Understanding dicamba-related litigation


The Problem:

Since the approval of dicamba-based herbicides for in-crop use, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against chemical companies marketing these products, with claims of harm caused by the herbicides.


The Research

Dicamba is a powerful herbicide that has been used for years to control weeds such as palmer-amaranth. Due to its issues with volatility, dicamba has historically been applied prior to the start of planting to avoid damaging crops. However, in 2015 a line of dicamba-resistant soybean and cotton seeds was launched. Following that launch, dicamba-based herbicides were approved for in-crop use. After this approval, hundreds of farmers across the U.S. have filed lawsuits claiming damage to crops as a result of dicamba drift.

Brigit Rollins, Staff Attorney at the National Agricultural Law Center, has published ‘The Deal with Dicamba,’ an eight-part blog series that discusses the on-going dicamba-related litigation in depth. The series covers each claim made in lawsuits filed against chemical companies, as well as the lawsuits filed against the Arkansas State Plant Board.

Rollins ended her blog series with a webinar hosted by the National Agricultural Law Center, in which she gave a comprehensive overview of each of the lawsuits, the claims made and what the outcome of each suit could mean for dicamba use in the U.S.


The Bottom Line

How these lawsuits play out could have a significant impact on how pesticides and pesticide-resistant, genetically engineered crops are used in U.S. agriculture. Rollins’s research, writing and outreach will keep the public informed of the on-going dicamba-related litigation, and thus prepared for potential impacts on the agricultural community.

This project was supported by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Related Link

The Deal With Dicamba: An Overview of Dicamba-Related Litigation


The Researcher

Brigit Rollins

Brigit Rollins

Staff Attorney for the National Agricultural Law Center.

Rollins earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at Sonoma State University in Sonoma County, California, and her J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. During law school, she worked as a Research Fellow for the National Agricultural Law Center before joining the Center full time in August 2019.

Her primary area of research and scholarship is environmental law as it intersects with agriculture, and she maintains an interest in promoting sustainability and environmental health through agriculture and resource use.