49 Ways Not to Spray, Keep On Hempin’, and other legal news to ponder from Cape Law Firm

49 Ways Not to Spray

Criminal prosecution of pesticide applicators is rare, but those that cross the line can qualify for some time behind bars. A southeast Missouri farmer learned this lesson the hard way when he applied dicamba post-planting to 6,700 acres of Xtend soybeans and cotton in 2016. Recall that dicamba-tolerant Xtend seed was released for planting in 2016, but without any dicamba herbicides approved for post-planting application. The farmer was charged in federal court with 49 counts of unlawful pesticide application under FIFRA, one count of making a false statement, and three counts of obstruction of justice (for altering application records).
This past January, the farmer entered into a plea deal avoiding jail time with probation and a $200,000 community service payment to the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Hempin’ ain’t easy, but at least it’s not getting harder

Hemp producers have another chance to reduce or eliminate some of the industry’s regulatory hurdles since the USDA has re-opened its interim final rule for public comment. The Agency is interested in feedback on several of the challenging issues in the Rule, including negligence, the 15-day harvest window, lab testing, and sampling methodology. The comment period closes October 8, so make sure to get your comments submitted by the deadline.
It also appears that Congress has extended the 2014 Hemp Pilot Program this week which will delay the requirement that States and Tribes come into compliance with USDA’s interim final rule.

Cape Law Firm’s Frequently (or Randomly) Asked Questions

“What is a Cease-and Desist Letter?”

Cease-and-Desist letters used to let someone know that they are doing something illegal or harming another’s legal rights. These sorts of letters are often used in intellectual property matters by an I.P. owner that believes someone is infringing, but they can be used in all sorts of legal issues. The letter itself doesn’t have any legal effect – at least not right away. If the letter is ignored and the parties get into a throw-down (i.e., lawsuit), the letter might be used later to show notice and willfulness by the evil-doing loser.
Some Cease-and-Desist letters provide some really good comic relief, like this one from an attorney for the Doobie Brothers asking Bill Murray to stop using the song “Listen to the Music” in ads for Murray’s line of golf shirts:

Dear Mr. Murray:

We’re writing on behalf of our clients, the Doobie Brothers. The Doobie Brothers perform and recorded the song Listen to the Music, which Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers wrote. It’s a fine song. I know you agree because you keep using it in ads for your Zero Hucks Given golf shirts. However, given that you haven’t paid to use it, maybe you should change the name to ‘Zero Bucks Given.’

We understand that you’re running other ads using music from other of our clients. It seems like the only person who uses our clients’ music without permission more than you do is Donald Trump.

This is the part where I’m supposed to cite the United States Copyright Act, excoriate you for not complying with some subparagraph that I’m too lazy to look up and threaten you with eternal damnation for doing so. But you already earned that with those Garfield movies. And you already know that you can’t use music in ads without paying for it.

We’d almost be OK with it if the shirts weren’t so damn ugly. But it is what it is. So in the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir Golfer. Et payez!’ “unfair.”

Read a copy of the letter here.

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