JUDICIAL:

Ramos v. Stone Forestry Servs., Inc., No. 2:18-CV-02942, 2019 WL 1170769 (D.S.C. Mar. 13, 2019): Plaintiffs Jose H. Plaintiffs are both Mexican nationals who were admitted to the United States as temporary guest workers under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) (“H-2B”). Plaintiffs were recruited by defendants under the H-2B temporary guest worker program for the 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 reforestations seasons to help Stone Forestry with planting tree seedlings, thinning young trees, and gathering and baling pine straw in Colleton County, South Carolina.
On October 30, 2018, plaintiffs filed suit against defendants alleging violations of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Protection Act(“AWPA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1801, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, and the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act(“SCPWA”), S.C. Code § 41-10-10, et seq. On January 11, 2019, defendants filed the instant motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. ECF No. 11. On January 30, 2019, plaintiffs filed their response in opposition. ECF No. 14. On February 6, 2019, defendants filed their reply. ECF No. 16. On February 17, 2019, plaintiffs filed their sur reply. The court denies the partial motion to dismiss.
IN RE: DICAMBA HERBICIDES LITIGATION, No. MDL 2820, 2019 WL 1160817 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 13, 2019)
Plaintiffs in this Multi-district Litigation filed a three-count Antitrust Class Action Master Complaint against defendant Monsanto Company on August 1, 2018. Monsanto has moved to dismiss.
The alleged facts are taken as true for the purposes of the motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs are Sam Branum, a citizen of Missouri who farms soybeans and other crops in Missouri, and Wapsie Farms Partnership, a farm located in Iowa. In 2016, defendant Monsanto released for sale Xtend seeds containing an herbicide-tolerant genetic trait that would allow the crop to survive application of both Roundup herbicide and dicamba herbicide. Dicamba had previously not been used over-the-top of crops because it is volatile and prone to moving off-target, harming non-resistant plants. Monsanto, as part of an alleged joint venture with BASF Corporation (a producer of dicamba herbicide), developed a “new” dicamba, XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, that was supposed to be less prone to volatility and drift. Plaintiffs claim that although the Xtend seeds do indeed survive application of dicamba (and XtendiMax), the application of dicamba-based herbicides (whether XtendiMax or not) to the Xtend seeds results in damage to neighboring, non-resistant crops due to drift. Because of their fear of crop damage, plaintiffs allege that they and other farmers are forced to defensively purchase and plant Xtend seeds, which cost more than other seeds. As a result, as plaintiffs claim, Monsanto has artificially increased demand for its Xtend seeds and has reaped monopolistic profits that it otherwise would not have.
Plaintiffs purport to represent a class of “persons and entities in the United States who, after 2015, were direct purchases of Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant traits in soybean seeds.” Count I of the complaint is for furtherance of a monopoly. Count II is for attempt to monopolize. Count III is for conspiracy to monopolize. All three counts are for violations of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2.
Defendant Monsanto’s motion to dismiss was granted.
That plaintiffs’ complaint was dismissed without prejudice.
REGULATORY:

Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of sand pears from China into the United States. Info HERE
Notice of renewal: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the renewal of currently approved information collection of 0581-0125 Regulations Governing Inspection Certification of Fresh & Processed Fruits, Vegetables, & Other Products. Info HERE
Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection for Pecans Grown in the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas, Marketing Order No. 986. Info
Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection Swine Contract Library. OMB approved this information collection as OMB 0580-0021 under Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards (GIPSA). Due to the realignment of offices authorized by the Secretary’s memorandum dated November 14, 2017, which eliminated the GIPSA as a standalone agency, the Swine Contract Library activities formerly part of GIPSA

are now assigned a new OMB control number of 0581-0311. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection of the Seed Service Testing Program. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection of the Federal Seed Act Labeling and Enforcement. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of the currently approved information collection, “Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News” (OMB 0581-0033). This information collection is used to compile and generate market reports covering livestock, poultry, meat, eggs, grain, and their related products, as well as locally produced and marketed products. Info HERE

Final rule: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.; This final rule implements a recommendation from the Processed Pear Committee (Committee) to change the Committee’s membership structure. This action removes the second alternate member position from the Committee structure, leaving ten member positions and one alternate position for each respective member. Info HERE

Notice; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).; This notice announces EPA’s order for the cancellations, voluntarily requested by the registrants and accepted by the Agency, of the products listed in Table 1 of Unit III., pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Info HERE