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Grape Growers in Texas Region Sue Over Herbicide Damage

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Wine grape growers in Texas and surrounding states filed a lawsuit last week against drug-maker Bayer-Monsanto and chemical giant BASF for the damage their cotton herbicide has caused to vineyards.

Attorneys for the grape growers say cotton seed systems created by Bayer-Monsanto and BASF that use the highly volatile herbicide called dicamba to kill weeds is drifting to nearby vineyards and crippling the nonresistant grapes.

The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson County on Friday, claims that some family-owned vineyards have reported losses of more than 90% since Bayer-Monsanto and BASF began selling their dicamba-based genetically modified seed system to cotton growers.

More than 85% of all the wine grapes grown in Texas are grown within one hour of Lubbock, and the grapes are produced, sold or used by the state’s $13.1 billion wine industry, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.