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Green groups sue EPA over BASF herbicide

Comparing the herbicide trifludimoxazin to dicamba, two environmental groups asked the U.S. appeals court in San Francisco to set aside the EPA’s unconditional approval in May of the new weedkiller. Trifludimoxazin is sold by BASF under the brand name Tirexor and is the first new “mode of action” against broadleaf and grassy weeds in a generation.

In their lawsuit, the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity said the EPA failed to adequately consider the harm posed to human health and endangered species by spray drift and runoff of trifludimoxazin from the fields where it is used. The groups said trifludimoxazin was 10 times more potent on soybeans than dicamba, which is blamed for damage to neighboring fields and plants.

“The registration of trifludimoxazin will allow it to be used on many major crops as well as on large amounts of sensitive non-agricultural areas,” said the groups. “This broad registration means it may be used on millions of acres and pose a significant risk to protected and non-protected plants and the wildlife that depend on them.”

BASF says trifludimoxazin “displays strong performance on weeds with low use rates.” It can be used on corn, soybeans, cereal grains, peanuts, and fruit and nut trees, said BASF when the herbicide was approved by Australian regulators in July 2020.

To read the lawsuit, click here.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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