In a new piece published online June 9, 2020 by Environmental Health News, we survey some of the ramifications of the recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacating the EPA’s 2018 conditional registration of post-emergent applications of dicamba on GMO soybeans and cotton.
The unexpected court ruling is unprecedented in three ways:
- The three-judge panel shows a “remarkable grasp of the issue” in their 56-page order;
- The decision was based on little-used provisions in federal pesticide law that take into account adverse social and economic impacts, and anti-competitive technology;
- Unlike in most previous similar cases that allowed farmers to continue using “soon to be banned pesticides,” the court left little wiggle-room for farmers who stocked up on dicamba herbicides for over-the-top applications on resistant crops this season.
To that last point, yesterday “the EPA issued an order cancelling over-the-top dicamba registrations effective as of June 3, the date of the court order.” But…
…the order allows for continued use of already purchased dicamba formulations for over-the-top use through July 31. Or, as Dr. Benbrook puts it, “this provision will, in effect, allow ‘business as usual’ applications of most of the formulated dicamba over-the-top herbicides manufactured for sale and use in crop season 2020.”
Charles Benbrook, “Court compels the EPA to cancel use of a widespread herbicide. What comes next?,” Environmental Health News, Date Published: June 9, 2020, Date Accessed: June 10, 2020.