Legal fight over Bayer’s drift-prone dicamba weedkiller ends in $400 million settlement

Screen Shot at AM
A farmer displays a soybean plant that shows signs of being affected by dicamba.

Bayer will pay up to $400 million to resolve the multi-district litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and claims to soybean producers and certain producers of other crops who suffered dicamba damage from dicamba sprayed over-the-top of dicamba-tolerant soybeans or cotton from 2015 through 2020. The company will also pay litigation expenses, attorneys’ fees, claims administration expenses and other costs in addition to the amounts provided to qualified claimants.

The only dicamba drift case to go to trial – Bader Farms – is not included in this resolution. Bayer “believes the verdict in Bader Farms is inconsistent with the evidence and the law” and will continue to pursue post-trial motions and an appeal, if necessary.

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Bayer said it “stands strongly behind the safety and utility of its XtendiMax herbicide with VaporGrip technology and continues to enhance training and education efforts to help ensure growers use these products successfully.”

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[In early June], the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated registrations for three dicamba herbicides …. after finding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) substantially understated risks that it acknowledged and failed entirely to acknowledge other risks.

That ruling led to more legal wrangling amid the ongoing spray season. The Court allowed EPA’s decision to stand to allow the use of existing stocks of dicamba to be applied according to label for the 2020 season, no later than July 31.

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