(March 27, 2020) The EPA never evaluated Roundup for carcinogenicity, according to attorneys fighting Monsanto as it tries to overturn an $80 million jury verdict. Jurors last March sided with Edwin Hardeman, who argued that Roundup exposure caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Monsanto appealed the case and received some support from the EPA. The Environmental “Protection” Agency filed an amicus brief backing Monsanto in its appeal to toss the verdict. The EPA claimed in its brief that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, while Mr. Hardeman’s attorneys argued — during the three-week trial last year and in their response to Monsanto’s appeal –that the issue is not whether glyphosate is carcinogenic. The issue is whether the whole Roundup cocktail – which includes glyphosate as its only listed active ingredient – is a probable carcinogen.
Related: Roundup more Toxic than Glyphosate
EPA vs. Centers for Food Safety (CFS) and Biological Diversity (CBD)
Meanwhile, two nonprofit advocacy groups — the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) — filed an amicus brief on behalf of Mr. Hardeman on March 23, 2020. Though the trial judge had already reduced the jury award to $25 million, Monsanto appealed that award, too, asking an appellate court to overturn the verdict.
Carey Gillam, author of Whitewash – a stunning expose′ on Monsanto’s poisoning of our world with EPA “help” – reports that the new legal brief supporting Mr. Hardeman counters one filed by the EPA that backs Monsanto in its appeal of the original verdict.
Glyphosate vs. Roundup
The CFS and CBD brief states Monsanto and EPA both err in asserting EPA’s approval of glyphosate preempts challenges to the safety of the products:
“Contrary to Monsanto’s claims, Mr. Hardeman’s case is not preempted by EPA’s conclusion relative to glyphosate because Roundup is a glyphosate formulation that EPA has never evaluated for carcinogenicity. Moreover, significant flaws and biases undermined EPA’s evaluation of glyphosate’s carcinogenicity and the district court was correct in allowing testimony to that effect,” the brief states.
“Monsanto wants this Court to believe that “glyphosate” is synonymous with ‘Roundup.’ The reason is simple: if the terms are interchangeable, then, they argue, EPA’s finding that glyphosate is “not likely to be carcinogenic” would apply to Roundup and might preempt Mr. Hardeman’s case. However as the evidence presented at trial demonstrated, “glyphosate” and “Roundup” are very much not synonymous, and Roundup is far more toxic than glyphosate. Moreover, EPA has never evaluated Roundup for carcinogenicity. Glyphosate formulations, like Roundup, contain additional ingredients (co-formulants) to improve performance in some way. EPA understands these formulations are more toxic than glyphosate alone, yet nevertheless focused its cancer evaluation on pure glyphosate…”
EPA sued by Citizens’ Groups for Glyphosate Support
Ms. Gillam also reports that the Center for Food Safety filed a federal lawsuit last week against the EPA over its continued support of glyphosate. Made on behalf of a coalition of farm workers, farmers, and conservationists, the claim alleges EPA is violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, as well as the Endangered Species Act by continuing to allow widespread use of glyphosate herbicides.
CFS wrote in a press release:
“While EPA defends glyphosate, juries in several cases have found it to cause cancer, ruling in favor of those impacted by exposure. Glyphosate formulations like Roundup are also well-established as having numerous damaging environmental impacts. After a registration review process spanning over a decade, EPA allowed the continued marketing of the pesticide despite the agency’s failure to fully assess glyphosate’s hormone-disrupting potential or its effects on threatened and endangered species.”
EPA cherry-picks Monsanto Studies to Support the Company
A science policy analyst at CFS, Bill Freese, said: “Far from consulting the ‘best available science,’ as EPA claims, the agency has relied almost entirely on Monsanto studies, cherry-picking the data that suits its purpose and dismissing the rest.”
Some Monsanto Settlements
Monsanto and Bayer AG have been working to try to settle some of the tens of thousands of Roundup cancer claims filed in U.S. courts. As that effort continues, some specific settlements have been reached for some individual plaintiffs, according to some involved in the talks.
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