Evidence may not matter: Roundup cancer settlements could trigger international pesticide suits regardless of health impacts

| July 20, 2020
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Since litigation began a couple years ago, Roundup, a particular brand of glyphosate based pesticide, is now firmly established as a mass toxic tort in the US. Whilst this settlement will buy off much of that risk, Bayer and other glyphosate producers must still proceed with caution, given the potential for additional US and global claims ….

With the extensive global use of Roundup and other forms of glyphosate, should the science add up, there is the potential to spark a significant stream of claims against a variety of pesticide products from several manufacturers both within and outside the US. Irrespective of the cogency of the scientific evidence, allegations and evidence revealed during the US litigation of corporate cover-ups of the health impact of these products was probably the nail in the coffin as far as the juries were concerned.

Related article:  Podcast: GLP's Jon Entine on the spread of 'chemophobia'

Coupled with the extensive use of the environmentalist lobby, who gave evidence in the early court cases in California, this has resulted in societal mistrust of pesticides that will be difficult to counter internationally.

Whilst there is unlikely to be quite the same financial impact in other jurisdictions where a punitive award for claims would not be available, should claimant lawyers in the UK and other common law jurisdictions start to pursue such litigation, the disruptive impact of having to defend these claims would be costly ….

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