Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Yesterday, Bayer AG said it will scrap a nearly $1 billion project to produce the chemical dicamba in its Luling, Louisiana planet. This comes after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the sale and use of the herbicide, stating that “the EPA substantially understated the risks related to the use of dicamba, a chemical found in herbicides sold by Bayer and rivals that are sprayed on genetically engineered soybeans and cotton.”
BUT, this week the Trump EPA also issued guidance stating that farmers can use existing supplies of an agricultural weed killer linked to crop damage, despite the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling.
Why This Matters: After the 9th Circuit’s decision, there remains confusion within the industry on if or how this court order will be enforced by state or federal pesticide regulators. EPA has not yet informed the states or registrants what legal steps the agency will take and thus state agencies have not enforced the ruling.
The pressure to restrict dicamba arose because the herbicide spreads and kills crops that are not genetically resistant to it. While total reports of contamination have fallen, they have declined sharply in states that imposed tough regulations on the pesticide, while increasing in states that have not.
The Legal Case: As Progressive Farmer explained, the 9th Circuit ruling was the result of a lawsuit first filed in 2017 by a group of farm and environmental groups, which argued that EPA violated both its governing law (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, FIFRA), and the Endangered Species Act when it registered XtendiMax (Bayer’s formulation of dicamba).
The judges did not rule on the lawsuit’s Endangered Species Act claims. They only ruled that EPA violated FIFRA in multiple ways, largely by underestimating and understating the risks of dicamba herbicides used over a wide acreage, as well as ongoing off-target injury from 2016 through 2018.
The Future: Without the EPA providing ample guidance, it’s difficult to know when state regulatory agencies will begin to enforce the phase-out of dicamba. This is certainly an ongoing story.
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The earth is collapsing under Russia’s northeastern towns as global warming melts the permafrost beneath them. Permafrost occupies 65% of Russia’s landmass, making this massive thawing particularly destructive. “There isn’t a single settlement in Russia’s Arctic where you wouldn’t find a destroyed or deformed building,” said Alexey Maslakov, […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Heirs’ property is a type of land ownership whereby property is passed down without a will, and it’s one of the main reasons Black families in the US are losing their land. But the Mobile Basin Heirs’ Property Support Initiative announced yesterday could help families in Mississippi’s Mobile Bay […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The White House announced Friday that President Biden will use his executive authority to restore protections for three national monuments drastically reduced during the Trump Administration. He will reestablish and increase the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, both of which are in Utah. The orders […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.