Monsanto Co filed a petition on Thursday [September 7] asking Arkansas agricultural officials to reject a proposed date next year that would end sprayings of the herbicide dicamba, which has been linked to crop damage across the U.S. farm belt.
A state task force recommended last month that Arkansas bar sprayings after April 15, 2018, to protect plants vulnerable to the chemical, after farmers complained that soybeans and other crops were damaged when the weed killer drifted away from where it was sprayed this summer.
Monsanto said in its petition that Baldwin works as a paid consultant for Bayer Crop Science, which makes glufosinate, a competing herbicide, and that he is serving as a retained expert witness for plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Monsanto involving dicamba.
With its petition, Monsanto submitted an affidavit from Baldwin stating that he works as a consultant for corporate clients including Bayer and endorses a competing weed control technology called glufosinate.
“Baldwin spoke at the first task force meeting in support of a statewide ban on dicamba herbicides in 2018,” Monsanto said in its petition.
Baldwin, a private weed consultant and former weed scientist for the University of Arkansas, told Reuters he did not speak in favor of the April 15 ban at the meeting. He declined further comment.
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