GENTECH archive 8.96-97

[Index][Thread]

Bromoxynil Tolerant Cotton (fwd)



I hope this is of interest to the group - let me know if I'm wasting 
your time,

Janelle

> >            =====================================
> >                         P A N U P S
> >                             ***
> >                   Pesticide Action Network
> >                        North America
> >                       Updates Service
> >                 http://www.panna.org/panna/
> >            =====================================
> >
> >April 1, 1997
> >
> >Urge EPA to Deny Tolerance Enabling Use of Bromoxynil on
> >Transgenic Cotton
> >
> >The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the
> >process of deciding whether to renew a tolerance on cotton
> >genetically engineered to tolerate the herbicide bromoxynil
> >(trade name Buctril). According to the Environmental Defense
> >Fund (EDF), new evidence indicates that this chemical is even
> >more hazardous than previously recognized. EDF feels that EPA
> >should deny renewal of the tolerance for bromoxynil, thus
> >sending a strong signal to industry that the Agency will not
> >permit use of genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops
> >to promote expanded use of hazardous herbicides.
> >
> >Bromoxynil is normally toxic to cotton, a broadleaf plant,
> >and is used on grass-like crops, such as corn, sorghum and
> >small grains, to kill broadleaf weeds. However, several years
> >ago Rhone-Poulenc, the manufacturer of the herbicide, and
> >Calgene, a small California biotechnology company, teamed up
> >to engineer cotton so that it would tolerate the toxic
> >effects of bromoxynil, thus making it possible to apply the
> >weed killer to cotton.
> >
> >In 1995, EPA approved a conditional registration for
> >bromoxynil on transgenic bromoxynil-tolerant cotton under
> >which the crop was grown commercially in 1995 and 1996. EPA
> >also established a temporary tolerance -- a maximum
> >permissible limit for the residues of bromoxynil in or on
> >cottonseed, which will expire April 1, 1997. Sometime within
> >the next week or so, EPA will decide whether to renew the
> >tolerance. If it is renewed, the herbicide could continue to
> >be applied to transgenic cotton. If not, bromoxynil could not
> >be sold for use on cotton and there would be no reason to
> >market bromoxynil-tolerant cotton.
> >
> >Bromoxynil is a toxic chemical with numerous adverse health
> >and environmental effects. A committee of EPA staff has
> >concluded that bromoxynil should retain its classification as
> >Group C, a possible human carcinogen, based on a new study
> >submitted by Rhone- Poulenc showing that bromoxynil causes
> >malignant liver tumors in both female and male mice. Evidence
> >of bromoxynil's mutagenicity and information from a
> >structural analog, 2,4,6-tricholorophenol, a known
> >carcinogen, provided additional support for the
> >carcinogenicity classification.
> >
> >In addition, bromoxynil causes birth defects in laboratory
> >mammals (rats, mice, and rabbits) and has been classified by
> >the Agency as a developmental toxicant. In 1989, EPA canceled
> >all registrations of pesticides containing one form of
> >bromoxynil -- bromoxynil butyrate -- because of the risk of
> >developmental toxicity in pesticide handlers. At that time,
> >EPA also imposed new measures, since relaxed somewhat,
> >limiting occupational exposure to avoid cancellation of other
> >bromoxynil formulations (e.g., octanoate).
> >
> >Bromoxynil also poses environmental threats -- it is highly
> >toxic to broadleaf plants and fish. Because it is a low-dose
> >herbicide, even a small amount accidentally misapplied or
> >blown from the site of application threatens wildlife
> >habitats near fields. A study in ponds in the prairie-pothole
> >region of Canada demonstrated bromoxynil's toxicity to fish
> >and showed that the herbicide in water is readily converted
> >to a toxic derivative which persists for weeks after spray
> >applications.
> >
> >Given the new carcinogenicity data and the record on birth
> >defects, the Agency should not renew the tolerance for
> >bromoxynil on transgenic cotton. Also, this decision is being
> >made by the Agency as it is implementing the new Food Quality
> >Protection Act (FQPA). This far reaching statute requires a
> >new tougher standard of safety, aggregate risk assessments,
> >and special protections for infants and children. The FQPA
> >demands serious consideration of chemicals that pose as many
> >health and environmental hazards as bromoxynil, and may
> >facilitate EPA for the first time to say "no" to expanded use
> >of an herbicide on an herbicide-tolerant crop.
> >
> >EDF urges you to write to EPA as soon as possible (a decision
> >is likely within a week) and ask the Agency to deny the
> >renewal of the tolerance for bromoxynil on cotton because 1)
> >the herbicide presents a significant cancer risk and is a
> >developmental toxicant, and 2) expanding use of bromoxynil
> >with a bromoxynil-tolerant crop violates the Food Quality
> >Protection Act's safety standard of "reasonable certainty of
> >no harm from aggregate exposure."
> >
> >Address your letters to: Dr. Lynn Goldman, Assistant
> >Administrator, OPPTS, EPA, 401 M Street, SW, #642,
> >Washington, DC  20460; fax (202) 260-1847.
> >
> >Sources: "Carcinogenicity peer review of bromoxynil phenol
> >(4th)," Memo from E.R. Budd and E. Rinde to R. Taylor, K.
> >Davies, and T. Luminello, Jr., Office of Prevention,
> >Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, EPA, Washington DC, March
> >12, 1997. "Fifth developmental toxicity peer review of
> >bromoxynil." Memo from G.J. Burin and A. Clevenger to J.
> >McQueen. Office of Pesticide Programs, EPA, Washington DC,
> >April 21, 1992. "Order canceling registration for pesticide
> >products containing bromoxynil butyrate," Federal Register
> >54:24949-50, June 12, 1989. "EPA imposes risk reduction
> >measures for bromoxynil pesticide," Office of Public Affairs,
> >EPA, Washington DC, May 9, 1989. "Suspended, cancelled, and
> >restricted pesticides," Office of Pesticides and Toxic
> >Substances, EPA, 20T-1002, Washington, DC, February 1990.
> >Letter from R. Taylor, EPA Registration Division to N. Somma,
> >Rhone-Poulenc Registration Manager, Washington DC, May 21,
> >1992. "Fish and agricultural chemicals: safeguarding your
> >pond," Extension Division, University of Missouri, Columbia,
> >1989. "Fate and acute toxicity of bromoxynil esters in an
> >experimental prairie wetland," Muir, D.C.G. et al.,
> >Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 10: 395-406, 1991.
> >
> >Contacts: Rebecca Goldburg, Ph.D., Senior Scientist,
> >Environmental Defense Fund, 257 Park Avenue South, New York,
> >NY 10010; phone (212) 505-2100; fax (212) 505-2375; email
> >becky@edf.org.
> >
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> >
*****************************************************
Janelle L. Kennard
CRC for Plant Science
PO Box 475
Australian National University.
Canberra  ACT 2601

Phone (06) 249 2878 
*****************************************************