EPA withdraws interim registration, but glyphosate remains in use
The EPA withdrew its interim approval of glyphosate, the most widely used weedkiller in the world, while insisting that the herbicide is safe to use and does not cause cancer. In a court filing, the EPA said it would concentrate on completing the periodic review of glyphosate required by law, most likely in 2026.
EPA renews approval of paraquat, including aerial application
After nine months of review, the EPA finalized its interim decision on the weedkiller paraquat on Monday, effectively keeping the herbicide on the U.S. market for 15 years. The agency decided to allow aerial application of the chemical on a broader range of crops than it proposed last October …
Bayer asks Supreme Court to overturn Roundup verdict
As it promised last month, Bayer, the world's largest seed and agricultural chemicals company, asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to overturn the $25-million award to Edwin Hardeman, a California man who blamed Roundup herbicide for giving him cancer. The appeal is a key element in Bayer's plan to resolve billions of dollars of claims against Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, the most widely used weedkiller in the world.
Green groups sue EPA over BASF herbicide
Comparing the herbicide trifludimoxazin to dicamba, two environmental groups asked the U.S. appeals court in San Francisco to set aside the EPA’s unconditional approval in May of the new weedkiller. Trifludimoxazin is sold by BASF under the brand name Tirexor and is the first new “mode of …
EPA managers intruded on dicamba decision making
Three mid-level EPA officials altered scientific documents to support their 2018 decision to keep the weedkiller dicamba in use, reported the office of inspector general at EPA on Monday. Their decision, to extend registration of the herbicide for two years, was overturned by a federal appeals …
EPA says it will continue use of three weedkillers
The EPA added precautions to the use and handling for the weedkillers atrazine, simazine and propazine in deciding the herbicides can remain in use in the United States. Atrazine is used primarily in agriculture to kill weeds in corn, sorghum and sugarcane, but it also is used on golf courses and residential lawns.
Appellate court backs EPA on dicamba phase-out
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected an emergency motion for an immediate cutoff of farmer use of the weedkiller dicamba, a victory for the EPA plan to allow spraying of the herbicide on GE soybeans and cotton through July 31. The court voided EPA approval of versions of dicamba sold by Bayer, BASF and Corteva on June 3; a few days later, the EPA said farmers could use stocks already on the farm through the end of July.
EPA cancels dicamba registration, allows use of the weedkiller until July 31
Farmers and pesticide applicators can use the weedkiller dicamba until July 31, the EPA announced on Monday as it canceled its approval of the herbicide, as required by an appellate court decision announced last week. The so-called existing stocks order will allow use of the chemical on GE cotton and soybeans this crop year — the goal of farmers facing the loss of a potent weed control tool with the growing season already underway.
U.S. court rules dicamba use must cease, affecting millions of acres of crops
Farmers can no longer spray the controversial pesticide dicamba over the top of genetically modified soybeans and cotton, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. Dicamba is a weedkiller whose use has skyrocketed in recent years after agribusiness giant Monsanto introduced genetically engineered soybean and cotton seeds that resist the herbicide. The ruling means that farmers will have to immediately cease using dicamba on an estimated 60 million acres of crops across the Midwest and South. (No paywall)
As the Salton Sea shrinks, a toxic mess looms
The Salton Sea, the largest lake in California, is drying up, revealing a bed packed with toxic chemicals, the residue of a century of runoff from Imperial Valley farms. Public-health experts worry that those chemicals pose a grave risk to the health of people who live nearby, mostly farmworkers, the elderly and families too poor to relocate, as Lindsay Fendt reports in FERN's latest story, published with The Weather Channel. (No paywall)
How buying Monsanto tanked Bayer
The 2016 acquisition by Bayer of seed and chemical giant Monsanto has turned out to be a rotten deal. Shares in the German company have fallen 30 percent since the $63 billion deal closed, and are now at just 50 percent of their value in 2015, when the company was Germany’s most valuable.
Rogue GE wheat found in U.S. Northwest for fourth time since 2013
The USDA has never approved cultivation of genetically engineered wheat, yet for the fourth time since April 2013 a wheat strain resistant to the weedkiller glyphosate was found growing wild in the northwestern United States. The discovery could disrupt wheat exports and it raises questions about USDA's ability to police agricultural biotechnology.
Cleaning up a toxic legacy in Vietnam
Fifty years after the war in Vietnam ended, the nation is still dealing with the toxic legacy of Agent Orange, one of the herbicides sprayed throughout the countryside that directly exposed generations of Vietnamese to dioxin, "the most toxic substance ever created by humans," writes George Black in FERN's latest story, produced in collaboration with Yale Environment 360. No paywall
Dicamba revisited: Will corn be the next herbicide debacle?
Dicamba-tolerant corn seeds aren’t available yet. But if the seeds reach the market, and tens of millions more acres are sprayed with dicamba, there’s good reason to expect a repeat of the soybean disaster, in which the highly volatile weedkiller drifted off-target and damaged 5 million acres of conventional soybeans and an untold number of other crops.(No paywall)
Dicamba has sparked a civil war in soybean country
The controversial weedkiller dicamba, which has wreaked havoc in soybean country over the last two years, is dividing communities and pitting neighbor against neighbor as the 2019 growing season gets underway. FERN's latest story, a radio piece produced with Reveal and the podcast Us & Them, takes listeners inside these divided communities in Arkansas.(No paywall)
Jury says Monsanto weedkiller was substantial factor in man’s cancer
In a trial that could serve as a bellwether for other cases, a federal court jury decided unanimously that a Monsanto herbicide was a substantial factor in causing cancer in Edwin Hardeman, of Santa Rosa, Calif, reported the Guardian. In the next phase of the trial, the jury will weigh liability and whether to award damages against Monsanto.
Arkansas approves expanded dicamba use, dismissing scientific and public concerns
Arkansas regulators voted on Wednesday to relax restrictions on the controversial weedkiller dicamba, despite testimony from top scientists and scores of concerned citizens who urged them to reject the move in a public hearing. (No paywall)
Court challenge to EPA approval of dicamba is dismissed as moot
A federal appeals court on the West Coast dismissed as moot a lawsuit by environmentalists to overturn the EPA's 2016 approval of the weedkiller dicamba. The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the environmental groups could try again with a challenge to EPA's reapproval of the herbicide last November. (No paywall)
Jury awards groundskeeper $289 million in Roundup trial
A California state court jury awarded $289 million to terminally ill Dewayne Johnson on grounds that Roundup, the most widely used weedkiller in the world, gave the former school groundskeeper cancer. The maker of the herbicide, Monsanto, said it would appeal the verdict "and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use," reported CNN.