April 13, 2023 – From a Center for Food Safety press release:
In 2016 Monsanto opened the floodgates to massive spraying of dicamba during farming season by genetically engineering soybeans and cotton to withstand “over-the-top” spraying of dicamba. The results have been devastating, as millions of acres of farmers’ crops have been “damaged and sometimes destroyed by dicamba spray droplets drifting off-field during application,” according to the groups’ filing. This includes dicamba “vapor clouds damaging vast fields from fencerow to fencerow; dicamba-laced water running off sprayed fields; and even dicamba-contaminated rainfall in areas of intensive use.”
Despite the EPA’s claims that the changes in use guidelines included in the 2020 approval of the pesticide would halt drift harm, in December 2021 the agency released a damning report admitting continued widespread dicamba damage and potential harms to federally protected species. At least 63 counties with endangered species experienced damage from dicamba drift, yet in December 2021, the EPA refused to cancel dicamba registration.
“Many farmers feel that they have no choice but to plant dicamba-resistant soy and cotton defensively, in order to avoid economic losses from waves of drift damage,” said Lisa Griffith of National Family Farm Coalition, a plaintiff in the case with Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety, and the Center for Biological Diversity.