EPA Expands Use of Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo, Despite Risks to Monarch Butterflies and Human Health

Health and wildlife experts at the NRDC are disappointed by a decision from EPA today to expand use of the controversial herbicide Enlist-Duo into 19 new states. The powerful weed killer is a major threat to pollinators like monarch butterflies, and may pose health humans risks to humans, as well. Enlist Duo, manufactured by Dow Chemical, combines the chemicals glyphosate, a suspected human carcinogen, and 2,4-D, which has been linked to higher rates of birth defects and is considered a “possible” human carcinogen.

The news comes the same week as the Fish & Wildlife Service added the rusty patched bumblebee to the Endangered Species List, a tacit recognition that pesticide use and loss of habitat has pushed the bee to the brink of extinction.

Following is a statement from Rebecca Riley, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Bees and butterflies can’t catch a break in a landscape thick with pesticides that threaten their survival. In the same week endangered species protections were placed on what used to be one of the most widespread bumblebee species in North America, the government is also expanding use of a potent pesticide combination that threatens to decimate the sole source of food for the monarch butterfly caterpillar. These two actions do not compute. If we are going to keep other pollinator species off the Endangered Species list, we have to dial back pesticide use — not expand it.”

More information:


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us atwww.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

Related Issues
Nature & Wildlife

Related Press Releases