Today, the Save Our Crops Coalition (SOCC) submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opposing new uses of dicamba and residue tolerances for dicamba tolerant crops until effective measures are adopted to protect against non-target plant damage.
“Food crops are susceptible to dicamba exposure because they will be grown in close proximity to dicamba tolerant crops. SOCC opposes pending regulatory applications by Monsanto and BASF that would permit the widespread use of dicamba tolerant crops until effective protections are established for nearby food crops,” said Steve Smith, Chairman of the Save Our Crops Coalition.
“In addition to yield reductions caused by direct pesticide damage, farmers also suffer losses when residues of a pesticide are found on a crop for which no tolerance has been established. SOCC believes it is essential to establish the tolerances for susceptible food crops before the introduction of dicamba tolerant crops. Monsanto apparently feels it is sufficient if the tolerances are established after, perhaps years after, introduction of dicamba tolerant crops,” said Smith.
“While Monsanto claims it is evaluating whether to request tolerances for food crops grown in close proximity to dicamba tolerant crops, SOCC believes its member growers deserve more. Monsanto has already requested tolerances for its own dicamba tolerant cotton. SOCC believes that EPA should review tolerances for specialty crops grown in proximity to dicamba tolerant crops according to the same timetable it reviews crops developed by Monsanto,” said Smith.