Judge tosses challenge to Arkansas’ dicamba ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)   An Arkansas judge has dismissed a company's challenge of the state's ban on a controversial weed killer, citing a state Supreme Court ruling that has made it more difficult to sue the state.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza on Friday dismissed a lawsuit by Monsanto challenging the state Plant Board's decision to ban dicamba's use between April 16 and Oct. 31. Monsanto was also challenging an earlier rule that specifically targeted its brand of dicamba.

Piazza cited a recent Arkansas Supreme Court decision that said legislators could not waive the state's immunity from lawsuits - an immunity granted under the state constitution. The judge said he did not see how the justices' previous ruling would let Monsanto's lawsuit to go forward over the dicamba ban.

Arkansas regulators last year received nearly 1,000 complaints about the weed killer.

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