08 February 2024


Following the Trump administration's decision to reverse the ban on Dicamba, a federal court has found that the EPA broke the law in making this decision.

The short version is that they issued a rule with no notice nor time for a request for comments, which is required by statute. 

As to the herbacide Dicamba, the issue is not that it is worse for the environment, it is that it does not stay where it is sprayed, and drifts to surrounding farms, washes away into streams, etc.

Everyone hated the weed killer, except for the companies who both manufacture the chemical and sell Dicamba resistant crop seeds:

Dealing a blow to three of the world’s biggest agrochemical companies, a US court this week banned three weedkillers widely used in American agriculture, finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law in allowing them to be on the market.

The ruling is specific to three dicamba-based weedkillers manufactured by Bayer, BASF and Syngenta, which have been blamed for millions of acres of crop damage and harm to endangered species and natural areas across the midwest and south.

This is the second time a federal court has banned these weedkillers since they were introduced for the 2017 growing season. In 2020, the ninth circuit court of appeals issued its own ban, but months later the Trump administration reapproved the weedkilling products, just one week before the presidential election at a press conference in the swing state of Georgia.

But a federal judge in Arizona ruled on Monday that the EPA made a crucial error in reapproving dicamba, finding the agency did not post it for public notice and comment as required by law. US district judge David Bury wrote in a 47-page ruling that it was a “very serious” violation and that if EPA had done a full analysis, it probably would not have made the same decision.


“Time and time again, the evidence has shown that dicamba cannot be used without causing massive and unprecedented harm to farms as well as endangering plants and pollinators,” said George Kimbrell, legal director of the Center for Food Safety, which litigated the case.


Dicamba was introduced to American agriculture in 1967, but was never widely used during warm months because it was well known that the chemical can volatilize and move long distances when temperatures climb. Volatilization is when dicamba particles turn from a liquid to a gas in the hours or days after the herbicide is applied, in effect turning into clouds of weedkiller and causing landscape-level damage.

Dicamba is also prone to drifting on the wind far from where it is applied. And it can move into drainage ditches and bodies of water as runoff during rain events.


The EPA first approved Monsanto and BASF versions of dicamba touted to be less likely to move off target for the 2017 growing season. Since then, dicamba has caused millions of acres of crop damage, and has been the subject of several lawsuits.


For years, Bayer and BASF have blamed other factors than their weedkillers, including illegal use of older chemicals, for the damage. Discovery documents turned up in the litigation showed the companies knew that their dicamba weedkillers would probably lead to off-target crop damage.

They knew?  How about frog marching senior executives out of their offices in handcuffs?

These guys won't stop lying and breaking the law until they are held personally accountable.


Post a Comment