Among a flurry of orders the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued late Friday, one stood out: The court denied the petitioner’ emergency motion to enforce the court’s June 3 order and halt the use of dicamba this growing season.
The court did not issue an explanation for its order but decided it wanted to hear more on BASF’s motion asking the three appellate judges to recall and stay their mandate vacating the registrations of Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan. It ordered the petitioners, including the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety, to respond to BASF’s motion by June 23, with BASF filing a response the next day.
The court also granted BASF’s and Corteva Agriscience’s motions to intervene in the case, which had been strongly opposed by the petitioners, and granted motions by CropLife America, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association and other groups to file amicus briefs. Other associations include: the National Cotton Council, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, and National Sorghum Producers.
Taken together, “These decisions should allow farmers more time to continue applying dicamba this season and signal that the court is reconsidering certain critical aspects of its June 3 decision," an attorney with one of the farm groups involved in the litigation said.
The American Soybean Association said in a statement that an immediate ban on use of the dicamba products would have "financially devastating consequences on America’s soybean growers, who have invested an estimated $3.35 billion for soybean seed in 2020 and hundreds of millions of dollars more in herbicides, labor, fertilizer and other costs, expecting that over-the-top applications of dicamba would remain lawful."
The petitioners, who also include lead plaintiff the National Family Farm Coalition and Pesticide Action Network North America, were not pleased with the decision.
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“We’re disappointed the court stepped away from its earlier decision to immediately stop the ongoing spraying of this dangerous pesticide that has harmed farmers across much of the U.S.,” said Stephanie Parent, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney and co-counsel in the case. “But looking forward, it lays an important foundation for the EPA to actually start following the law and the science. Bowing to the industry and ignoring family farmers when approving pesticides is not a winning strategy for EPA or our environment.”
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