Illegal Pesticide Use

Leaf cupping caused by low rates of illegal pesticide use (dicamba). Source:
Leaf cupping caused by low rates of the pesticide dicamba. Source:

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that farmers in ten states are complaining about dicamba pesticide damage to their crops. Monsanto cotton and soybean seed is being distributed that is resistant to dicamba and roundup, however it is illegal to use the older, drift-prone dicamba, due to the threat of drift to neighboring crops. Some farmers are evidently using this older herbicide (perhaps unwittingly), which is causing the problem. See this earlier story by EWG, which also mentions the problem of superweeds. At issue are federal regulations regarding herbicides and pesticides, especially regarding ‘buffer zones’ between farmers to protect crops from unintentional chemical drift. Of course (and this is EWG’s recommendation) it would be even better to hone methods of producing food without so much poison in the first place. Let’s hope that we can come to see both sides of this coin.

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