Ninth Circuit Bans Use of Pesticide Chlorpyrifos in Agriculture

On August 9, 2018, the Ninth Circuit ordered that the EPA ban a widely used pesticide called chlorpyrifos within 60 days. The court found that EPA had failed to determine that chlorpyrifos was safe.  The decision marked the end – albeit perhaps only temporarily – to a decade-long battle between the pesticide and agriculture industry on one side and environmental and public health groups on the other.

By way of background, EPA, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, …

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The Empire Strikes Back? Oil Interests Make Push Against Pro-Biofuels Appointments to the USDA

Midwestern agriculture interests were concerned when former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was appointed to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Gov. Perdue was the first Southerner to be appointed to head the USDA since 1994. The majority of the recent U.S. agriculture secretaries have come from the Midwest, including former Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. The Midwest has been able to rely on the USDA to help support its interests in biofuels, an increasingly important component in corn and other …

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Di-can’t-a Part 2: Enter the Plaintiff’s Bar

In July, the Environmental Law Monitor reported on regulatory responses to the herbicide dicamba from Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Dicamba has been a hot button topic in the farming/agricultural world, which often finds itself at the busy intersection of environmental and toxic tort issues. As many of you know, dicamba is an herbicide that’s been in use for decades, but in the past couple of years suppliers have designed certain types of crops that are genetically modified to tolerate having the chemical sprayed on them. …

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Di-can’t-a? Three Midwestern States Act to Limit the Use of Dicamba

On July 14, 2017, Tennessee joined Arkansas and Missouri in limiting the use of dicamba. Dicamba is an herbicide used to combat broadleaf weeds that have developed resistance to glyphosate and other herbicides. The use of dicamba has increased significantly since the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of dicamba on soybeans and cotton that are genetically modified to tolerate the chemical.

Older formulations of dicamba had been reported to drift after application and affect other crops not meant to be treated. …

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