Monsanto’s weed-killer, Xtendimax, was first permitted for use in 2016, which resulted in traveling vapor clouds that caused damage to a significant amount of crops, wild plants and a variety of animal species, according to the Center for Food Safety. Here, the environmental litigation attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos detail the legal battle between environmental conservationists and Monsanto as the two sides continue to fight over the harmful effects of Monsanto’s Xtendimax to the farming industry and the environment.
Farmers Sue the EPA and Monsanto in 2017
In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Monsanto’s pesticide Xtendimax for use on genetically-engineered, dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton. Dicamba is a weed-killer that is linked to increased cancer rates in farmers as well as birth defects. According to an article by the Center for Food Safety published in EcoWatch, over three million acres of soybeans, vegetables, fruit, trees and shrubs in the United States were damaged by drifting dicamba vapor clouds. The vapor clouds, which traveled through the air from dicamba-resistant crops, also destroyed flowering plants found near croplands and potentially caused harm to a variety of pollinators and endangered animal and plant species.
As a result of the damage to vulnerable crops as well as wild plants and animals, public interest organizations, farmers and environmental conservationists filed a federal lawsuit against both Monsanto and the EPA. The lawsuit challenged the approval of Xtendimax and claimed that the original dicamba registrations are illegal on the grounds that requirements of the Endangered Species Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) were ignored. Four of the organizations who filed against Monsanto and the EPA include the National Family Farm Coalition, Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America.
Xtendimax Was Renewed for Two More Years in 2018
In 2018, Monsanto was acquired by Bayer, and Xtendimax was approved by the EPA for renewal for another two years with additional restrictions added to the over-the-top use of Xtendimax on genetically-engineered soybean and cotton crops. The renewal requires updates to the Xtendimax label that will add protective measures to minimize vapor travel and damage to wild and off-site plants and animals. As a response to the federal lawsuit filed against them, Monsanto and the EPA argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed entirely.
“As a result of EPA’s issuance of the new, superseding 2018 Registration, the 2016 Registration that Petitioners challenge is no longer in force, and a court order vacating that registration would have no legal or practical effect,” wrote Monsanto lawyers in a motion concerning the litigation.
Despite the renewal of Xtendimax for use until 2020, litigation is ongoing and farmers and environmentalists continue to combat the use of the weed-killer.
Consult an Environmental Litigation Attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos
When major pesticide corporations like Bayer, previously Monsanto, make decisions out of negligence and indifference to the environment, hardworking farmers and the delicate ecosystem are put in immeasurable danger. There is significant evidence that weed-killer Xtendimax has caused damage to millions of acres of land and costing the jobs and livelihood of farmers across the country. Speak to an environmental litigation attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos today to learn more about the EPA’s decision to renew Monsanto’s Xtendimax as well as what that means for the environment and the farming industry.