July 18, 2017 — Tennessee has joined Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas in restricting the spraying of the weed-killing chemical dicamba after millions of acres of crop damage.
Tennessee is one of at least a dozen states nationwide where illegal spraying of dicamba has resulted in major crop damage since 2016.
This month, four states have taken action — Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas. Tennessee and Missouri have restricted what hours and weather conditions farmers are allowed to spray dicamba.
Arkansas voted to ban dicamba use and sales for the next 120 days. Lawmakers also want to boost the fine for illegal spraying to $25,000. Arkansas is a major soybean-growing state and suffered massive crop damage as a result of dicamba, with over 600 complaints by July 10.
Nationwide, there are over 1,000 complaints of crop damage. Experts estimate that millions of acres of crops have been destroyed or stunted in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
As explained by Hunter Raffety, a farmer in Wyatt, Missouri:
“We’ve had damage across just about every acre of soybeans we farm in southeast Missouri. In our small town, the azaleas, the ornamentals, people have lost their vegetable gardens. It’s a big problem.”
Dicamba has been on the market for decades, but until last year, it was only used on the soil to kill weeds before crops started growing. That all changed in 2016, when Monsanto started selling a new genetically-engineered (GMO) soybean that could survive dicamba, allowing farmers to spray growing crops with dicamba to kill weeds.
The problem with spraying dicamba on crops — and the reason it is illegal — is that dicamba evaporates very quickly into the air and hits neighboring fields of non-GMO plants, orchards, homes, and gardens. People who breathe dicamba may also experience coughing, shortness of breath, vomiting, weakness, and throat or eye irritation.
Do I have a Dicamba Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently investigating dicamba induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with cancer or had crop damage from dicamba, we would like to speak with you. Please contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation by using the form below or call our Toxic Chemical Litigation Group toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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