Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto (now Bayer)’s Roundup weedkiller, is the most-used agricultural chemical ever.
Mounting scientific evidence of its human health impacts suggests that it may also be the most devastating.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Ban Glyphosate!
Since 2015, when a panel of 17 scientists at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) unanimously determined that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, the movement to ban the best-selling glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup, has been winning around the globe.
Vietnam is the most recent country to take action. In March 2019, Hoang Trung, Director of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, announced an immediate ban on the import of all glyphosate-based herbicides.
In the U.S., many localities across several states have ended or restricted the use glyphosate-based herbicides on school grounds, parks and other public lands, including the nation’s largest county, Los Angeles, which ordered a moratorium on Monstano’s Roundup weedkiller in March 2019.
More than 650 lawsuits brought by Roundup-exposed cancer victims against Monsanto/Bayer are part of multi-district litigation being overseen by Judge Vince Chhabria in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. An estimated 9,000 similar actions are pending in state courts.
The first state trial concluded in 2018, with a California jury ruling that Monsanto’s weedkiller was a substantial contributing factor in causing DeWayne “Lee” Johnson’s cancer. The jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289.25 million in damages, including $250 million in punitive damages. The judge in the case later reduced the punitive damages to $39 million, bringing the total award to $78 million.
In the first federal trial, in March 2019, six jury members unanimously found that plaintiff Edwin Hardeman’s exposure to Roundup was a “substantial factor” causing his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The jury awarded Hardeman $80.2 million in damages.
Since the first verdict, Bayer’s shares have lost 40 percent of their value. The company that helped Bayer buy Monsanto, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, lost at least $1.85 billion on the deal.
Bayer’s losses have prompted Bayer shareholder and activist Christian Strenger to file a motion of no confidence in Bayer’s board ahead of the company’s annual general meeting in April 2019. Based on the share price losses, Strenger told Fortune Magazine “the market seems to assume losses in the double-digit billion area.”
With juries expected to compensate thousands of Roundup-exposed cancer victims with billions of dollars, with nations around the world and localities across the country banning Roundup, and with the stock market shaving billions off Bayer’s value, it isn’t too soon for members of Congress to react.
Unfortunately, so far, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is the first and only presidential candidate and federal legislator to call for a ban on Roundup.
Let’s make sure Rep. Gabbard doesn’t have to stand alone.