Could the U.S. Government’s Objection to Glyphosate Verdict Be a Turning Point for Agriculture?

Throughout all of 2019, one of the biggest agricultural-oriented stories involved the numerous court battles for glyphosate and Bayer. Despite mountains of scientific evidence to the contrary, the glyphosate lawsuits that have already gone to trial have come back with multi-million-dollar damage awards on behalf of plaintiffs that claim using the popular herbicide gave them cancer. At times, it seemed as if no one would come to the defense of glyphosate.


But now, the U.S. government has entered the mix. On December 21, the EPA and the Justice Department both filed “friends of the court” briefs on glyphosate’s behalf, saying their internal research shows that the herbicide is not carcinogenic and that a federal appeals court should reverse a lower court verdict against Bayer in the Edwin Hardeman lawsuit. This brief came a few days following Bayer’s own filing with federal appeals court, arguing that it would have been impossible for the company to comply with the Hardeman verdict because any warning label on glyphosate would conflict with “guidance from a federal agency.” Ultimately, Bayer has asked the appeals court to “throw out” a $25 million against the company that resulted from the Hardeman lawsuit.

Could the U.S. government getting involved in the glyphosate lawsuits be a turning point?

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Both the EPA and the Justice Department agreed with this reasoning, pointing out that the U.S. government reaffirmed that glyphosate does not cause cancer back in April 2019. “It is unlawful for manufacturers and sellers to make claims on their labels that differ from what EPA approves,” said the U.S. government in its court brief.

For what has seemed like years now, many observers in the agricultural world have been waiting for someone to speak out in defense of glyphosate other than Bayer. Finally, with the filing of the “friends of the court” briefs by the U.S. government, it seems as if that “someone” has finally stepped forward.


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Avatar for Ghostwriter Ghostwriter says:

EPA and current administration views were well known in each trial and Monsanto still lost. Why would anyone think something has changed and that a “friend of the court” filing
brings to light claims not already brought up. FIFRA was created to protect human health and environmental from unreasonable adverse effects and to definitively claim that glyphosate is not carcinogenic is not only reckless it is brining on unnecessary exposure to our government. For all the naysayers out there, just pretend for a few minutes glyphosate is undisputedly deemed a known human carcinogen in 2 years when considering the weight of evidence? Why will the EPA have thrust itself into that type of liability and exposure?

Avatar for Rod Schroeder Rod Schroeder says:

Because something has to be done about these frivolous law suits! And why would we “pretend” when we already know the truth? All the attorney “ambulance chasers” are already pretending.

Avatar for Trevor Trevor says:

I still do not know what “evidence’ the lawyers and the courts have that Roundup is a carcinogen. I’m sorry, but cancer commonly occurs in people, including my own wife, without us really knowing the cause. Edwin’s frequent use of glyphosate and level to which he exposed himself without proper protection made glyphosate a great scapegoat for simple minds who needed to identify a cause for this man’s illness. When years of extensive research both by Monsanto and by the US Government contradicts the court findings, one might conclude that this is just another Monsanto witch hunt. I’m not sure how Monsanto was supposed to label the product a possible carcinogen when it went against the EPA labeling laws. The only ones really winning here are the lawyers, as usual. We need to use a little common sense folks!

Avatar for KD KD says:

EVERYONE knows that glyphosate is not the cause of this cancer – including the plaintiffs. The lawyers have them looking for a big payday at Bayer’s expense. This is at agriculture’s expense ultimately as this is a crucial tool in combating weeds. Not only is it good that the government has spoken out, many more people need to speak out on behalf of the sound science that is being blatantly ignored by the jurors in these cases. All of us are hurt by big judgements that are frivolous – the lawyers are spending $100M on advertisements just to make money now. And to think that everyone trusts the World Health Organization over the EPA? We all need to wonder that if NGOs and lawyers can do this to glyphosate, what is next?

Avatar for SB SB says:

If the WHO IARC folks were accountable for their opinions, they might look at things more broadly and (God forbid) use a little common sense.

If one looks at their lists, called monographs (probably because the reviewers are wearing blinders used to keep horses and mules from seeing the periphery), you might wonder what planet they are from.

Until the IARC lists were changed in August 2019, there was only 1 compound, Caprolactam, used to make Nylon 6, on List 4 indicating it would not cause cancer. All other compounds were categorized as would, maybe, or we don’t know.

List 1, carcinogenic to humans, include such things as alcoholic beverages and processed meat. So having a beer with sausage and pepperoni pizza is a death sentence? According to IARC and I guess California too, you have just consumed 3 known human carcinogens. Where are the ambulance chasing attorneys when it comes to “known” carcinogens? Remember glyphosate is in one of the maybe lists.

Avatar for Ghostwriter Ghostwriter says:

Why why did France (ANSES) pull 75% of gbh products by volume due to health concerns? Lack of genotoxilogical data? By the way who funds CropLife? Where can one find information regarding its Board of Directors?

Avatar for Kenneth Gallaher Kenneth Gallaher says:

tRUMPs government is owned by the like of Bayer. They are absolutely not to be trusted

Avatar for Ken Gallaher Ken Gallaher says:

CropLife America (CLA) is the national trade association that represents the manufacturers, formulators and distributors of pesticides. CLA’s member companies produce, sell and distribute virtually all the vital and necessary crop protection and biotechnology products used by farmers, ranchers and landowners. The association is governed by a board of directors that guides and defines our strategic goals. Our offices are in Washington, D.C.
That tells you all you need to know about this site.

Avatar for William Pilacinski William Pilacinski says:

I find it ironic, if not hypocritical, that Ghostwriter, demands to know the names of CropLife’s Board of Directors, while him/herself remaining anonymous.

Avatar for Ghostwriter Ghostwriter says:

But you think it’s ok for companies to hide behind a facade whose sole intent is to persuade that the chemicals said companies are selling are safe?

Avatar for William Pilacinski William Pilacinski says:

The scientific data on toxicity and carcinogenicity of glyphosate and other agricultural chemicals are available on many public websites, including those for US EPA and CDC and by international regulatory agencies including CODEX. The truth is that glyphosate is significantly less toxic than the caffeine in your coffee or tea or the organically approved pesticides, rotenone and copper sulfate. Additionally, check out the OECD Consensus Documents for the toxins naturally present in the foods you eat, especially in potatoes and tomatoes. Also, the names of directors and corporate officers for publicly traded companies, which include the great majority of ag chemical companies, are available to the public. So, again, Mr/Mz Ghostwriter: Who are you?