Herbicide Debates Move Into the Courtroom
While consumers, regulators, and suppliers continue to do battle in the court of public opinion, many complaints are now actually ending up in some real courtrooms across the country. Over the past month, two herbicides, glyphosate and dicamba, have ended up with lawsuits filed in a pair of states.
In late October, Monsanto filed a complaint in Pulaski County Circuit Court in response to the Arkansas Plant Board’s rejection of its petition to halt the restriction on dicamba use in the state past April 15, 2018.
“Growers in 33 other states are having outstanding experience with Xtendimax, and growers in Arkansas deserve the same opportunity,” said Monsanto Vice President of Global Strategy Scott Partridge in a written statement. “The Plant Board overlooked extensive volatility data provided to it – including data EPA used in its registration decision.”
A few weeks later, a coalition of Midwestern agricultural groups and Monsanto filed a lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento, CA, seeking an injunction barring the Golden State from enforcing its requirement that glyphosate products begin carrying a warning label that the active ingredient “could cause cancer.” Plaintiffs in this lawsuit include the national wheat and corn growers associations, state agricultural and business organizations in Iowa, Missouri, North and South Dakota, and herbicides sellers in California, Arizona, and Hawaii.
At this point, it’s too early to tell how these lawsuits will ultimately be decided. However, as the quest for ways for grower-customers to deal with a worsening herbicide-resistant weed problem continues – and industry critics quick to oppose seemingly any method to combat it – we can probably expect more such legal challenges to keep popping up, throughout 2018 and beyond.