Op-ed: Ever heard of isoxaflutole? That’s about to change

Environmental Health News 24 April 2020

Nathan Donley

Across the country, many people who’ve never stepped into a soybean or corn field are familiar with pesticides like the cancer-linked glyphosate in Roundup and drift-prone dicamba.

But chances are slim that anyone outside the pesticide and farming industries has heard a whisper about isoxaflutole, which earlier this month the Environmental Protection Agency announced it had approved for use on as much as 90 million acres of genetically engineered soybeans in 25 states throughout the Midwest.

And that’s exactly how EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler wants it.

Pronounced EYE-sox-Ah-FLUTE-ole, isoxaflutole is a highly toxic pesticide the EPA has linked to cancer and liver damage. And much like dicamba, it’s well-known for its ability to drift more than a thousand feet from where it’s sprayed, creating potential for broad, unintended damage to nearby crops, backyard gardens and native plants.

The EPA’s announcement that isoxaflutole had been approved for use on millions of acres of genetically engineered soybeans without any prior public notice spotlights how aggressively the Trump EPA under Wheeler’s iron hand has moved to exclude the public and independent scientists from the pesticide approval process.

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