The orange-and-black monarch butterfly, known for its 3,000-mile migration across North America and its plunging population, meets the criteria for listing as a threatened or endangered species, said the Interior Department on Tuesday. But it will be listed only as a candidate for federal protection because "we must focus resources on our higher-priority listing actions," said Fish and Wildlife Service director Aurelia Skipwith.
The herbicide dicamba is too risky to use on row crops such as soybeans and cotton until independent research shows it won't evaporate and harm nearby crops and plants, said a report from three conservation and environmental groups on Wednesday. Dicamba is blamed for "off-target" damage on millions of acres of property, and the EPA is considering possible rules for its use on crops in the future.
Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, poses no threat to human health when used as directed and is unlikely to cause cancer, said the EPA in an interim decision on Thursday. Environmental groups denounced the decision as faulty.
In a bellwether trial, a federal jury found Monsanto liable for causing blood cancer in a man who used its Roundup weedkiller, and awarded the man, Edwin Hardeman, more than $80 million in damages, said The Recorder.
Researchers at Kansas State University have found pigweed that tolerates dicamba and 2,4-D, two herbicides that are often used to combat the invasive weed. Pigweed, or Palmer amaranth, is difficult for farmers to control, growing up to 10 feet tall and capable of producing 1 million seeds per plant.
Nearly 30 million Americans in 28 states “have some level of atrazine in their tap water,” says the Environmental Working Group in a report on the second-most widely used weedkiller in the country.
Many states have reported significant complaints from farmers about dicamba damage to their crops and plants, said an association of state pesticide regulators in calling for the EPA to tighten its rules on use of the weedkiller.
“Off-target” herbicides are creating tremendous discord in farm country, writes weed scientist Ford Baldwin in an essay for Delta Farm Press, adding that “dicamba technology has been the most divisive of my career.”
State agriculture commissioner Doug Goehring announced “North Dakota-specific” rules on use of the weedkiller dicamba on GE soybeans in the new crop year. They include a ban on spraying when temperatures top 85 degrees and a total cutoff of dicamba use after June 30.