Bayer’s Current Court Count: 1 Win, 1 (Potential) Loss

For Bayer CropScience, the past week in the nation’s courtrooms was a case of “good news, bad news.” On the good news side, the agricultural giant was successful in defending itself and its glyphosate herbicide in a Missouri courtroom. In a case where plaintiff Allan Shelton claimed using glyphosate caused his cancer diagnosis, a jury rejected this claim. For Bayer, this marked the third straight trial win following a string of negative verdicts in the state of California.

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But on the bad news side, Bayer had hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court would weigh in on these California verdicts ruling that glyphosate was at fault for causing cancer in three other individuals, despite what the company says is “overwhelming evidence and scientific studies that [glyphosate] is safe and isn’t carcinogenic.” In fact, 54 agricultural associations and trade groups, among them the Agricultural Retailers Association, CropLife America, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the American Soybean Association (ASA), joined Bayer in asking the high court to rule on this matter.

“Federal law is clear that pesticide labels cannot be false or misleading,” wrote ASA President Brad Doyle in a letter sent to President Joe Biden on the issue. “Allowing states to require health warnings contrary to decades of sound science is beyond disturbing and obviously not in line with federal law. I and other farmers are concerned this new policy will open the floodgates to a patchwork of state labels that will undermine grower access to safe, effective pesticides needed to farm productively and sustainably.”

However, on June 13, it appeared as if the Supreme Court would not take up the matter after all. In a list issued by the court regarding whether to hear upcoming appeals, the Bayer-Glyphosate case was not mentioned. This raises the possibility that the justices will not consider the case, perhaps following the advice of the nation’s Solicitor General, Elizabeth Prelogar, who on May 10 sent a letter to the court advising them against hearing it.

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