The Supreme Court rejects the appeal of the manufacturer of Roundup due to the allegations of cancer

The Supreme Court rejects the appeal of the manufacturer of Roundup due to the allegations of cancer

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a multi-million verdict against the manufacturer of the popular weed killer Roundup because it did not warn of the risk of cancer.

The judges’ decision not to intervene paves the way for thousands of similar lawsuits against Bayer. The Biden administration called on the court to reject the company’s request, which is a deviation from the position of the Trump administration.

In a statement Tuesday, the company said it disagreed with the court’s decision not to appeal and “is convinced that the extensive science and consistently favorable views of leading regulators around the world provide a strong basis on which to successfully defend Roundup in court. necessary. “

The case was initiated by Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015. He sued the company, stating that his use of Roundup had caused his cancer for more than two decades. He said the company had failed to warn of the cancer risks associated with the active ingredient glyphosate.

“This has been a long and difficult road to justice for Mr Hardeman and now thousands of other cancer victims can continue to hold Monsanto accountable for their decades of corporate embezzlement,” Hardeman’s lawyers Jennifer Moore and Amy Wagstaff said in a statement. herbicide manufacturer, which Bayer bought in 2018.

The Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans. California’s labeling laws are stricter. After an international research group classified glyphosate in 2015 as “probably carcinogenic to humans”, the state demanded a warning label for glyphosate-based pesticides. The classification has sparked lawsuits against the country’s most widespread weed killer.

The Court of Appeals upheld the jury’s verdict of 25 million dollars and determined that Hardeman’s exposure to Roundup was a “significant factor” in his cancer and that the company did not warn about the risks.

The court rejects the conclusion of the EPA from the Trump era that the weed killer is safe

The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 9th District said that the federal law does not prevent the company’s obligation to include a cancer warning on its label. The court said the pesticide could be “mislabeled” even if the EPA approved its label, and that the company could comply with both federal and state labeling requirements.

The company’s lawyers called on the Supreme Court to annul and pointed to previous verdicts aimed at ensuring “uniformity of pesticide labeling across the country.” California and potentially 49 other states should not be able to “marginalize” EPA statements that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer, they said.

The company noted that Hardeman stopped using Roundup in 2012, before requesting a California label.

In 2020, Bayer agreed to pay more than $ 10 billion to settle tens of thousands of potential U.S. claims. The company said the settlement was not an admission of injustice and said in a statement on Tuesday that it had won the last four Roundup cases.

In addition, the company said it is moving away from glyphosate-based residential lawns and garden products in the United States to alternative ingredients to “manage the risk of litigation in the United States, not because of security concerns.”

Last week, in a special 9th ​​District ruling, the EPA ordered a review of its 2020 finding that glyphosate posed “no unreasonable risk to humans or the environment.”

In a unanimous opinion, Judge Michelle Friedland wrote that the finding from the Trump era “is not supported by significant evidence” and that it did not fulfill the legal obligations of the agency for reviewing the impact on the environment. The opinion states that the area across the country where glyphosate is used is approximately three times larger than California.

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