For decades, U.S. farmers applied this weed killer mostly on corn and other grass crops, which tolerate it. They took care not to spray it around soybeans, tomatoes and other broadleaf plants, which flinch at the slightest drop. Soybean and cotton growers never used dicamba during the growing season because it would have damaged their crops.
That changed when Monsanto launched an aggressive campaign in 2015 to sell soybean and cotton seeds genetically modified to resist dicamba. As a result, use of the weed killer has skyrocketed. In 2012, hardly any cotton or soybean farmers in Missouri and Arkansas used dicamba. But five years later, they sprayed more than 1 million pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over the past two years, under Trump’s watch, U.S. farmers have planted more than 50 million acres of dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton.
As farmers sprayed these crops in 2017 and 2018, scientists estimated that dicamba had damaged nearly 5 million acres of soybeans in 24 states, mostly Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois. (No one tracks damage to specialty crops such as tomatoes or home gardens, trees and wild plants.) Only two crops have been engineered to resist dicamba: soybeans and cotton. Every other broadleaf plant, including non-genetically modified soybeans and cotton, is at risk...
“We expect there will be no adverse impacts to bees or other pollinators,” the agency announced Oct. 31, when it approved dicamba for two more years.
But such assurances ignore evidence that dicamba harms bees by destroying the flowers they feed on. And they carry no weight with farmers such as Coy and Joyce, who’ve heard them from the EPA before. Joyce has been hit with losses three years in a row, costing him $30,000 – nearly as much as the typical household in this part of Missouri earns in a year. He complained to the state Department of Agriculture, as did several of his neighbors. An inspector confirmed dicamba was to blame, Joyce said, took pictures and left.
“I don’t have a bit of confidence in (Missouri officials) because they have failed to react,” he said. “And that goes for the EPA, too. They’re the ones that approved it.”
Joyce said he also worries about health effects from dicamba because he spends most of his days outside when his neighbors spray it. But there is no solid evidence that it poses human health risks.
Bill Bader, Missouri’s largest peach farmer, has lost tens of thousands of trees worth more than $1 million, according to a lawsuit he filed against Monsanto in 2016. Dozens of farmers seeking millions of dollars in compensation have joined Bader’s case.
Missouri and Arkansas issued emergency bans for the growing season in early July 2017, though it was too late for Joyce and Bader.
Just a few months into the 2017 growing season, the first time it was legal to spray dicamba on genetically modified crops, more than 1,400 complaints and more than 2.5 million acres of injured soybeans had been reported.More lies and disaster from Monsanto via TRUTH DIG.