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National Family Farm Coalition v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20139
Nos. 19-70115, (9th Cir., 06/03/2020)

The Ninth Circuit vacated EPA's 2018 decision to conditionally register three dicamba-based herbicides designed to be sprayed on genetically engineered soybeans and cotton. Nonprofit groups argued the decision violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The court found that EPA substantially understated the risks it acknowledged—substantially understating the amount of dicamba that had been sprayed on post-emergent crops, record evidence showing that dicamba damage was substantially underreported, and record evidence showing that dicamba had caused substantial and undisputed damage—and failed entirely to acknowledge other risks—record evidence showing the high likelihood that restrictions on over-the-top dicamba application would not be followed, the risk that the registrations would have anti-competitive economic effects in the soybean and cotton industries, and the risk that over-the-top dicamba use would tear the social fabric of farming communities—and that EPA's decision violated FIFRA. It therefore vacated the registrations.