Missouri’s largest peach producer has filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co., alleging that the biotech company bears responsibility for illegal herbicide use suspected of causing widespread crop damage….
The suit filed Nov. 23 on behalf of Bill Bader, who operates Bader Farms near Campbell, Mo., seeks compensation for extensive damage to the farm’s peach trees suffered over the last two years — an interval which coincides with Monsanto’s release of crop varieties resistant to the herbicide dicamba.
…[T]he corresponding herbicide was not approved for use until last month. …[S]ome farmers are suspected of using highly volatile, unauthorized forms of dicamba, prone … drifting to surrounding areas where nonresistant crops can be harmed.
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With insurers unwilling to cover damage from any illegal herbicide use, the future of Bader Farms looks grim. … The lawsuit states that Bader expects his financial losses to double next year, and may be out of the peach business entirely by 2019.
The suit alleges that illegal spraying was a predictable consequence of the Xtend seed being released without its intended complement of low-volatility dicamba. …
Monsanto … said the lawsuit “attempts to shift responsibility away from individuals who knowingly … state and federal law…. Responsibility for these actions belongs to those individuals alone.”
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