Continuation of Monsanto Dicamba Litigation Updates
In August 2019, environmentally conscious public-interest organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and agrochemical company, Monsanto, after the approval of a pesticide meant for use on soybean and cotton plants. Here, the environmental litigation attorneys at Peter Angelos Law discuss the controversy surrounding the damaging dicamba pesticide and how the EPA’s decision to approve the pesticide may translate as a failure to protect and support farmers and their crops.
Monsanto’s Xtendimax Lead to Extraordinary Destruction of Crops and Wildlife
After the FDA approved the use of dicamba-based pesticide Xtendimax in 2016. The approval and subsequent use of Xtendimax on American farms led to the damage and endangerment of a variety of nontargeted crops, wildlife, animals and insects across dozens of states and millions of acres of crops. This resulted in unprecedented environmental damage to surrounding farmland and wildlife areas. In 2018, the EPA acknowledged that dicamba was prone to drifting through the air and affecting surrounding plant and animal life outside of the scope of application.
Regarding the incident, Agronomists investigating the issue stated that they had never seen herbicide-related drift damage to this degree before the approval of Xtendimax.
The EPA Overruled the Buffer Requirement Meant to Combat Pesticide Damage
After the EPA acknowledged the disastrous effects of dicamba on crops and surrounding plant and animal life, the agency enacted a buffer requirement meant to protect nontargeted acreage. Specifically, agency scientists requested that fields sprayed with the pesticide have a 443-foot buffer that would preserve the land surrounding the targeted crops. However, the EPA’s upper political management ultimately overruled the scientists’ recommendations and reduced the buffer to a mere 57 feet, failing to work in the interest of surrounding plant and animal life.
Public-Interest Organizations Band Together to File a Federal Lawsuit Against Monsanto and the EPA
As a response to the approval of a pesticide engineered to allow crops to tolerate the application of dicamba, several environmentally minded, public interest organizations have united to file a lawsuit against Monsanto and the EPA. These public interest groups include the National Family Farm Coalition, Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity.
The lawsuit asserts that the EPA knew of the pesticide’s risk of drifting and potentially damaging crops and wildlife yet still approved the product while lacking measures to prevent the risk of the pesticide vaporizing and drifting.
Advocate for the Environment with the Team of Baltimore Attorneys at Peter Angelos Law
It is the duty of large corporations like Monsanto, and government agencies like the EPA, to make decisions that are in the best interest of public and environmental health. When entities such as these fail to properly protect our environment and permanently endanger plant and animal species, it is up to farmers and the public to use their voice and advocate for the health and safety of the earth. At Peter Angelos Law, our team of environmental litigation attorneys have proven their skills and abilities in litigating environmental cases. To learn more about your legal rights, schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Peter Angelos Law today.