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>> Across the US Midwest, farmers are blaming widespread crop damage to millions of acres of farmland on a new version of an old pesticide. It's called Dicamba, which has been used in the US for roughly 50 years. But farmers say a new formulation of the pesticide brought to market by agrochemical giant Monsanto last year is drifting into neighboring fields and laying waste to beans, fruit and vegetable gardens that are unable to resist it.
And the Reuters examination is found that the crisis has its roots in weak regulatory oversight and corporate secrecy. Reuters U.S. Environment Editor, Richard Valdmanis.>> The process by which Monsanto brought their Dicamba pesticide to market was unusual. Typically when a company tries to bring a developed product to market, it will provide samples to state university researchers so they can do their own studies and they hand those over to the regulators, and the regulators and the researchers work together to determine if the product's safe and how it can be used.
But in this case, Monsanto prevented university researchers from doing certain kinds of studies.>> Monsanto said the reason it prevented outside testing was because it takes too long for researchers to come up with meaningful data and it wanted to get the product to market. Monsanto provided its own study of the advance weed killing chemical to the EPA which determined that based on the information it had the product was safe to use.
But Volmana says the agency is now taking another look at the chemical.>> The EPA is very, very concerned about Dicamba. They are reviewing the use restrictions on the product to see whether there are things that they can do to limit the damage. That said, the review is overlapping with regulatory investigations into exactly what is causing all the damage in the fields out there.
And until they know what the cause is, they're probably not gonna have a solution.