The Monsanto Company has often said that its work is done with the best interests of the farmer in mind, but as many have discovered, there are plenty of examples where the results end up having the complete opposite effect, to say the very least.
Recently, a spate of incidents linked to one controversial Monsanto chemical have caused widespread damage to farmers’ crops in several states, causing many, including its home state of Missouri’s largest peach farm, to take measures in order to stop the epidemic.
Bader Farms of Missouri sued Monsanto over the controversial chemical pesticide Dicamba last year, which caused losses estimated at over a million dollars after it drifted over from a neighboring farm.
Now, farmers everywhere are hoping to sound the alarm over the ongoing destruction that is still being caused by Dicamba drift, and one newspaper is also raising awareness over an alleged co-opting of the safety approval process by Monsanto itself.
Monsanto Reportedly Sidestepped Important Pesticide Volatility Test
According to a new report from Reuters titled ‘Scant Oversight, Corporate Secrecy Preceded US Weed Killer Crisis,’ farmers are taking to social media to share pictures of withering fields of beans, peach orchards, vegetable gardens and more, warning others about a crisis happening throughout the American countryside involving the chemical.
Monsanto and BASF (another similar chemical and GMO seed company) developed new versions of the synthetic herbicide (Dicmaba) recently, and cases of drift are now causing widespread damage.
Already, three U.S. states including Tennessee most recently have restricted or banned the use of the chemical because of its destructive potential, and according to what Reuters found that may have been a better move than anyone initially realized.
That’s because the newspaper interviewed independent researchers, regulators, and even a former company employee for its story on the herbicide, which provided new details on how the company allegedly sidestepped safety hurdles (sound familiar?) to introduce its new product, including a crucial volatility test (a measure of its tendency to vaporize and drift across fields as is happening now).
Monsanto’s Vice President of Global Strategy Scott Partridge said in the article that the tests were deemed unnecessary due to time constraints and because it was needed by farmers, and because it was a less volatile formulation than previous ones that were approved.
But one university researcher interviewed by Reuters said that the product was the first he’d ever seen that came with a strict set of guidelines as to what could and could not be tested.
In the meantime, an EPA spokeswoman said restrictions on Dicamba levels are being reviewed, and farmers across the country are continuing to struggle with crop damage that has become serious enough to force the formation of “task forces” in multiple states.
For more information on Monsanto’s alleged sidestepping of safety tests, check out the full Reuters article by clicking here.
Thumbail photo via WPSD Local 6/Kentucky