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The World Has Changed, But Monsanto’s Glyphosate Remains #EileenYoungRIP

"In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer acknowledged the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. This made lawsuits on behalf of Roundup exposed cancer victims possible and resulted in billion-dollar jury awards.

Shamefully, the IARC decision didn’t influence the Environmental Protection Agency, but Bayer (which now owns Monsanto) said that, to limit liability, by 2023 it would stop selling glyphosate-based herbicides to consumers, limiting sales to farmers and pesticide professionals.

It’s 2023. Did Bayer keep its promise?

No it did not. Bayer is still selling Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide directly to consumers for home use.

What happened?

Bayer never took glyphosate-based Roundup herbicides off the shelves, it just began offering glyphosate-free versions.

Replacement versions of Roundup™ products are also toxic, as Beyond Pesticides writes in letters to Home Depot and Lowe’s. “Roundup® Dual Action, for example, contains the following active ingredients: triethylamine salt of triclopyr, fluazipop-P-butyl, diquat dibromide, and ammonium salt of imazapic—ingredients that are reproductive and developmental toxicants, sensitizers, and toxic to aquatic and other organisms.”

Triclopyr is especially concerning. Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides offers this consumer warning:

“In laboratory tests, triclopyr caused an increase in the incidence of breast cancer as well as an increase in a type of genetic damage called dominant lethal mutations. Triclopyr also is damaging to kidneys and has caused a variety of reproductive problems.”

Diquat dibromide is implicated in Parkinson’s disease and mass deaths of bald eagles.

To see glyphosate replaced with similarly toxic pesticides is incredibly disappointing, but it is infuriating to see glyphosate-based herbicides continue to be sold to consumers, too!

At Roundup.com, Bayer continues to sell its glyphosate-based herbicide, even though everyone knows it causes cancer. Home Depot, Lowe’s and other lawn and garden stores still sell it, too.

What can be done?

In addition to the lawsuits on behalf of Roundup-exposed cancer victims, there are other promising legal avenues being pursued.

The Center for Food Safety has successfully challenged the Trump Administration’s January 2020 “interim registration review” of glyphosate.

In 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with CFS that the EPA had unlawfully concluded there is no cancer risk from glyphosate, coming to “no conclusion” as to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the most well-known cancer linked to glyphosate.

As the record in the case showed, EPA’s own Office of Research and Development concluded that glyphosate is a likely carcinogen that increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The Appeal’s Court decision requires EPA to reanalyze its support for the continued use of glyphosate. The Center for Food Safety summarized the ruling, writing:

“The court concluded that EPA flouted its own Cancer Guidelines and ignored the criticisms of its own experts. EPA’s ‘not likely to cause cancer’ conclusion was inconsistent with the evidence before it, in the form of both epidemiological studies (real-world cancer cases) and lab animal studies. In addition to its lack of conclusion as to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk (the cancer most tied to glyphosate), the court also concluded that EPA’s general ‘no cancer’ decision was divorced from its own Guidelines and experts when EPA selectively discounted evidence that glyphosate causes tumors in animals. At various points the Court criticized EPA’s ‘disregard of tumor results;’ its use of ‘bare assertions’ that ‘fail[] to account coherently for the evidence;’ making conclusions that do not ‘withstand[] scrutiny under the agency’s own framework,’ and ‘fail[ing] to abide by’ its cancer guidelines. In sum the court noted EPA’s ‘inconsistent reasoning’ made its decision on cancer ‘arbitrary,’ and struck it down.”

The court required the EPA to redo its glyphosate determination by October 2022. EPA missed the deadline and has yet to comply with the court order.

What about legislation?

Shockingly, no one has ever introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress to ban glyphosate, but many states have considered such legislation and hundreds of localities have enacted bans.

We’ve got our work cut out for us.

Four out of five people in the US are contaminated with glyphosate, primarily because of glyphosate residues in our food, as demonstrated by testing conducted by the Detox Project, Moms Across America and the Environmental Working Group.

Cancer is just one risk of glyphosate contamination.

Recent research from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health shows that childhood exposure to glyphosate is linked to liver inflammation and metabolic disorder in early adulthood, which could lead to liver cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease later in life.

Glyphosate was found in 99 percent of pregnant Midwestern women tested by the Indiana University School of Medicine between 2013 and 2016. Higher maternal glyphosate levels in the first trimester were associated with lower birth weights and higher NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) admissions.": The World Has Changed, But Monsanto’s Glyphosate Remains - Organic Consumers

US lawyers keep up pressure on Bayer over Roundup

Quote; "US trial attorneys are attempting to ratchet up pressure on Bayer over its Roundup weedkiller despite the company attempting to turn the page on litigation alleging that the herbicide causes cancer.

Spending on adverts in the US soliciting people with Roundup claims jumped by 33 per cent from May to June, to $850,000.

X Ante, a firm that tracks litigation advert spending, counted that about 7,300 television adverts for Roundup claims aired in June, double the number in May and the most since August 2020. Bayer said in June 2020 that it would spend up to $10.9bn to settle Roundup litigation, including current and future claims.

The jump in advertising comes as Bill Anderson, the German conglomerate’s new chief executive, prepares to face analysts for the first time on Tuesday when the company reports earnings.

The spending underscores that trial attorneys are still pursuing payouts from Bayer five years after a jury initially awarded $289mn in a Roundup case. The landmark award triggered thousands of additional mass tort claims that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Bayer took over the litigation in 2016 after acquiring Monsanto in a $63bn acquisition that has proved controversial. The company insists that Roundup is safe and does not cause cancer.

But the legal and financial uncertainty over the Roundup litigation has been a major drag on the group’s share price, which has fallen 46 per cent over the past five years, underperforming the wider German stock market. With a stock market value of just €51bn, the company is currently worth less than Bayer on its own before the Monsanto acquisition.

Bayer has faced 154,000 claims from Roundup users who attribute their cancer to the weedkiller. By the end of last year, 109,000 of those cases were settled or dismissed. Bayer has set aside $6.4bn for future Roundup litigation costs, and S&P has estimated that Bayer will spend $3bn on litigation overall this year.

Even after the settlement was announced, Roundup cases have continued to go to trial in various US courts. Bayer says it has won seven straight trials, a string of victories that has calmed investor anxieties over litigation liabilities. But at least six cases are scheduled to go to trial in Philadelphia in October.

The company told the Financial Times that it did not want to “speculate on the potential actions of litigation lawyers” but stressed that it was making “good progress” with regard to processing of the Roundup risks.

Two years ago, it decided to stop selling glyphosate on the American retail market as part of a strategy to limit the risks of new claims in the future. This was implemented this year and the product is still named Roundup.

Bayer has employed some unusual tactics as it continues to fight the cases. It recently reached a $100,000 settlement agreement in one case requiring the plaintiff to appeal against the dismissal of his claim that he was not properly warned about Roundup’s cancer risks, according to a decision from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The move, according to one of the appeals court judges, appeared to be aimed at creating a “circuit split” — by getting two conflicting rulings on a legal issue, in this case regarding Roundup’s labelling — that would increase the odds that the US Supreme Court would hear the case. The case is ongoing.

The recent surge in Roundup advert spending “indicates that attorneys for the plaintiffs believe that future jury awards or settlements are possible and even likely despite previous setbacks,” said Rustin Silverstein, president and founder of X Ante, which uses data from Vivvix CMAG data and other sources.

Some investors fear that the uncertainty over Roundup’s financial burden could limit Anderson’s room for manoeuvre with regard to a potential separation of Bayer’s crop science business and its pharma unit, an option that Anderson previously said was on the table

However, Guillaume Benoit, analyst at S&P who covers Bayer, warned that new cases created the risk that Bayer might have to face payments related to glyphosate litigation that go beyond what it has currently provisioned.

The architect of the Monsanto deal, Bayer’s previous chief executive Werner Baumann, left the company early this year following pressure from shareholders who have been calling for a break-up of the company. His successor Anderson, who previously oversaw the pharma business of Swiss rival Roche, praised the industrial logic of the Monsanto acquisition.

Two months after Anderson became chief executive, the group wrote off €2.5bn on the glyphosate-related assets as it braces for a persistent fall in demand and lower prices. Because of this impairment, the company is on track to record a €2bn loss in the second quarter, it announced last month when it lowered its full-year outlook.": US lawyers keep up pressure on Bayer over Roundup | Financial Times