SAN FRANCISCO—Today, in a victory for Missouri peach farmer Bill Bader and environmentalists, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit issued a decision holding Monsanto-Bayer and BASF responsible for unprecedented damage to Mr. Bader's orchard caused by the companies' dicamba herbicide-based crop system.
In 2021, Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a legal brief in support of Mr. Bader, who successfully sued seed and agrichemical giants Monsanto-Bayer and BASF for devastation of his 1,000-acre peach orchard caused by dicamba drift. The brief defended the February 2020 district court verdict in favor of Bader—in which a jury awarded him $265 million, subsequently reduced to $75 million—against the two firms' appeal of the decision to the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals.
Because of these harms to thousands of farmers as well as endangered species, CFS successfully challenged the 2018 federal approval of dicamba, which was struck down by a Court in 2020. Subsequently the outgoing Trump administration re-approved it, a decision that is again the subject of CFS litigation currently proceeding. A 2021 report from EPA detailed widespread harm to farmers and the environment from the past 2021 growing season once again.
The following is a statement from CFS staff attorney Meredith Stevenson, amicus counsel in the Bader case:
"The appeals court correctly held Monsanto and BASF responsible for unprecedented damage to Bader's peach orchard from dicamba drift. But this is just the beginning. The destruction to Bader's orchards provides just a single example of the widespread harm inflicted on thousands of farmers and the environment from Monsanto's negligence and EPA's refusal to cancel its dicamba approval. We will continue to fight to prevent continued harm to millions of acres of cropland, hundreds of endangered species, parks, wildlife refuges, and other natural areas from dicamba."
The term "pesticide" refers to a class of chemicals intended for "preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating" any potential harm to crops…