Statement from Dr. Mark Cochran, Vice President-Agriculture for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, on Monsanto’s petition to the Arkansas State Plant Board
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First, and most importantly, we stand by the integrity of our scientists and their science, including Dr. Jason Norsworthy, our internationally recognized researcher and his work, and all our weed scientists, as well as other public weed scientists on record in other states.
We are confident in the science that we’ve used to advise the regulatory process in Arkansas.
Even Monsanto recognizes his reputation. Just 48 hours before the petition was filed, the company invited Dr. Norsworthy to present a summary of national drift and volatility research at an academic summit on dicamba that the company is hosting in St. Louis this month. He has declined this invitation.
We will examine every point in this petition and its appearing and disappearing group of supporting exhibits, and over time will respond factually to its major points.
There are several points in the petition we need to address immediately: First, Norsworthy’s findings are anything but an outlier. It is consistent with research work in other states, including that of Kevin Bradley in Missouri, Tom Mueller and Larry Steckel in Tennessee, and elsewhere.
Second, none of our researchers has ever endorsed any product, but sometimes companies use our public comments and statements without our permission.
Based on Monsanto’s allegations, we intend, under the terms of our agreements with Monsanto, to publish all data relevant to our dicamba work over the last few years.
This petition isn’t just about a single herbicide, but it’s an attack on a whole profession – scientists whose careful work is meant to be of benefit to all.
We have made our explanations available to the public, including at field days and through videos of the presentations that were and are still public on the Cooperative Extension Service site, www.uaex.edu. Our public land grant research results are scientifically vetted and valid, and we are pledged to being transparent in our results.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture