These ebooks contain our coverage, beginning in 2015, to our stories following the 2020 Bader verdict.
Both editions, including the $25 anthology, contain bonus material such as court filings, emails, company reports and statements from an ongoing lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s registration of dicamba.
Our special Reporter’s Edition of this ebook ($150) also includes all the trial exhibits, transcripts in one place as well as behind-the-scenes reporter’s notes of the recent Bader lawsuit – which resulted in a $265 million verdict.
Thousands of pages of exhibits presented during the Bader trial are included in this edition as well as trial transcripts. Our 60 pages of reporter’s notes includes details about the exhibits and summarizes what they include, such as internal company emails.
Since 2015, the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has covered the roll-out of new genetically modified soybeans and cotton seeds were developed to resist the herbicide dicamba and accompanying increase in use of the weed killer.
The agribusiness company Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, touted the cropping system would be the biggest biotech launch in company history. Farmers, facing pesky weeds that were becoming increasingly resistant to other weed killers, embraced the new technology.
But the new dicamba-related system had problems. Farmers saw millions of acres of non-resistant soybeans and other crops damaged by dicamba moving off of the fields where it was applied. Tensions were high. One farmer shot and killed another farmer over a disagreement over dicamba drift.
As complaints mounted, states implemented restrictions and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continued to attempt new restrictions to limit the pesticide’s use. But the complaints continued, with Illinois, the nation’s leading soybean producing state, receiving more complaints each year.
Bayer and BASF, which also made a version of the herbicide, faced hundreds of lawsuits, some of which were seeking to be a class-action suit.
In January 2020, the first of these lawsuits went to trial. We felt it important enough to assign a reporter to be in the court room every single day. After a three-week trial, a federal jury determined that German agribusiness giants Bayer and BASF will have to pay $250 million in punitive damages, in addition to $15 million in actual damages to Bader Farms, the largest peach farm in Missouri, for damage caused by their dicamba-related products. At the trial, more than 180 internal documents were shown, highlighting what the companies knew about dicamba’s propensity to drift.
Purchases of these ebooks will support our work.