Originally published by Childrenshealthdefense.org.
- A buried EPA report from 2016 states studies “provide suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential between glyphosate exposure and increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”
- While Bayer has agreed to pay between $8.8 billion and $9.1 billion to settle 125,000 Roundup/cancer lawsuits that have been filed, the EPA has maintained that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer.
- In July 2021, Bayer announced they would be halting residential sales of its glyphosate-based products in the lawn and garden market in order to “manage litigation risk.”
- Monsanto engaged in a “deep, coordinated effort to smear, discredit and try to shut down” any information linking Roundup to cancer.
It was 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer identified glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, as a probable human carcinogen.
Since then, Bayer, which in 2018 acquired Monsanto and all of their Roundup-related legal problems, has faced jury verdicts worth a combined $2.4 billion from people who alleged that exposure to glyphosate caused their cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In June 2020, Bayer agreed to pay between $8.8 billion and $9.1 billion to settle 125,000 Roundup lawsuits that have been filed, which account for about 75% of the Roundup/cancer lawsuits. Another $1.25 billion was to be set aside by Bayer to cover future Roundup claims, but despite the settlement — the largest in Big Pharma history — Bayer admitted no wrongdoing.
Through all of the high-profile lawsuits, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remained steadfast in its support of glyphosate. In an assessment on glyphosate, the final draft of which was released in April 2019, the EPA found the chemical “is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
Internal EPA report links glyphosate to cancer
“The internal report which was marked “confidential,” found that the four highest-quality studies ‘all reported elevated risks of NHL associated with exposure to glyphosate even after controlling for other pesticide exposures’ and concluded that the studies ‘provide suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential between glyphosate exposure and increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.’
“But the EPA never published this clear expression of concern. Instead, it subsequently released reports in 2016 and 2017 that clearly drew on the earlier document — several sections have identical wording — but reached the opposite conclusion: that glyphosate is ‘not a probable carcinogen.’”
Uncovered confidential EPA report found “suggestive evidence” linking glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a determination that goes against agency’s long-held reg stance that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) August 5, 2021
Lerner spoke with Genna Reed, a senior analyst at the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, who stated that the EPA cherry-picked data from the internal report. “They only used the pieces of the meta-analysis that fit the conclusion they wanted to support … There is clearly a need for more firewalls to prevent political interference with the science.”
Internal report may support glyphosate proposition 65 appeal
Not only did the EPA continue to support glyphosate’s safety for years after the internal report revealed evidence suggestive of its carcinogenicity, but they went so far as to block warning labels in California when the state announced they wanted warning labels on it within the state.
As background information, glyphosate was officially added to California’s Proposition 65 list of carcinogens in July 2017, and warning labels stating that glyphosate may cause cancer were supposed to be added to products beginning in the summer of 2018.
The labels, however, were halted when Monsanto challenged the California rule in court. In February 2018, a federal judge temporarily banned California’s plans to add cancer warning labels on glyphosate-based products, which the EPA subsequently backed up.
Then, in August 2019, the EPA stated they will “no longer approve product labels claiming glyphosate is known to cause cancer,” adding that that is “a false claim that does not meet the labeling requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).”
In 2020, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed an appeal to challenge the EPA ruling, and it’s possible that the uncovered report may act in the appeal’s favor. According to Sustainable Pulse:
“Now, with the new internal report contradicting EPA’s public findings — which the Court used as the basis to not require a Prop 65 warning for glyphosate — the appeal can pull the rug out from under the assertion that there is no evidence glyphosate is a carcinogen.”
Bayer to end residential sales of glyphosate
The EPA, unwavering in their support of glyphosate, re-registered the chemical for another 15 years in 2020. Bayer, however, appears to have grown wary after the deluge of lawsuits.
In July 2021, they announced they would be halting residential sales of its glyphosate-based products in the lawn and garden market with “new formulations that rely on alternative active ingredients beginning in 2023.” They made sure to point out that the sales will be stopped for purely litigation purposes:
“This move is being made exclusively to manage litigation risk and not because of any safety concerns. As the vast majority of claims in the litigation come from Lawn & Garden market users, this action largely eliminates the primary source of future claims beyond an assumed latency period. There will be no change in the availability of the company’s glyphosate formulations in the U.S. professional and agricultural markets.”
It’s a positive step in the right direction, but glyphosate will still be available for agricultural markets, which makes up a significant portion of its usage, and can still be sprayed in schools, parks and other public settings.
Bayer’s removal of #glyphosate from residential use is a rerun of Dow Chemical’s decision in 2000 to stop residential uses of highly neurotoxic chlorpyrifos — removed from residential market, but remained in agricultural use for 20 yrs.#TheDefenderhttps://t.co/LVE7AwxhW5
— Children’s Health Defense (@ChildrensHD) August 3, 2021
Farmers may apply glyphosate to agricultural crops such as genetically engineered soybeans at a rate of 0.75 pounds to 1.5 pounds per acre, raising serious environmental and public health concerns. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, noted in a news release:
“Bayer’s decision to end U.S. residential sale of Roundup is a historic victory for public health and the environment. As agricultural, large-scale use of this toxic pesticide continues, our farmworkers remain at risk. It’s time for EPA to act and ban glyphosate for all uses.”
This post was originally published by Childrenshealthdefense.org.