the EPA for its recent approval of Enlist Duo, an herbicide that scientists warn maybe harmful for human and environmental health.
In Wednesday's suit, it charges "the approval was unlawful because the agency failed to adequately consider human impacts and did not consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service." While the EPA's approval was limited to six Midwestern states, Down AgoSciences' Enlist Duo will more than triple the amount of 2.4—a toxic defoliant used in the herbicide—used on genetically engineered corn and soybean crops.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group, the National Family Farm Coalition and Pesticide Action Network North America.
"Rural communities rely on EPA to take its job seriously—to fully consider potential health impacts before introducing new products or allowing a dramatic increase in use of a hazardous and volatile chemical like 2,4-D," Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, PhD, senior scientist at the Pesticide Action Network North America in a story on Common Dreams.
The major toxic chemical ingredient in Enlist Duo was also used in Agent Orange, which was used during the Vietnam War and, through various studies, was determined to interfere with hormonal and reproductive functions. It is also linked to cancer and other diseases as as well as posing great danger to the environmental and animal health.
Activists said that the EPA's decision was an unfortunate one and the "toxic treadmill has to stop."
EPA and USDA cannot continue to ignore the history, science, and public opinion surrounding these dangerous chemicals so that a failed and unnecessary system of chemically-dependent agriculture can continue to destroy our health and environment," Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, said in a Common Dreams report.
Will this case determine the direction U.S. agriculture goes in the coming years?