The Trump administration has built a reputation for siding with industry despite environmental and public health concerns including withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement and rolling back Obama-era policies that limited carbon emissions. Now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Trump is supporting Bayer AG’s fight to reverse a federal appeals court ruling in favor of a man who blamed his cancer diagnosis on the company’s weed killer Roundup.

Edwin Hardeman claims exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He claims that Bayer knew its herbicide posed cancer risks but the company failed to warn consumers. Furthermore, in 2015, the year Hardeman was diagnosed, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen based on studies of farmers exposed to the chemical who later developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A California jury awarded Hardeman $80 million, which was later reduced to $25 million.

Bayer, which acquired Roundup-maker Monsanto in 2018, has maintained that its weed killer is safe and has asked a federal appeals court to reverse the ruling. And now, Trump’s EPA is siding with Bayer, much to the outrage of public health and environmental advocacy groups. In an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Court, the EPA said:

EPA approved the label for the pesticide/herbicide at issue here, Roundup, through a registration process that did not require a cancer warning. In fact, EPA has never required a labeling warning of a cancer risk posed by Roundup, and such a warning would be inconsistent with the agency’s scientific assessments of the carcinogenic potential of the product. Mr. Hardeman nevertheless sought damages under California common law, alleging that Monsanto had failed to adequately warn consumers of cancer risks posed by the active ingredient in Roundup. FIFRA therefore preempts Mr. Hardeman’s claims to the extent that they are based on the lack of a warning on Roundup’s labeling.

Bayer faces more than 42,000 lawsuits alleging exposure to glyphosate in Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Beasley Allen lawyers are currently representing hundreds of 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.

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