UPDATE 3-Dow predicts EPA review of herbicide safety resolved soon

Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:39pm EST
 
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(Rewrites throughout, updates Dow comments, adds analyst comments, adds seed company comments)

By Karl Plume

CHICAGO Nov 25 (Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co expects environmental safety concerns about its new herbicide Enlist Duo to be resolved, the company said Wednesday, after the government asked a federal appellate court to pull regulatory approvals while the chemical's safety is re-examined.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Enlist Duo for sale and use in several U.S. states over a year ago. But the agency has since found its assessment of the product's two active ingredients was incomplete, according to EPA's court documents, filed late Tuesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California.

Enlist Duo is a new combination herbicide aimed at combating weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate -- a widely-used herbicide in the United States and the active ingredient of Monsanto Co's Roundup product.

Enlist Duo combines glyphosate with another herbicide, 2,4-D, and is meant for use on corn and soybeans that have been genetically altered to tolerate it.

The EPA wants to study the product further after it found that the company's Dow AgroSciences unit claimed the two active ingredients work better together, according to court documents. EPA said its study assumed the components did not have such "synergistic effects."

"The information suggests that EPA's analysis may have understated the phytotoxicity of the product," the EPA said in the court filing.

Dow Chemical said it has sent the EPA all of its data to provide further assurances for Enlist Duo. The company did not rule out changes to instructions for use on the existing product label.   Continued...