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Last modified: March 22, 2019
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Dow Seeks To Preempt Calif. Ban On Weedkiller With Its Own

Dow Chemical subsidiary Dow AgroSciences asked the U.S. EPA Friday to ban the weedkiller clopyralid from the shelves of hardware stores and garden centers nationwide in an effort to preempt a possible ban in California.

Dow's proposal to ban its own product would not prevent professional lawn care companies or local gardeners from applying the chemical to residential or public lawns. Dow said it decided to request residential restrictions because clopyralid residues in garden compost made from grass treated with the herbicide have killed some common garden plants. Scientists are studying the degradation of the weedkiller in the compost.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation issued an emergency ban in February on the herbicide, and California lawmakers are considering a bill that would impose tighter restrictions than Dow's proposal. "Dow is trying to put itself in the role of a responsible citizen," said Stephen Grealy, recycling program supervisor for San Diego. "But in effect what they are trying to do is undercut legislation that would go a lot further to cure the problem. Half of the lawn in California is commercial lawn, and that's where most of it is used. Dow is only removing it for sale for treatment of residential lawn" (Emily Green, Los Angeles Times, July 27). -- EG

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