Don't Drift on Me

SOCC Requests EPA Prepare an EIS

Today, the Save Our Crops Coalition (SOCC) requested the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) submit itself to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures, and prepare an environmental impact statement that considers herbicide use within the dicamba tolerant cropping system.  SOCC opposes Monsanto and BASF’s efforts to register the new use of dicamba on dicamba tolerant crops, and has also requested EPA withhold registrations until effective measures are in place to mitigate the effects of non-target plant damage. As SOCC explained in a comment to EPA, the registration of dicamba on dicamba tolerant crops, without effective mitigation measures, would significantly increase the risk of unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.

SOCC’s mission is to prevent injury to non-target plants. SOCC has two objectives for dicamba new use registration process:

  1. First, SOCC seeks to encourage the use of only the lowest volatility formulations on dicamba tolerant crops.  Monsanto has requested registration of the older, cheaper, and more drift and volatility prone Clarity dicamba formulation.  SOCC regards additional restrictions on the use of Clarity and generic formulations of dicamba as necessary to protect against drift and volatilization damage to non-target plants.
  2. Second, SOCC seeks to ensure that, should dicamba be used, that it be used in a responsible manner.  SOCC still regards additional mitigation measures to protect against drift and volatilization damage to non-target plants caused by this new pattern of use.

The statement of the SOCC Chairman, Steve Smith:

“Dicamba is one of the nation’s most dangerous herbicides for non-target crop damage.  Monsanto and BASF have not offered sensitive crop growers effective measures to protect against non-target crop damage.  Dow AgroSciences worked with us to deliver solutions to the problems of growers.  We hope Monsanto and BASF will step to the plate and do the same.”

The Save Our Crops Coalition (SOCC) is a grassroots coalition of farm interests organized for the specific purpose of preventing injury to non-target plants from exposure to 2,4-D and dicamba. These herbicides are likely to be used far more extensively upon the introduction of new genetically modified crops tolerant to these herbicides. SOCC is not opposed to plant technology advances, particularly genetic modification.  However, SOCC does oppose regulatory actions that would result in herbicide use that causes substantial injury to non-target crops and to the habitats necessary for their pollinators.

Click Here to Download the Comment

Joint Statement of Dow and SOCC

Dow AgroSciences and the Save Our Crops Coalition (SOCC) are very pleased to announce the successful conclusion of discussions to resolve SOCC concerns regarding the potential for herbicide injury to non-target plants following the introduction of Dow AgroSciences’ new 2,4-D tolerant crops.  Through these discussions, both Dow AgroSciences and SOCC have achieved a better understanding of the each other’s perspective and concerns as well as have agreed to take additional steps to ensure the coexistence of the Enlist™ technology with sensitive crops growers. To this end, each organization agreed to modify positions with respect to pending regulatory matters around 2,4-D tolerant crops.

In light of the commitments made by Dow AgroSciences, SOCC will amend its comments and petitions to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the extent they challenge applications for approval of Dow AgroSciences’ new seed and herbicide products to be commercialized as part of the Enlist™ Weed Control System. SOCC believes that commitments made by Dow AgroSciences represent substantial measures to mitigate potential non-target plant damage impacts from herbicide spray drift and volatilization associated with 2,4-D tolerant crops.

Dow AgroSciences will request an amendment to its label pending before EPA to include additional statements relating to herbicide applications near sensitive crops. Dow AgroSciences also reaffirms its commitments to assist in the investigation, diagnosis and resolution of alleged non-target claims, and in educating growers and applicators in management practices and proper application to reduce off target movement, especially in areas with sensitive crops.

SOCC notes that impressive research findings presented by Dow AgroSciences have been published in refereed journal articles. Specifically, SOCC cites research Dow AgroSciences has made available indicating the reduced drift and volatilization potential of its new herbicide solution for Enlist crops.

Farmers have a long history of wanting to do the right thing for their crops, their land and their neighbors. The willingness of industry segments to discuss and understand each other illustrates the spirit and commitment to success that is typical in American agriculture.

Click Here for a PDF of the Joint Statement to USDA and EPA