Weed scientists criticize Monsanto for mishandling dicamba herbicide rollout, drift crisis

| | October 27, 2017
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Bob Scott, an expert on weeds with the University of Arkansas, in a research plot where soybeans were exposed to dicamba vapor. (Photo: Dan Charles/NPR)
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Dicamba, an old weedkiller that’s now being used in new ways, has thrust [Kevin Bradley, a professor of weed science at the University of Missouri] and half a dozen other university weed scientists into the unfamiliar role of whistleblower, confronting what they believe are misleading and scientifically unfounded claims by one of the country’s biggest seed and pesticide companies: Monsanto.

“I wish we could have done more testing. We’ve been asking to do more testing for several years, but the product was not made available to us,” says Bob Scott, a weed scientist at the University of Arkansas. “These are proprietary products. Until they release those formulations for testing, we’re not allowed to [test them].”

When spraying started, complaints rolled in. The new “low volatility” versions of dicamba didn’t stay where they belonged. They drifted into nearby fields, damaging crops there — mostly soybeans, but also vegetables and orchards.

Monsanto’s executives insist that it’s because the people who sprayed dicamba were just learning how to do it properly, and didn’t follow directions.

University weed scientists say that’s only part of the explanation, and the problem can’t be fixed so easily.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Monsanto Attacks Scientists After Studies Show Trouble For Its New Weedkiller

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