Chemical Makers Deny Crop-Damage Claims Made by Region 8 Cotton Growers

LITTLE ROCK, AR - 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 Incorporated, Nufarm Americas Incorporated, United Agri Products Incorporated 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-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.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)