In the case of Thomas v. Union Carbide Agricultural Products (473 U.S. 568 (1985)) people would register their pesticides with EPA, under FIFRA. EPA had a ‘me-too’ process that allowed for the pesticide equivalent of generic drugs. Monsanto sued because EPA made them publicize their trade secrets, which they claimed was a taking. Congress came back and said that EPA should make administrative decisions about how much money these manufacturers would get for damages from loss of their trade secrets. Union Carbide sued because they felt that the decisions should be made by the judicial court, not an administrative agency.

  • Citing Crowell v. Benson (285 U.S. 22 (1932)), the Court found that if a right is public, then it could be adjudicated by an Administrative Agency.
    • It is public if it is integral to a public regulatory system.
    • Regulating dangerous pesticides is a comprehensive regulatory scheme that had public purposes. Therefore the damages from loss of trade secrets in FIFRA is a public right, and can be adjudicated by EPA.