August 9, 2011
The chemical company DuPont says it is stopping the sale of an herbicide suspected of damaging and killing trees. DuPont says it is voluntarily suspending the sale of the herbicide Imprelis and will soon conduct a product return and refund program. The weedkiller is blamed for damaging or killing thousands of trees, mostly Norway spruce and white pine.
The Environmental Protection Agency approved the weedkiller for sale last October. Since then it has become the target of several lawsuits claiming the chemical, widely used to kill weeds on lawns and golf courses, was also damaging nearby trees. The EPA began investigating complaints into Imprelis last month.
Tree damage has been reported throughout the Midwest, in East Coast states and as far south as Georgia. A class action lawsuit filed against DuPont claims the company failed to warn clients that Imprelis could harm trees. The law firm handling the complaint says the thousands of trees that have died have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.