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Dicamba update: BASF petitions for a rehearing in U.S. court

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BASF filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit requesting a rehearing of its June 3, 2020 decision. The court’s decision vacated the EPA registration of its dicamba-based Engenia herbicide without giving BASF an opportunity to be heard. Specifically, the petition requests a review of the decision by a panel of 11 judges from the Ninth Circuit instead of the three-judge panel that issued the previous decision. According to BASF, this request for “en banc” review is necessary to correct errors by the panel in issuing a decision inconsistent with basic due process and administrative law principles.

The panel’s decision undermined the authority of the EPA to make science- and data-based regulatory decisions to determine which herbicide products are safe and effective to meet the challenges farmers face every season, BASF said. The EPA should be allowed to continue following a science-based approach to evaluate and manage ecological risks, while balancing agricultural and societal benefits, when reviewing registration applications. This ruling was unprecedented and devastating to tens of thousands of farmers who have counted on over-the-top applications of dicamba-based products to control resistant weeds across tens of millions of dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton acres, according to BASF.

BASF said that without Engenia herbicide and other dicamba-based products, it is estimated that farmers could lose up to $10 billion and $800 million annually in soybean and cotton yields, respectively.

In the original filing, Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, BASF Agricultural Solutions North America said, “Taking this action during the height of the application season gives no regard to the significant investments farmers have made in their businesses and leaves them without viable options for the growing season. Farming is difficult even in the best of times and remains challenging. Making this decision now, when weed resistance continues to threaten farming operations, is disastrous for our customers. Farmers have counted on applications of dicamba-based products to control troublesome weeds for decades, and they continue to need these tools now and in the future.”

Engenia Herbicide is a U.S. EPA Restricted Use Pesticide. Always read and follow label directions.

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
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