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11 Dicamba Damage Lawsuits to be Consolidated in Federal Court in St. Louis

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DARRELL HOEMANN / FILE/MIDWEST CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
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Dicamba-resistant soybeans grown in a field in rural McLean County, Illinois, in August.

Lawsuits filed in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas against the makers of the herbicide dicamba will be centralized in the federal court in St. Louis.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Ligitation decided to centralize the 11 cases, which allege the herbicide caused significant damage to soybean crops. 

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that attorneys for the companies that make dicamba — Monsanto, BASF, DuPont and Pioneer — opposed centralizing the lawsuits, but said St. Louis was preferable if it was done. Monsanto, which is based in St. Louis, said in an email that it had no specific comment on the decision.

Several Midwestern states saw record numbers of complaints about the herbicide last year, and the weed killer has been blamed for 3.6 million acres of damaged soybeans in 2017 alone.

In response to this year's crop damage, the EPA put forth stricter limits on when and how farmers can spray dicamba. Meanwhile, Arkansas has banned dicamba use from April 16 through Oct. 31, and other states are looking at whether to do the same.