big chem

Big Chem Wants Legal Immunity from Pesticide Injuries

by ANH-USA | Mar 28, 2024


  • Pesticide companies are trying to get state legislatures to pass bills shielding them from lawsuits brought by people harmed or killed by their products.
  • If they’re successful, we can only expect more chemicals to be dumped onto our food and in our environment, further sickening us.
  • The evidence is clear that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular herbicide Roundup, is linked to cancer and a host of diseases—which is why we need to get out ahead of Big Chem’s efforts and contact our state reps to oppose them!

Do you think Bayer/Monsanto should be liable for the damage caused by glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide active ingredient, as found in Roundup, that has been linked to cancer and a number of other diseases?

In the wake of a number of lawsuits filed on behalf of people who got sick from using Roundup, the pesticide industry is fighting back. Their new strategy involves working at the state level to pass legislation that helps shield them from legal liability, much like vaccine manufacturers have been shielded from liability for the damage their products cause since 1988, following the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986. Models of this legislation have been introduced in several states so far (Idaho, Iowa, and Missouri, for example), but we can expect more of the same if we stay mute and sit on the sidelines. We cannot let state legislatures kowtow to the chemical industry at the expense of our health!

When you crunch the numbers, it’s easy to see why Bayer/Monsanto is trying to eliminate liability lawsuits. To date, the company has settled over 100,000 Roundup lawsuits and paid out $11 billion as of May 2022; there are still 30,000 lawsuits pending.

Lobbyists for the chemical industry are pushing state-level legislation that provides immunity to pesticide manufacturers from “failure to warn” legal liability. “Failure to warn” is one of the most common and effective legal arguments used by plaintiffs suing Bayer/Monsanto. For failure to warn claims, plaintiffs must prove that the manufacturer knew or could have easily discovered the risk of its product, failed to warn consumers, and that failure caused the plaintiff’s injury.

If protections like this are provided to Big Chem, they will be emboldened to drench us with ever more pesticides. Globally, glyphosate use has risen 15-fold since 1996 when Round-up Ready, glyphosate-tolerant genetically modified crops were introduced; two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the US from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in the last ten years.

It is sprayed on nearly half of all planted acres of corn and soybeans in the US, in addition to being sprayed on acres of land where wheat, oats, fruits, and cotton are grown. No other herbicide in history comes close to having been used in these amounts.

ANH executive and scientific director, Rob Verkerk PhD, says, “Any attempt to ignore the growing body of research showing broad, short-term, long-term and delayed toxicity of glyphosate and related formulation ingredients in the world’s number one herbicide amounts to gross negligence.”

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” but the balance of evidence from years of research makes it evident that glyphosate does, in fact, cause cancer. Other research has linked glyphosate with liver inflammation and metabolic disorders, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes; animal research has suggested that glyphosate can have transgenerational epigenetic effects causing reproductive problems and delayed puberty. In vitro (laboratory) evidence has found that glyphosate can cause oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction—all of which are implicated in Parkinson’s disease. We’ve also reported on research that shows that the active ingredient glyphosate itself is actually less toxic than all formulation ingredients in the Roundup product—such are the dangers posed by the combination of all the ingredients in the Roundup formulation.

This herbicide is bad news, plain and simple. It is absolute madness to give companies legal immunity from the damage these poisons cause. Not only will it leave those harmed by pesticides in the lurch; it will likely cause a further increase in the amount of dangerous pesticides dumped onto our food and agricultural land, exposing us all to more harm without the ability to hold Big Chem accountable.

Action Alert! Write to your state legislature and tell them to oppose efforts to shield pesticide companies from legal liability. Please send your message immediately.

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