Viewpoint: Bayer caved to anti-science trial lawyers by settling glyphosate-cancer lawsuits

| | June 25, 2020
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Bayer, the German pesticide and seed company, has agreed to establish a $10 billion fund that aims to resolve current litigation and address potential future litigation over its Roundup-branded glyphosate weedkiller.

The company simultaneously states that “it is important to emphasize that these resolutions contain no admission of liability or wrongdoing.” And it adds that “the extensive body of science indicates that Roundup™ does not cause cancer, and therefore, is not responsible for the illnesses alleged in this litigation.” In other words, the company is giving in to trial-lawyer extortion.

So what is going on? The trial lawyers are the willing (and highly compensated) instruments of the longstanding activist campaign against modern biotech crops …. These activists hate the fact that the popular herbicide is used by millions of farmers around the world to clear weeds out of their fields planted in commodity crops genetically enhanced to resist it.

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“All that this settlement shows is that the relevant science is no match for the combination of sensationalist tort cases, which exploit victims with a rare cancer, and the propaganda of a cynical agency, which appears to have engaged in fraud to find glyphosate a ‘probable carcinogen’,” observes former Stony Brook University School of Medicine cancer epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat in an email. 

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