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UPDATE 1-U.S. court blocks sales of Bayer's dicamba herbicide

(Adds details from Bayer statement, background)

June 4 (Reuters) - German agrochemicals group Bayer AG has been blocked from selling its dicamba herbicide in the United States after an appeals court rejected a federal regulator’s permit for the product.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) substantially understated the herbicide-related risks and failed to look into other risks related to dicamba, the court said on Wednesday.

The ruling also said the EPA had violated federal regulations and at no point identified if an extension of the herbicide registration by another two years could lead to a monopoly or near-monopoly.

Bayer said in a statement that the ruling relates to the EPA’s 2018 registration decision, which expires in December this year and it was working to obtain a new EPA registration for the herbicide for 2021 and beyond.

“Depending upon actions by the EPA and whether the ruling is successfully challenged, we will work quickly to minimize any impact on our customers this season,” the German company said.

The EPA had imposed restrictions on the use of dicamba in November 2018 due to concerns about the potential damage to crops surrounding those it was being applied to.

In February, Bayer had said it would appeal a U.S. jury’s $265 million damages award against it and BASF in favor of a Missouri farmer who said the company’s dicamba herbicide had destroyed his peach orchards.

BASF was not immediately available for comment.

Bayer’s genetically engineered soy seeds are designed to be resistant to dicamba.

Reporting by Sabahatjahan Contractor and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Arun Koyyur

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