Arkansas must reconsider Monsanto lawsuit challenging dicamba herbicide rules, state Supreme Court says

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A farmer shows the damage caused by dicamba drift, resulting in "cupped" leaves on affected crops

A lawsuit by Monsanto against the state’s restrictions on the use of dicamba raised valid points and should be reconsidered, the Arkansas Supreme Court said [June 6].

The court, in a 6-1 ruling, said the state Plant Board “must address the merits of Monsanto’s claims” that the board violated state law and had other legal conflicts in 2016 and 2017 in deciding how to limit farmers’ use of dicamba herbicides manufactured or marketed by Monsanto and other companies.

In 2016, faced with some three dozen complaints that dicamba had moved off target and damaged crops not tolerant of the herbicide, the Plant Board voted to not allow Monsanto’s dicamba, called XtendiMax, into Arkansas for the 2017 crop season.

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The board at the time cited an unwritten requirement of at least two years’ worth of study by weed scientists with the University of Arkansas Agriculture Division before such herbicides and other products can be registered in the state.

Monsanto, in its October 2017 lawsuit, said such a rule, especially an unwritten one, violated federal law on interstate commerce and had been applied inconsistently by the board.

Read full, original article: Arkansas Supreme Court: Must reassess part of lawsuit by dicamba-maker

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