In a statement issued Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council aimed at ending the use of 2,4-D. The petition, filed in November 2008, requested that EPA cancel all product registrations and revoke tolerances for the long-used pesticide. The agency says the denial comes "after considering public comment received on the petition and all the available studies."
In its press release, EPA explained that in 2005, as part of the regulatory process to ensure pesticides meet current regulatory standards, EPA completed a review on the registration and on the safety of the tolerances for 2,4-D. EPA determined that all products containing 2,4-D are eligible for reregistration, provided certain changes were incorporated into the labels and additional data were generated and submitted to the EPA for review.
During the recent review of the NRDC petition, EPA looked at data cited by the organization along with new studies submitted to EPA in response to the reregistration decision. "Included in the new studies is a state-of-the-science extended one-generation reproduction study," the agency release states. "That study provides an in-depth examination of 2,4-D's potential for endocrine disruptor, neurotoxic and immunotoxic effects. This study and EPAs comprehensive review confirmed EPA's previous finding tha the 2,4-D tolerances are safe."
EPA says it also reviewed NRDC's request that the agency cancel all 2,4-D product registrations. The agency reports that based on studies addressing endocrine effects on wildlife species and adequate personal protective equipment for workers, the agency says that the science "behind our current ecological and worker risk assessments for 2,4-D is sound and there is no basis to change the registrations."
2,4-D is a phenoxy herbicide and plant growth regulator in use since the 1940s. The active ingredient is currently in use in about 600 products registered for ag, residential, industrial and aquatic uses. There are 85 tolerances for 2,4-D.
There is a 60-day period for filing objections to this conclusion begins when it is published in the Federal Register. You can look at all documents at www.regulations.gov and check out docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0877.