SEMO peach farm suing Monsanto over dicamba spraying

SEMO peach farm suing Monsanto over dicamba spraying

CAMPBELL, MO (KAIT) - Bader Farms, Inc. of Campbell has filed the first known lawsuit against Monsanto over illegal dicamba spraying.

The farm, which is Missouri's largest producer of peaches, says the illegal spraying has cost it millions in sales and damaged thousands of trees.

The lawsuit, filed by the Kansas City law firm Randles & Splittgerber, LLP, alleges that Monsanto Company knowingly marketed its Xtend cotton and soybean seeds to farmers without any safe herbicide.

The lawsuit claims the company knew purchasers would have to illegally spray dicamba to protect their crops from weeds.

Drift from the spraying destroyed thousands of Bader's peach trees, the suit claims.

In 2015, Bader reported it lost more than 7,000 peach trees and $1.5 million in gross sales. In 2016, the family-owned farm reportedly lost more than 30,000 peach trees due to dicamba drift.

"Monsanto chose to sell these seeds before they could be safely cultivated," said Bev Randles of Randles & Splittgerber. "But Monsanto chose greed over public safety and made farms in Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas unwilling test labs for their defective seed system."

The law firm expects more farmers who have sustained damaged by illegal spraying of dicamba onto Monsanto's Xtend seeds to file suit.

"They are folks who have supported Monsanto by purchasing their products for years, only to have been betrayed in the end," Randles said. "We expect more farmers to file suit in the coming weeks."

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