Monsanto-Bayer to end U.S. residential sales of toxic pesticide glyphosate

Published: August 6, 2021


By Ken Roseboro
Bayer to petition Supreme Court to overturn Hardeman Roundup-cancer lawsuit

In a victory for consumers, advocates, and the environment, Monsanto-Bayer recently announced it will end the sales of its glyphosate-based herbicides—including its flagship product, Roundup—in the U.S. residential lawn and garden market in 2023. The company stated it will switch to formulations that “rely on alternative active ingredients” in order to “manage litigation risk and not because of any safety concerns.”

Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety (CFS), praised the move to take the controversial weedkiller off the U.S. lawn and garden market.

“Bayer’s decision to end U.S. residential sale of Roundup is a historic victory for public health and the environment. As agricultural, large-scale use of this toxic pesticide continues, our farmworkers and consumers remain at risk. It’s time for EPA to act and ban glyphosate for all uses.”

Kendra Klein, PhD, senior scientist at Friends of the Earth, said more action is needed.

“This is an important victory to protect the health of Americans, but action on this toxic weedkiller can’t wait until 2023. Major home and garden retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s must lead the industry by ending the sales of Roundup immediately. Despite this win, the battle against this toxic chemical is far from over—massive amounts of glyphosate will continue to be sprayed in parks, schools and on food crops. Retailers and regulators must act now to ban this cancer-linked weedkiller.”

Friends of the Earth and allies have been campaigning to remove Roundup and other glyphosate-based weedkillers from garden retailers based on science linking glyphosate to cancer and other serious health concerns as well as threats to 93% of endangered species.

Meanwhile, Center for Food Safety and allies are currently legally challenging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval of glyphosate as unlawful for a number of reasons—including cancer risks to farmers and farmworkers from exposure.

In a press release, Bayer said: “There will be no change in the availability of the company’s glyphosate formulations in the U.S. professional and agricultural markets.”

Bayer also said that it would file a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the lawsuit filed by Edwin Hardeman who said his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer was caused by his use of Roundup. In May, a federal appeals court upheld a verdict that awarded $25 million in damages to Mr. Hardeman.

Mr. Hardeman used Roundup for more than two decades. He sued Monsanto, alleging the company knew or should have known of the risks its herbicide posed to users, but did not provide adequate warnings about these harms.

If the Supreme Court grants review, the Court will likely render a final decision in 2022. If Bayer fails at the Supreme Court, the company will earmark $4.5 billion to manage anticipated future lawsuits against the company.

The Hardeman case is one of three Roundup-cancer lawsuits that Monsanto-Bayer has lost. A jury in the last trial ordered the company to pay $2 billion in damages citing egregious conduct by Monsanto in failing to warn users of evidence showing a connect between Roundup and cancer. The award was later reduced to $87 million.

According to Beyond Pesticides, Bayer/Monsanto has settled 125,000 claims for $9.6 billion with people who link their non-Hodgkin lymphoma to use of Roundup to date. There are still 30,000 cases that have not been resolved.

Sources: Center for Food Safety, US Right to Know, Beyond Pesticides

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights August 2021

© Copyright The Organic & Non-GMO Report, 2021


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