Is dicamba just the first of many products to get over-ruled?

While Canadian farmers maintain access to over-the-top use of dicamba herbicides in herbicide-tolerant crops, American farmers are dealing with significant uncertainty regarding access to the product not just this season, but for next year and years to come.

The 9th Circuit Court in the U.S. vacated dicamba’s over-the-top registration June 3rd, 2020, ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency had made multiple errors in its approval process.

This is the latest major court challenge of a widely-used herbicide, though for very different reasons. Bayer is still working on a major class-action lawsuit and potential settlement regarding the glyphosate product RoundUp. Those cases focus on the health impacts of using the herbicide. The anti-dicamba case has been built largely on off-target damage caused by the product, and the concept that “Big Ag” is forcing farmers to use the products.

The increased litigation of herbicide approval is a troubling trend that have many in the industry concerned that the U.S. is moving further way from a science-based regulatory system, to one based on subjective factors and legal threat. If this is a growing trend, what’s next? There’s already rumblings that a similar case could be in the works regarding the Enlist trait that infers 2, 4-D resistance.

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