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Monsanto Sues Arkansas Officials Over Proposed Herbicide Use Limits


Monsanto filed a lawsuit against Arkansas agricultural officials on Friday over a state proposal to bar sprayings next summer of a controversial type of weed killer manufactured by the company and rival BASF, according to court documents. Complaints mentioned that the herbicide drifted onto crops and caused widespread damage.

Last month, Arkansas moved just one step away from prohibiting use after April 15, 2018, of dicamba herbicides, which were linked to widespread U.S. crop damage this summer.

The state previously blocked use of Monsanto’s dicamba herbicide in 2017.

“The Plant Board’s arbitrary approach also has deprived, and if left unchecked will continue to deprive, Arkansas farmers of the best weed management tools available – tools that are available to farmers in every other soybean- and cotton-producing state in the nation,” the company said in its lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

The 18-member board, which is made up of various members of the agriculture community, is holding a public hearing on the new restrictions next month before the plan goes to lawmakers. Monsanto said it may amend its lawsuit to challenge the new ban if it’s ultimately adopted by the state.

Monsanto’s lawsuit accuses the Arkansas board of acting outside its authority in prohibiting its herbicide’s use and failing to consider research Monsanto had submitted to federal regulators. The suit also asks the judge to prevent the board from requiring it to submit research by University of Arkansas researchers in order to gain approval for herbicides in the state.