Monsanto agents condoned improper use of dicamba, says lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in St. Louis accuses sales representatives of Monsanto, the world's largest seed and ag-chemical company, "of secretly giving farmers assurances that using unauthorized or 'off-label' spray varieties would be all right," reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "That’s one of many allegations in the suit to place blame from soaring complaints of dicamba damage on companies that produce the weedkiller and accompanying seed varieties."

Hawaii nixes tougher pesticide regulations

Hawaiian lawmakers killed a bill that would have required agribusiness companies like Monsanto and Syngenta to notify nearby residents before spraying pesticides, says Civil Beat. “Reporting provisions requiring notifications for each application would be very onerous and difficult to carry out,” testified Warren Mayberry, DuPont Pioneer’s senior manager of government affairs.

DuPont Pioneer and CIMMYT to jointly develop CRISPR crops

The second-largest seed company in the world, DuPont Pioneer, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, or CIMMYT, said they reached an agreement to jointly develop improved crops using the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas for smallholder farmers around the world. The agreement, announced at CIMMYT’s 50th anniversary conference in Mexico City, brings the new technology into the public breeding organization for the first time.

U.S. should broaden its safety review of new plant strains, says NAS panel

The National Academy of Sciences, pointing to the emergence of new technology such as gene editing and the sometimes startling effects of conventional plant breeding, said the government should conduct safety reviews of all new plant varieties that pose potential hazards, not only the results of genetic engineering.

DuPont announces its first CRISPR-created crop, waxy corn

The second-largest seed company in the world, DuPont Pioneer, announced development of a new strain of waxy corn using CRISPR-Cas gene-editing technology.

Seeds banks around the world struggle for funding

“Once seeds are secured in gene banks, it is a never-ending — and expensive— job to keep them viable,” writes Virginia Gewin at Yale Environment 360.