CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers for the next five years to spray crops with a Bayer AG BAYGn.DE weed killer that a U.S. appeals court blocked sales of in June, Administrator Andrew Wheeler said on RFD TV on Tuesday.
XtendiMax, a dicamba-based herbicide that is sprayed on soybeans and cotton genetically engineered to resist it, is known to drift away and damage other crops that are not resistant to it.
“I will say right now, we are going to be able to re-register dicamba for the use in next year’s growing season,” Wheeler told the rural TV broadcaster.
He was scheduled to speak with other reporters later on Tuesday.
The decision is a boost for Bayer, which has been hammered by lawsuits over various chemicals in the United States since acquiring seed company Monsanto in 2018. It is also another example of the Trump administration favoring business interests over regulations a week before the presidential election.
Environmental groups have sought cancellation of the EPA’s approval of XtendiMax, arguing it harms nearby plants and wildlife.
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