Agri-chemical business Monsanto secretly funded studies suggesting “very severe impacts” would befall farmers and the environment if the United Kingdom banned its widely used weed killer Roundup, according to Germany transparency campaign group, LobbyControl.
Monsanto was purchased by German-based Bayer in 2018. Shortly afterward the company faced its first trial alleging that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer has been hit with back-to-back multi-million-dollar verdicts in all three trials the company has faced among more than 42,700 currently pending. Several other trials have been on hold as Bayer is said to be entertaining settlement talks with mediator Ken Feinberg.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen based in part on studies of farmers exposed to glyphosate who were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The studies LobbyControl says were funded by Monsanto were published in 2010 and 2014 by U.K. agricultural and environmental consultants ADAS and used by the National Farmers’ Union and other groups in 2017 to successfully lobby against a ban of Roundup in the U.K. The union group has since amended the studies to declare Monsanto as the studies’ sponsor.
The studies concluded that “the loss of glyphosate would cause very severe impacts on U.K. agriculture and the environment,” and that eliminating the chemical from crops could lead to a 20% drop in wheat and rapeseed production.
U.K. officials ultimately renewed the pesticide license for glyphosate despite a petition to ban it signed by 1.2 million citizens.
Beasley Allen lawyers are currently representing clients who have been exposed to Roundup and developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Our Roundup Litigation Team would welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding a potential claim. For more information, contact one of the members of the Roundup Litigation Team: John Tomlinson (who heads up the team), Michael Dunphy, Danielle Ingram or Rhon Jones, all lawyers in our Toxic Torts Section.