U.S. EPA approves use of Bayer weed killer for five years

In this news, we discuss the U.S. EPA approves use of Bayer weed killer for five years.

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The US Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers for the next five years to spray crops with a Bayer AG BAYGn.DE weedkiller whose sales were blocked by a US appeals court in June administrator Andrew Wheeler said on Tuesday.

XtendiMax, a dicamba-based herbicide that is sprayed on genetically engineered soybeans and cotton to resist it, is known to drift and damage other crops that are not resistant to it.

“This decision includes a five-year recording, providing certainty for producers when making future buying decisions,” Wheeler told reporters on a call.

The move is a boost for Bayer, which has been hammered by lawsuits against various chemicals in the United States since the acquisition of seed company Monsanto in 2018. It is also an example of the Trump administration favoring business interests versus regulation a week before the presidential election.

EPA has also approved the use of BASFn.DE Engenia Herbicide by BASF SE and has extended the approval of Tavium by Syngenta.

Environmental groups have called for a ban on dicamba products, arguing they harm nearby plants and wildlife.

A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed this summer and ruled that the EPA significantly underestimated the risks. related to the use of dicamba. His decision also blocked sales of dicamba-based herbicides like CTVA.N FeXapan d’Engenia and Corteva Agriscience.

The EPA’s ruling overturns the court’s ruling, experts said.

“Rather than assessing the significant costs of the dicamba drift as the 9th Circuit told them the law required, the EPA rushed the re-approval as a political element just before the election,” said George Kimbrell, director Legal Center for Food Safety.

According to Bayer, about 60% of the soybean crop in the United States this year was seeded with Bayer’s dicamba-resistant Xtend soybean. They should be sprayed with the herbicide to ward off weeds that have developed a tolerance to another chemical, glyphosate.

The EPA said it would impose a June 30 deadline for farmers to spray dicamba on soybeans and a July 30 deadline for its use on cotton.

Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; Edited by David Gregorio and Matthew Lewis

Original © Thomson Reuters

Originally posted 2020-10-27 15:46:09.

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