IDOA rules would ignore damage caused by volatile, drifting pesticide

Media Contacts
Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced on Wednesday the release of permanent rules regulating the use of dicamba, a volatile, toxic pesticide, on soybeans grown in the state.

Dicamba is notorious for drifting miles from the intended target and wiping out neighboring farms, and has been linked to several types of cancer, harm to wildlife, and serious damage to nearby crops, trees, or other plants.

The new rules, first implemented last year and now made permanent, prohibit the application of dicamba on soybeans above certain temperatures and wind speeds, factors that can contribute to greater drift incidents. After implementing similar rules last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found no reduction in dicamba drift complaints.

In response, Illinois PIRG State Director Abe Scarr and Environment Illinois Associate Paloma Paez-Coombe, and released the following statements:

“Farmers shouldn’t have to worry that their neighbor’s decision to use a toxic pesticide is going to wipe out their entire farm,” said Scarr. “The United States has successfully grown soybeans for decades before dicamba came into widespread use in 2017. Even today, many farmers continue to grow soybeans without dicamba. To say that this pesticide is necessary to maintain our soybean farms is false and ignores the possibility for less harmful alternatives.”

“Dicamba is a drift-prone weed killer that destroys pollinator habitats. We all know how important pollinators are for protecting Illinois’ ecosystems and farmlands,” said Paez-Coombe. “Instead of only prohibiting this harmful pesticide’s use under certain conditions, Illinois should take stronger action to protect pollinator habitat by completely phasing out the use of dicamba.”


staff | TPIN

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