Monsanto faces more than 8,000 lawsuits over Roundup links to cancer, the head of Bayer announced yesterday.
Bayer acquired Monsanto this summer in a $62 billion-dollar deal. That marriage merges two companies which have made their fortunes largely by making and selling sometimes deadly chemicals.
Roundup Cancer Verdict: $289 Million
Roundup cancer litigation exploded in the public eye this month after Monsanto was hit with a $289 million jury verdict in California state court following a month-long trial. Plaintiff DeWayne Johnson sprayed Roundup and Ranger Pro on California school properties. He is now dying of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which his lawsuit said was caused by his exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro.
World Health Organization: Roundup a Probable Carcinogen
Roundup lawsuits were spurred largely by a 2015 pronouncement from the World Health Organization that glyphosate – the only active ingredient named in Roundup, Ranger Pro, and other popular Monsanto poisons – was a probable human carcinogen. Since that time, Monsanto has been shown in court documents to have waged a worldwide PR campaign to discredit the WHO and any scientists or anyone else who dares suggest that glyphosate is carcinogenic.
Monsanto claims Hundreds of Studies show Roundup Safe
Monsanto claims incessantly that hundreds of studies have proven Roundup safe. The problem is that virtually all of those “studies” were done by people on Monsanto’s payroll or by others financially beholden to the chemical giant from Missouri. By contrast, the WHO refused to consider Monsanto’s own vested interest studies; the WHO considered only studies which were independent of Monsanto or its supporters.
Monsanto EPA Collusion impugns EPA
Monsanto also repeatedly has claimed that the U.S. EPA has found glyphosate to be non-carcinogenic. Through these suits, internal documents have shown some EPA officials either helped Monsanto claim safety, or colluded with the company to delay or derail legitimate Roundup cancer studies. The judge in the California trial allowed the jury to see some of that evidence, which impugns Monsanto’s attempt to hide behind any EPA pronouncements.
Bayer CEO Werner Baumann
Meanwhile, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann told investors in a conference call that the 8,000 cases filed against Monsanto over glyphosate “is not indicative of the merits of the plaintiffs’ cases.”
Werner Baumann said Bayer/ Monsanto will vigorously defend against the lawsuits. He also said the company plans to ask the judge who oversaw the trial of DeWayne “Lee” Johnson to overturn the verdict. If not, the company will appeal the verdict to appellate courts.
Mr. Baumann also repeated Monsanto’s argument that glyphosate safety is backed by hundreds of studies over decades.
The California state jury also found in the first, and thus far only, Roundup cancer trial that Monsanto failed to adequately warn customers of risks associated with Roundup and its even stronger Ranger Pro products. The jury also found that Monsanto acted with malice or oppression, and awarded punitive damages.
Monsanto Faces 8,000 Roundup Suits
CEO Baumann also said that another lawsuit alleging Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate causes cancer is set for trial in St. Louis this October.
Federal Court Cases
While most of the 8,000 cases against Monsanto for Roundup are pending in state courts, some 400 glyphosate cases are pending in a federal multidistrict litigation court set up in California.