Today, the Save Our Crops Coalition (SOCC) petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a classification review to determine whether pesticides that contain the active ingredient dicamba should be classified as restricted use.
Statement of Steve Smith, Chairman of the Save Our Crops Coalition:
“Dicamba, because of its potential to drift and volatilize, has proven to be one of America’s most dangerous herbicides for non-target plant damage. Food crops, such as tomatoes, are highly susceptible to dicamba exposure, because they are grown in close proximity to dicamba tolerant crops,” said Steve Smith, Chairman of the Save Our Crops Coalition.
“The member growers and processors of SOCC are concerned that, upon introduction of dicamba tolerant crops, unscrupulous applicators will apply non-registered formulations of dicamba on dicamba tolerant crops simply because such formulations are cheaper,” said Smith.
“To be clear — SOCC does not categorically oppose the registration or use of dicamba. However, in light of the fact that older, cheaper, highly volatile formulations of dicamba are likely to be used unlawfully on dicamba tolerant crops, many such formulations should be classified as restricted use. SOCC is simply requesting that EPA restrict the use of dicamba such that it is applied only by certified applicators, and that adequate records of such applications are kept,” said Smith.
“On September 11, 2012, SOCC announced the successful conclusion of discussions with Dow AgroSciences (Dow) regarding its 2,4-D tolerant cropping system. SOCC was impressed by Dow’s commitment to strongly discourage the unlawful use of older, cheaper, highly volatile formulations on herbicide tolerant crops. Unfortunately, SOCC has not been able to reach a similar agreement with Monsanto and BASF,” said Smith.
“BASF claims that its Engenia formulation is 40% less volatile than diglycolamine salt formulations, like Clarity. We appreciate the work that BASF has done to develop new, less volatile chemistries. However, the reality is that BASF and Monsanto still sell older, cheaper, and more volatile formulations of dicamba,” said Smith.