In an affidavit, Monsanto describes actions by Arkansas Plant Board member Terry Fuller as biased and says it calls into question the fairness of the entire public record in relation to a proposed in-season herbicide ban.
“On Oct. 23, 2017, Monsanto received a copy of an email that originated from Plant Board member Terry Fuller that calls into question Mr. Fuller’s impartiality,” the affidavit states. “Mr. Fuller’s email improperly solicits the submission of public comments in support of the Plant Board’s proposed dicamba rules and attaches three form letters, drafted to be submitted as public comments, that each advocate for the proposed dicamba restrictions.”
Because of these claims, the company is asking that Fuller is disqualified from participating in rule makings related to the dicamba herbicide. In addition to his removal Monsanto is asking to strike all signed form letters attached to Fuller’s email and that all actions are taken to ensure no other bias is present on the Plant Board.
Monsanto’s claims are based on the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act (APA) which requires all presiding and participating officers to “conduct themselves in an impartial manner.” APA says members may withdraw at any time if they deem themselves unqualified and any party can file an affidavit of personal bias or disqualification.
The Arkansas Plant board denied the opportunity to comment on this issue.
Monsanto asked this issue to be addressed before the Nov. 8, 2017 public hearing in relation to the proposed dicamba rule.