Makers of 2,4-D Deny Ark. Cotton Growers Crop-damage Claims

July 19, 2007

Five manufacturers of the herbicide 2,4-D have denied claims made in a suit by a group of 82 cotton growers in northeast Arkansas who say the companies’ products harmed last year’s crop.

The lawsuit filed June 1 in the Eastern District of Arkansas seeks compensatory damages and punitive damages, plus legal costs. Defendants named in the suit are Agriliance LLC, Albaugh Inc., Nufarm Americas Inc., United Agri Products and Universal Crop Protection Alliance.

All five defendants filed responses to the suit this week.

The farmers, all of whom are located east of Crowley’s Ridge, claim in the suit that the 2,4-D they bought was defective in design and inadequately labeled.

Rice farmers favor 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or 2,4-D, because of its low cost. It was the first successful “selective herbicide,” able to control weeds without damaging the crop on which it was used.

Earlier this year, the state Plant Board agreed to ban most aerial and ground applications of 2,4-D in 10 east Arkansas counties: Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Phillips, Poinsett and St. Francis. The ban is en effect from April 15 through Sept. 15.

The board acted after complaints of herbicide drift from rice fields were confirmed.

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