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In a final, desperate attempt to avoid billions of dollars of liability, Bayer has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of The United States to reverse existing verdicts that blame their herbicides for causing cancer. This will be the company’s fourth appeal after a third court recently ruled that glyphosate-based herbicides are responsible for causing cancer.
The Legal Battle
For the better part of a decade, we’ve talked about the extreme danger that glyphosate poses to public health. This was before Bayer – known for manufacturing aspirin and birth control – acquired Monsanto, a leading herbicide manufacturer. Their drug glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) has been shown time and again to cause cancer, but Bayer is trying one last time to avoid the cost of poisoning billions of people.
A California appeals court last month upheld an $86 million verdict that found Bayer responsible for a couple’s cancer after using Bayer’s glyphosate-based Roundup against weeds. The court was abundantly clear about Bayer’s guilt in the case:
We find that substantial evidence supports the jury’s verdicts. Monsanto’s conduct evidenced reckless disregard of the health and safety of the multitude of unsuspecting consumers it kept in the dark. This was not an isolated incident; Monsanto’s conduct involved repeated actions over a period of many years motivated by the desire for sales and profit.”
Bayer has been buried in lawsuits since paying $63 billion to purchase Monsanto in 2018. After the acquisition, Bayer’s stock price was around $31 per share. It has since fallen to less than $14, wiping out over 50% of the company’s former value and nearly doubling the true cost of purchasing Monsanto.
Bayer has faced thousands of lawsuits over the past few years, totaling billions in damages. Plaintiffs have contended not only that glyphosate caused their cancer, but that Bayer knew it caused cancer and hid the information.
In a landmark 2018 ruling, a California jury found that Monsanto failed to warn consumers that their pesticides cause cancer. The plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, was awarded $289 million in damages.
Bayer/Monsanto legal representatives disagreed, saying that “more than 800 scientific studies and reviews…support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer.” In 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found the chemical not likely carcinogenic to humans after a decades-long assessment of glyphosate dangers.
But the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization, found glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen” based on studies. The IARC’s ruling goes against the assessment of every other agency that has studied glyphosate, including the EPA, European Food Safety Authority, and WHO, who openly criticized the decision.
It’s not a coincidence that the FDA doesn’t require a single safety study on GMOs, as determined by a policy overseen by Michael Taylor. Michael Taylor, a former attorney for Monsanto, was given the position by the FDA after specifically creating it to promote GMOs. This allows companies like Monsanto to determine the safety of their products for themselves.
Taylor then returned to Monsanto as vice president and chief lobbyist before becoming the FDA Food Safety Czar. There is overwhelming evidence that Monsanto has maliciously interfered to bury any evidence that glyphosate is unsafe.
[To learn more about the sordid histories of these companies, including fraud, toxic consumer products, and their major role in supporting the Nazi regime, check out this article.]
Court records from the Johnson trial showed that Monsanto employees had discussions about “ghostwriting” scientific studies showing that their products are safe, as well as plans to discredit the IARC. To be clear, the company wants to write their own safety studies and then publish them under another name to be used as evidence of their product’s safety.
Judge Curtis Karnow didn’t mince words during the trial when he said:
The internal correspondence noted by Johnson could support a jury finding that Monsanto has long been aware of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicides are carcinogenic … but has continuously sought to influence the scientific literature to prevent its internal concerns from reaching the public sphere and to bolster its defenses in products liability actions.”
But more than 3 years later, Bayer is STILL trying to get away with murder.
The Global Threat of Glyphosate
To date, many countries have banned the pesticide altogether. And while the legal battle is primarily being fought in the United States, the impact of glyphosate is global. Because glyphosate (or Roundup) is not just used for consumers who want to get rid of pesky weeds.
The extent of glyphosate damage is massive.
Glyphosate strips plants and soil of nutrients, and in the past 40 years, tens of millions of acres have been saturated and destroyed by glyphosate and Roundup. U.S. Geological Survey data shows that glyphosate is present in more than half of all surface waters, soil, and sediment.
Aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), its degradation product, is even more commonly detected, showing up in more than 80% of wastewater samples collected at municipal treatment plants. Monsanto itself admits that some glyphosate remains on and in food crops like canola, cotton, and corn, meaning we’re consuming unknown amounts of glyphosate regularly.
Everything from endocrine disruption and obesity to diabetes and heart disease – and, of course, cancer – has a scientific tie-in to glyphosate exposure. Studies have linked glyphosate to cancer, kidney failure, chromosomal damage, and immune system damage. And when combined, the chemicals found in Roundup are 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate alone.
And now, new studies are showing just how prevalent glyphosate is. According to a study published in 2019 by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), as much as 90% of the beer and wine sold, including organic brands, contain glyphosate. The study tested major brands that included Coors, Sutter Home, and Budweiser.
While Roundup is only a small part of Bayer’s profit, biologically engineered seeds that are resistant to the herbicide are big money. Farmers soak their fields in the toxic chemical, then plant Bayer’s “Roundup Ready” seeds, which are the only seeds able to grow in such a harsh environment. Since its introduction in 1974, over 10 million tons of Roundup have been sprayed on fields worldwide.
Some scientists now speculate that celiac disease, as well as various forms of “gluten intolerance,” may actually be indications of systemic glyphosate poisoning rather than an allergic reaction to gluten. Their reasoning is that many celiac and gluten intolerance symptoms parallel those associated with chronic glyphosate exposure – microbial imbalance in the gut, nutrient deficiency, and heightened cancer risk being among these.
“Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known eﬀects of glyphosate on gut bacteria,” explains one study on the subject published in the journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology.
“Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut.
Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper, and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine, and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids.
Celiac disease patients have an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate.”
Bayer’s Last Stand
The Supreme Court appeal marks Bayer’s final attempt to absolve themselves of legal and financial responsibility for their crimes. Juries and appellate judges alike have found Bayer to be directly and knowingly responsible for poisoning millions of innocent people.
If the Supreme Court upholds the existing rulings, Bayer will be forced to pay for their actions. Beyond compensating their direct victims, the verdict could open the door for more serious criminal charges and the end of glyphosate use in the United States.
In many ways, the damage has already been done. Our soil and water has been poisoned on a massive scale – perhaps irreversibly. People have died. Many plaintiffs may not live long enough to see a settlement thanks to Bayer’s recalcitrant refusal to own up to their mistakes.
But holding companies like Bayer accountable is essential if we want to live in a free, healthy world. Questioning the integrity of pharmaceuticals has become an extremely touchy subject since 2019. But there’s a documented history of lies, corruption, and flat-out evil behind many of the world’s leading manufacturers.
It’s our sincere hope that this trial ends quickly and absolutely, so that we can start to heal from the decades of damage done in the name of the almighty dollar.
[To learn more about glyphosate and how to protect your family, check out the comprehensive article.]