June 12, 2020 Weekly Round Up

It has been a crazy couple of weeks in the ag law realm!  Here is a quick recap of some of the major stories.

TAMU AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter

* Dicamba, of course.  This has been the story for agriculture over the past two weeks.  As we discussed in this blog post, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the federal registration for three products, Xtendimax, FeXapan, and Engenia.  Then, a few days later, as we discussed in this blog post, the EPA issued a Final Cancellation Order, which did contain certain existing stock provisions.  Additionally, the Texas Department of Agriculture has requested a Section 18 exemption under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which would allow for unregistered uses of the products if an emergency condition exists.  [Read article here.]  The most recent news is that late on Thursday, June 11, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion with the Ninth Circuit arguing that EPA did not have the authority to issue a cancellation order, and the order that was issued violates the Court’s order.  [Read motion here and article here.]  If you want to catch up on all of the dicamba details, be sure to listen to my podcast with Brigit Rollins from the National Ag Law Center, which we recorded and published yesterday. 

*Lawsuit related to Enlist also pending.  Emily Unglesbee published an article yesterday pointing out that the same plaintiffs who brought the dicamba litigation have also filed suit in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit related to Enlist.  This case, which makes many similar claims to the dicamba litigation, is before a different-three judge panel in the Ninth Circuit.  [Read article here.]

* Litigation & investigation against US meat packers.  Over the last few months, there has been several announcements of lawsuits and investigations related to US beef packers.  In the last couple of weeks, it was reported that the US Department of Justice has sent “civil investigative demands” to Tyson Foods, JBS SA, Cargill, and National Beef/Marfrig. This is likely related to requests from attorneys general in several states that the DOJ look into potential anti-trust activities. [Read article here.]  Additionally, this week Central Grocers filed a class action lawsuit against the same four packers alleging that the defendants conspired to constrain beef supplies since at least 2015. [Read article here.]

*Chicken industry executives indicted. The Department of Justice indicted executives from Pilgrim’s Pride and Claxton Poultry Farms on June 3.  The criminal charges were brought in Colorado federal court and allege a criminal scheme where these companies (and others) conspired to exchange confidential pricing information in order to eliminate competition for poultry products.  [Read article here.]

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