July 26, 2017 — Farmers who had crop damage as a result of dicamba drifting off the fields where it was sprayed have filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri.
Another class action lawsuit (PDF) was filed by farmers in Arkansas who claim dicamba caused “significant harm” to the soybean crop in 2016 and 2017 — In Re: B&L Farms Partnership et al. v. Monsanto Company et al. —Case No. 2:17-cv-00122.
Lawyers accuse Monsanto of secretly reassuring farmers that off-label and illegal spraying dicamba “would be just fine,” according to testimony from farmers.
Farmers say Monsanto’s sales representatives pressured them into buying genetically-modified (GMO) dicamba-resistant soybeans. According to the lawsuit:
“This was Monsanto’s real plan: publicly appear as if it were complying, while allowing its seed representatives to tell farmers the opposite in person.”
The lawsuit claims Monsanto actually benefitted from “dicamba drift” crop damage, because it pressures farmers to buy dicamba-resistant seeds, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Dicamba is a weed-killer that has been around for decades, but historically it was only sprayed on soil — not growing plants. That all changed last year, when Monsanto started selling a new GMO soybean seed that was engineered to resist dicamba and glyphosate.
As weeds quickly evolve to resist glyphosate (Roundup®), Monsanto has engineered crops to survive being sprayed with dicamba as well. The problem is that dicamba evaporates quickly and drifts over nearby fields and homes. Millions of acres of crops were damaged as a result.
State officials have now received over 1,000 complaints in Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. Dicamba drift is also a major problem in Mississippi, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, and other farming states.
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