New versions of the herbicide dicamba developed by Monsanto and BASF, according to farmers, have drifted across fields to crops unable to withstand it, a charge authorities are investigating.
As the crisis intensifies, new details provided to Reuters by independent researchers and regulators, and previously unreported testimony by a company employee, demonstrate the unusual way Monsanto introduced its product. The approach, in which Monsanto prevented key independent testing of its product, went unchallenged by the Environmental Protection Agency and nearly every state regulator.
Typically, when a company develops a new agricultural product, it commissions its own tests and shares the results and data with regulators. It also provides product samples to universities for additional scrutiny. Regulators and university researchers then work together to determine the safety of the product.
In this case, Monsanto denied requests by university researchers to study its XtendiMax with VaporGrip for volatility - a measure of its tendency to vaporize and drift across fields.
"This is the first time I’m aware of any herbicide ever brought to market for which there were strict guidelines on what you could and could not do," [said Jason Norsworthy, from the University of Arkansas].
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Scant oversight, corporate secrecy preceded U.S. weed killer crisis