A new series of lawsuits has been filed against Roundup maker Bayer over allegations that the key ingredient in the weedkiller causes cancer. Over 125,000 lawsuits have been filed in the matter thus far and even as Bayer plans to remove glyphosate from the product, the company is girding for a bumpy ride moving forward.
To date, the alleged link between glyphosate – the key ingredient in the company’s wildly popular weedkiller Roundup – and a variety of cancers including non-Hodgkin lymphoma has cost Bayer over $16 billion. The sum was set aside at the start of the Roundup litigation for settlements and other costs associated with the matter, however, more may be needed in the future. Verdicts from the first three Roundup cancer lawsuits alone totaled over $130 million.
Bayer has been dealing with the ramifications of its purchase of Monsanto – Roundup’s original creator – since the ink was still wet on the $63 billion acquisition. Since then, Bayer shareholders have seen a 40% drop in the company’s value as it works get out from under glyphosate’s shadow.
This new round of lawsuits may shine a light on the level of involvement the U.S. EPA had in keeping glyphosate on store shelves rather than acknowledging a fact that most of the rest of the world had already caught on to: glyphosate causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It has long been known that much of the “science” Bayer references while defending glyphosate comes from studies that were bought and paid for by Monsanto. What has not been discussed as much, however, is what the EPA has known about glyphosate and why it failed to act to protect the American people.
The answer to those questions may prove to be unsettling. According to The Guardian, evidence presented in Roundup cancer lawsuits has indicated significant collusion between EPA and officials at Monsanto. One internal email thread showed officials from both entities working together to stop a government review of glyphosate safety. Additional documents show hand-in-hand collusion on safety assessments of the chemical. According to a lead attorney from the original round of Roundup cancer lawsuits, “the EPA didn’t follow their own guidelines.”