The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved dicamba herbicides for use over-the-top of genetically modified cotton and soybean crops for five years, Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced Tuesday.
The decision will allow the continued use of the controversial herbicide, which has been blamed for millions of acres of crop damage in recent years. The EPA approved three products: Bayer’s XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology; BASF’s Engenia; and Syngenta’s Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal banned Bayer and BASF’s versions of dicamba because of their propensity to move off of where it is applied and harm crops and natural areas. In the ruling, the three-judge panel found that the EPA failed to consider harms to farmers and the environment.
However, Wheeler said that new restrictions on when the herbicide can be sprayed will solve the issues brought up by the Ninth Circuit.