Poor Monsanto just can't catch a break these days.
Just yesterday we noted that Monsanto's RoundUp replacement, Dicamba, was causing outrage in the ag community as state regulators all across the country were suddenly being flooded with reports from farmers saying the product is increasingly becoming airborne and killing crops far away from the fields where they were actually applied. Ironically, farmers don't like their livelihood being wiped out by a neighbor's spray drift...go figure.
Now, Yahoo reports that the company has been forced to put on hold the launch of yet another product, a product that was approved for usage by the EPA mind you, that seems to be responsible for causing a number of farmers to break out in a nasty rash. The product is called NemaStrike and is intended to kill worms that can reduce corn, soybean and cotton yields...oh, and apparently its also not great for the skin.
Monsanto Co put on hold the launch of a chemical designed to be applied to crop seeds on Wednesday following reports it causes rashes on people, in the latest instance of complaints about a company product that was approved by U.S. environmental regulators.
Monsanto froze plans for commercial sales of the product called NemaStrike, which can protect corn, soybeans and cotton from worms that reduce yields. The company said it conducted three years of field tests across the United States in preparation for a full launch and that more than 400 people used it this year as part of a trial.
The delayed launch of what Monsanto calls a blockbuster product is another setback for the company, which is already battling to keep a new version of a herbicide on the market in the face of complaints that it damaged millions of acres of crops this summer.
"There have been limited cases of skin irritation, including rashes, that appear to be associated with the handling and application of this seed treatment product," Brian Naber, U.S. commercial operations lead for Monsanto, said in a letter to customers about NemaStrike.
Of course, as with every other health issue arising from the application of Monsanto products, Company spokeswoman Christi Dixon was quick to assure Yahoo News that anyone experiencing problems probably just wasn't handling the product appropriately.
Some users who suffered problems may not have followed instructions to wear protective equipment, such as gloves, company spokeswoman Christi Dixon said.
Ironically, these skin irritations from farmers come despite "extensive evaluations" by the EPA...
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did extensive evaluations of the product before approving it for use, according to Monsanto, which has described NemaStrike as "blockbuster technology." The agency could not immediately be reached for comment after hours on Wednesday.
"The technology is effective and can be used safely when following label instructions," Monsanto said.
...of course, this is the same EPA whose own Deputy Division Director for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention was caught colluding with Monsanto to kill damaging studies regarding the the carcinogenicity of RoundUp...
And that's where Jess Rowland, the EPA's Deputy Division Director for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and chair of the Agency's Cancer Assessment Review Committee, comes in to assure you that he's fully exploiting his role as the "chair of the CARC" to kill any potentially damaging research..."if I can kill this I should get a medal."
...but it's probably fine, you should just take the EPA's word for it.