Wednesday October 28, 2020
For years, Dicamba has been causing bitter controversy among US farmers: the herbicide not only destroys weeds, but also crops that have not been genetically modified. Although the sale of the agent has meanwhile been banned by a court order, the US environmental agency has now released it.
Green light for Bayer and BASF: The US environmental protection agency EPA has approved the weed killer Dicamba for five years despite major criticism. “With today’s decision, farmers have the necessary planning security for their 2021 growing season,” announced EPA director Andrew Wheeler. The approvals concern the products XtendiMax and Engenia from German manufacturers Bayer and BASF and Tavium Plus from Swiss Syngenta.
However, the EPA’s decision is controversial. In June, the sale of dicamba in the USA was legally prohibited after lawsuits, a court in San Francisco had certified that the environmental agency had errors in the approval originally granted in 2018 and withdrew the registration of the herbicide. EPA boss Wheeler emphasized that the approval that has now been granted goes hand in hand with new control measures, which are intended to ensure safe and environmentally friendly use of the products.
Dicamba has long been causing excitement and strife in agriculture. The herbicide not only destroys weeds, but also crops – provided they do not come from genetically modified seeds. The fact that dicamba blows into neighboring fields and damages the harvest there has led to bitter feuds between US farmers for years. The US seed giant Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in 2018 and which is also behind the no less controversial weed killer, made the drug known.