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Internal Docs Show Monsanto, Basf Prepared for Drift Complaints Prior to Dicamba Launch

For years, Monsanto and BASF have been blaming alleged crop damage from the weed killer dicamba on other factors, including weather, other pesticides and applicator misuse.

But on the first day of a civil trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in Cape Girardeau on Monday, internal company documents presented in opening arguments showed that both companies were warned about the herbicide’s potential to damage other crops. Documents also showed the companies prepared for complaints about the weed killer prior to the new genetically modified crop systems being released.

German agribusiness companies Bayer and BASF face allegations in a civil lawsuit that they created circumstances that damaged millions of acres of crops by dicamba in order to increase profits from a set of new dicamba-related products offered for sale beginning in 2015.

A trial of the lawsuit, originally filed in November 2016 by southeastern Missouri peach farmer Bill Bader, began Monday and is expected to last two to three weeks. The lawsuit initially named Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer in 2018. In the court proceedings, the company is being referred to as Monsanto.