A Missouri peach farmer was recently awarded $265 million after a jury found that his orchard was damaged by dicamba-based pesticides. Hundreds of similar lawsuits have been filed, and their rulings could have far-reaching effects on the herbicide’s use in the United States.
The lawsuits filed in the federal courts were consolidated into one case featuring two major claims.
“The plaintiffs’ allegations were divided into two categories, claims that had to do with crop damage allegedly caused by dicamba, and claims that one of the companies had allegedly created a monopoly of the pesticide-resistant crop market,” said Brigit Rollins, Staff Attorney from the National Agricultural Law Center.
Although dicamba is not a new tool in the fight against weeds, the latest round of dicamba formulations was released to be used in cotton and soybean crops developed specifically to resist its damaging effects. The lawsuits claim that the formulations do not remain where they are applied and move into other, non-resistant crops, causing damage.
“How these lawsuits play out could have a significant impact on how pesticides and pesticide-resistant, genetically engineered crops are used in agriculture,” Rollins said.
Rollins will discuss these lawsuits, the claims being made by both the plaintiffs and the defense, and what the outcome of each suit could mean for dicamba use in the U.S. in a free webinar, hosted by the National Agricultural Law Center April 15 at noon EDT/ 11 a.m. CDT.
Those interested in the upcoming webinar can register online here.
For more information on dicamba-related litigation, visit Rollins’s “The Deal with Dicamba” blog series. Part one can be found here.