EPA accused of failing to regulate use of toxic herbicides despite court order
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: May 22nd, 2023
The US Environmental Protection Agency has in effect ignored a 2020 federal court order prohibiting the use of Monsanto and other producers' toxic dicamba-based herbicides that are destroying millions of acres of cropland, harming endangered species and increasing cancer risks for farmers, new fillings in the lawsuit charge. Instead of permanently yanking the products from the market after the 2020 order, the EPA only required industry to add further application instructions to the herbicides' labels before reapproving the products. A late 2021 EPA investigation found the same problems persist even with new directions added to the label, but the agency still allows Monsanto, BASF and other producers to continue using dicamba. The EPA's pesticide office is included in allegations that career managers are influenced by or have colluded with industry, and in some cases falsified science to make dangerous substances appear less toxic. About one-third of the pesticide office's funding comes from industry fees. The agency in 2016 approved the dicamba-based herbicide developed by Monsanto, which was to be used on genetically modified soybean and cotton crops. The herbicide can damage or kill neighboring crops and plants that are not engineered to be dicamba-resistant. The results are "devastating" and destroying millions of acres as "as never before seen in the history of US agriculture", the plaintiffs said. In some cases, direct dicamba exposure can kill insects, mammals and other animals.