For Immediate Release: November 9, 2016
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its decision to grant a so-called “conditional registration” to Monsanto’s dicamba-based herbicide, Xtendimax, for new uses on genetically-engineered (GE) dicamba-resistant cotton and soybean. The agency’s approval applies to agricultural use in 34 states and is expected — by both USDA and Monsanto — to result in significant increase in dicamba applications around the country. The decision comes after numerous reports of dicamba drift damaging hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in 10 states.
PAN Senior Scientist, Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, issued this statement:
“Just days after proposing to expand its approval of Dow Chemical’s 2,4-D herbicide, EPA appears to be anxious that Monsanto not feel left out. The agency’s latest decision to approve expanded uses of dicamba, an herbicide well known to be highly toxic to virtually all broadleaf plants, reflects a new level of disregard for the livelihoods of U.S. farmers.
The biotech industry’s herbicide-promoting GE crops have brought farmers higher input costs, greater exposure to hazardous pesticides, an epidemic of superweeds — and thousands of acres of drift-damaged crops. Yet once again, EPA appears more willing to shore up Monsanto’s profits than defend the public interest. President Obama and his EPA should leave a lasting legacy for America’s farmers and agricultural communities by taking these harmful products off the shelf and provide meaningful solutions in sustainable and ecological pest management, rather than yet another acceleration of the pesticide treadmill.”
Media Contact: Paul Towers, PAN, 916-216-1082