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The EPA approves the use of Bayer herbicides for five years



(Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers for the next five years to spray crops with a Bayer AG herbicide whose sales were blocked by a U.S. appeals court in June, Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Tuesday.

XtendiMax, a dicamba-based herbicide sprayed on soybeans and cotton that is genetically engineered to resist it, is known to drive away and damage other crops that are not resistant to it.

"This decision includes a five-year registration, as a grower when making future purchasing decisions," Wheeler told reporters.

The decision is a boost for Bayer, which has been hit by lawsuits over various chemicals in the United States since the acquisition of the seed company Monsanto in 201

8. It is also an example of the Trump administration favoring business interests over the rules one week before the presidential election.

The EPA also approved the use of BASF SE's Engenia herbicide and d extended an authorization for Syngentas Tavium.

Environmental groups have sought a ban on dicamba products, arguing that they harm nearby plants and wildlife. The EPA significantly underestimated the risks associated with the use of dicamba. Its decision also killed sales of dicamba-based herbicides such as Engenia and Corteva Agriscience & # 39; s FeXapan.

The EPA's decision annuls the court's decision, experts say. under the law, the EPA again required approval as a political prop just before the election, says George Kimbrell, legal director at the Center for Food Safety.

About 60% of the American soybean crop this year was estimated to be sown. with Bayer's dicamba-resistant Xtend soybeans, according to Bayer. They must be sprayed with the herbicide to ward off weeds that have developed a tolerance to another chemical, glyphosate. to spray dicamba on soybeans and a deadline of July 30 for use on cotton. Catalog

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