(Natural News) A coalition of farmer and environmental groups has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to follow the law in approvingMonsanto’s newest herbicide, “XtendiMax” (active ingredient dicamba), for spraying directly on a new generation of genetically modified crops.
The plaintiffs in the suit are the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, National Family Farm Coalition and the Pesticide Action Network.
“Federal regulators have abandoned the interests of farmers, the environment, and public health,” plaintiffs’ counsel George Kimbrell said. “We won’t allow our food to be dragged backward into a pesticide-soaked nightmare – not without a hell of a fight.”
The approval is expected to lead to a tenfold increase in the amount of dicamba sprayed. This will not even offset the use of other chemicals; the new herbicide is approved for use on soybean and cotton crops genetically engineered to resist both dicamba and glyphosate (Roundup). Thus, spraying of Roundup will continue.
Dicamba has been linked with cancer and birth defects, while glyphosate is classified by the World Health Organization as a “probable carcinogen.” Both have been shown to have devastating effects on wildlife and to contaminate water supplies.
Dicamba in particular is known to drift large distances from the fields where it is sprayed. Even prior to the latest approval, farmers in 10 states had already reported damage to thousands of acres of crops from dicamba use in nearby fields. In fall 2016, a farmer was shot dead in a dispute with another farmer over dicamba drift.
The lawsuit notes that although the EPA noted that increased dicamba use would place dozens of endangered species at risk, it failed to consult the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (which oversees endangered species) before issuing its decision. (Click to Article)