Approved Herbicide Under Fire
The herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, commonly known as 2,4-D, is being attacked by an environmental group that deems it unsafe — and apparently EPA is listening.
April 13, 2009
The herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, commonly known as 2,4-D, is being attacked by an environmental group that deems it unsafe -- and apparently EPA is listening.
According to an article on www.billingsgazette.com, an online news source for Montana and Wyoming, EPA is considering rescinding approval of the weed control product, which is one of the top three used in the U.S. It was just a little more than a year-and-a-half ago that EPA said -- after years of research -- 2,4-D is considered safe for use.
The environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), however, says the herbicide disrupts estrogen and progesterone in humans, among other things. It’s an ingredient in 1,500 items and has been on the market for about 60 years. When used properly, EPA has no issues with 2,4-D.
According to the article, toxicologists for Western Integrated Pest Management Center, an organization that handles weed research for Montana and five western states, say the consensus is there’s no new information that should force EPA to rescind its approval.
Farm groups have said there isn’t a cost-effective replacement for the herbicide. Agricultural officials at NRDC, however, say no-till farming, pulling weeds, and products such as glyphosate or Roundup will work as a substitute.