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posted by janrinok on Thursday June 23, @09:09AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

US Supreme Court rejects Bayer's bid to end Roundup lawsuits:

The US Supreme Court has rejected Bayer's bid to dismiss legal claims by customers who say its weedkiller causes cancer, as the German company seeks to avoid potentially billions of dollars in damages.

The justices turned away a Bayer appeal's on Tuesday and left in place a lower court decision that upheld $25m in damages awarded to California resident Edwin Hardeman, a user of its product Roundup, who blamed his cancer on the pharmaceutical and chemical giant's glyphosate-based weedkillers.

The Supreme Court's ruling dealt a blow to Bayer as the company manoeuvres to limit its legal liability in thousands of cases. The justices have a second Bayer petition pending on a related issue that they could act upon in the coming weeks.

Roundup-related lawsuits have dogged Bayer since it acquired the brand as part of its $63bn purchase of agricultural seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto in 2018.

[...] The lawsuits against Bayer have said the company should have warned customers of the alleged cancer risk.

[...] Bayer plans to replace glyphosate in weedkillers for the US residential market of non-professional gardeners with other active ingredients.


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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @09:34AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @09:34AM (#1255546)

    I can't think of a good reason why Bayer chose to buy Monsanto. These lawsuits were already happening in 2018, it was more than some simple writing on a wall. Was Monsanto worth so much more than $63B that it was worth the risk?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday June 23, @10:57AM (7 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 23, @10:57AM (#1255554) Homepage Journal

      Asking that question indicates that you have little idea how much value Monsanto had. Or, how much claimed value. Monsanto claimed to own rights to most of the world's food seed stock. They claimed rights to seed that they never developed, with the prime example being farms in Iraq that were required to destroy their own seed stocks, then to purchase Monsanto seed.

      If a rent seeker can collect on every meal eaten by every animal and every human on earth, the profits are astounding. Did you catch that compounded interest thing? First, they get rent on every feeding of the cows. Then they get rent when you eat the cows.

      If you grow anything, you should seek out legacy seed, then you should save the seed from your harvest. Otherwise, you are paying Monsanto/Bayer every time you drop a seed into your garden.

      --
      There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @09:16PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @09:16PM (#1255683)

        I'm just a bit skeptical about the Iraq thing without a citation. Iraq seems like the kind of place where a militia full of farmers is no idle threat. If they've got seed and guns, why would they bother listening to some little pipsqueak from Monsanto, or even letting him live?

        The only answer I can think of that's reasonable is that a more powerful militia forced their hands, and that it was backed by the usual suspects. Namely, the USA and if that's true, then that's the real story.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @09:33PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @09:33PM (#1255687)

          Monsanto has been known, like Shell and others, to hire mercenaries.

          However in Iraq my understanding was that it was political, and no farmer is going to want to shoot a local policeman from down the road.

          Hard power in this case was weaker than soft power.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Thursday June 23, @11:35PM (3 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 23, @11:35PM (#1255699) Homepage Journal

          https://rense.com/general62/seeds.htm [rense.com]

          Iraq law Requires Seed Licenses November 13, 2004

          "According to Order 81, paragraph 66 - [B], issued by L. Paul Bremer [CFR], the people in Iraq are now prohibited from saving seeds and may only plant seeds for their food from licensed, authorized U.S. distributors.

          The paragraph states, "Farmers shall be prohibited from re-using seeds of protected varieties or any variety mentioned in items 1 and 2 of paragraph [C] of Article 14 of this chapter."

          https://www.mintpressnews.com/kissingers-occupation-iraq-destroys-agriculture/226407/ [mintpressnews.com]
          https://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-cymru030305.htm [countercurrents.org]

          --
          There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @06:12AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @06:12AM (#1255752)

            Paul Bremer, Baby Bush’s viceroy of conquered Iraq. How fucking long ago that was, how much justice still remains outstanding.

          • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Friday June 24, @05:34PM (1 child)

            by captain normal (2205) on Friday June 24, @05:34PM (#1255864)

            Yep...all done by folk from the GOP.

            --
            “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday June 24, @06:13PM

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 24, @06:13PM (#1255873) Homepage Journal

              Actually, I think it was mostly done by neoconservatives. GOP was probably onboard. Can you point to any congress critters who opposed it? Let's remember that Democrats are all onboard with TPP and other shit trade agreements. It doesn't matter to any of them how many third world people might be impoverished, so long as they see a good return on their investments. Monsanto patents are part and parcel of all those trade agreements.

              --
              There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
      • (Score: 2) by corey on Friday June 24, @10:46PM

        by corey (2202) on Friday June 24, @10:46PM (#1255937)

        Yeah I remember that Michael Moore movie 15 or so years ago about Monsanto and how they were locking farmers into contracts with only them to buy their seed and suing others into bankruptcy if they had any blow over onto their farms.

        Evil company deserves to die and their dumbarse owners can go with it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @05:30AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @05:30AM (#1255742)

      While I partly agree, Bayer made the mistake to think that the US justice system would treat it similar as a US company.
      Those lawsuits against Monsanto had been going on for a very long time and nothing meaningful ever came out of them. After Bayer bought them, suddenly a lot of them start moving and making significant payouts.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @06:16AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @06:16AM (#1255753)

        European companies are both greedy and dumb to the ways of the US.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Opportunist on Thursday June 23, @10:52AM (9 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday June 23, @10:52AM (#1255553)

    Half of Europe and even the Middle East banned that poison, but in the US you can still get everyone sick as you please.

    WTF, people?

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @11:49AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @11:49AM (#1255560)

      You sound really informed.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @01:09PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @01:09PM (#1255571)

        Shut up Monsanto troll.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:05PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:05PM (#1255594)

          Sad part is, Bayer is more evil than Monsanto ...

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @09:07PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @09:07PM (#1255682)

            Which is more evil, Microsoft or Google?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Thursday June 23, @02:29PM (1 child)

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 23, @02:29PM (#1255585) Journal

      in the US, money is more important than people.

      Canada is moving in the right direction, just not fast enough.

      I wonder if roundup is used on marijuana: Trudeau likes his Mary Jane. Juanita. Stink weed. Blunts.

      "Election reform and banning Roundup? Oh man, I'm too high. I need some Roundup Doritos!"

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:12PM (#1255596)

        "in the US, money is more important than people."

        Replace that with "all countries", and you'd be correct. Otherwise, you are a naive little bitch. But that's just how your government wants you.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @05:28PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @05:28PM (#1255623)

      WalMart dropped MyPillow™, but they still sell RoundUp. There's some prioritizing, for ya.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @11:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @11:42PM (#1255700)

        Well Roundup is pretty toxic...but, so is the stupid My Pillow guy.

    • (Score: 2) by ChrisMaple on Saturday June 25, @01:59AM

      by ChrisMaple (6964) on Saturday June 25, @01:59AM (#1255966)

      Read the wikipedia article, not popular / axe-grinding press. Of course Roundup is toxic to humans, most herbicides are. Use it carefully.

      The evidence for the specific claim that Roundup is carcinogenic is weak. People should not be winning multimillion dollar lawsuits based on the claim that it is.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @01:47PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @01:47PM (#1255578)

    Sure, the appeals process is about matters of law only, and there aren't necessarily any violations of the legal process here, and certainly no Constitutional issue.

    But mostly this goes to show that juries do horrible things. There's basically no evidence that glyphosate causes cancer. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a very common cancer.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5515989/ [nih.gov]

    I know a lot of people think liability determination should be made on the basis of who they like better, but I think it should be made on the basis of whether or not the thing actually happened, and if so, whether whoever was responsible should have known about it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @01:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @01:55PM (#1255579)

      Which is why it's banned in much of Europe? There's a difference between there being no known evidence and it not being true

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @02:44PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @02:44PM (#1255588)

      There's basically no evidence that glyphosate causes cancer.

      And that's the insidious deception that many people including researchers help spread. Even if glyphosate is safe, Roundup isn't only glyphosate. You can deceive people about the safety of Roundup just by focusing on the safety of glyphosate.

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/ [scientificamerican.com]

      But now researchers have found that one of Roundup’s inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells.

      The new findings intensify a debate about so-called “inerts” — the solvents, preservatives, surfactants and other substances that manufacturers add to pesticides. Nearly 4,000 inert ingredients are approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

      Until now, most health studies have focused on the safety of glyphosate, rather than the mixture of ingredients found in Roundup. But in the new study, scientists found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns.

      One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself – a finding the researchers call “astonishing.”

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday June 23, @06:52PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 23, @06:52PM (#1255645)

        >amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns.

        This is something that most people gloss over, and it's a huge factor in bio-availability and potency of drugs, toxins, etc.

        There is a great drug: Nuedexta that is a simple combination of dextromethorphan and qunindine. By itself, dextromethorphan is too weak and short acting to be a practical treatment for PBA, but the quinidine makes the dex dwell in the brain much longer, and two pills a day give significant control over unwanted impulses.

        I worked with some holier than thou academic researchers who were 100% convinced that adding a GRAS component to a drug would be a zero effort approval for the new compound as part of their compliance system - breathe into a cheapo mass spectrometer which can detect the presence/absence of the GRAS component, becomes "proof" that the drug/medication was ingested and absorbed. I, being 30 years younger than them and only having 15 years experience with FDA matters, advised them that the FDA was highly unlikely to agree with them, they, of course due to their superior resumes and multiple PhDs, dismissed my advice as naive and overly conservative. 6 months later, FDA informed them that the compound of a drug and a GRAS component is not automatically approved for the same uses as the drug alone.

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @08:57AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @08:57AM (#1255764)

        It's good to know that there's still some forms of abortion that are vehemently defended in the USA.

    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday June 23, @02:57PM (2 children)

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 23, @02:57PM (#1255591) Journal

      Drink a bottle of Roundup and get back to us.

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:32PM (#1255602)

        It is commonly understood that the toxicity in Roundup comes from the stuff they add in addition to glyphosate, specifically their surfactant and some other additives. Rodeo also uses glyphosate and is fully approved for wetland use -- i.e. the EPA lets you spray it directly into water ways.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 25, @07:02AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 25, @07:02AM (#1256000)

        That is akin to asking god botherers to live according to the rules inflicted upon others. Imagine males covering themselves head to toe to prevent tempting a female to rape them. They never like the medicine they prescribe for others.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:07PM (#1255595)

      Absence of evidence (which is not wholly true in this case) is not evidence of absence.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:02PM (#1255592)

    Did they ever payout for knowingly infecting people with HIV, after their plasma was shown to be HIV tainted and banned in the US ?

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @04:02PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @04:02PM (#1255608)

    Witnessing herbicide abuse locally has convinced me that "weedkillers for the US residential market of non-professional gardeners" simply shouldn't exist. At least, not broad-spectrum herbicides. I've seen them misapplied on hillsides, and applied to entire lots. The dead zone lasts a lot longer than advertised. It destroys root systems. It wrecks slopes and sends silt in to our local watershed which is a known problem. The agricultural areas are worse though. The stream outlet into the lake from those areas has a noted brown stream when rain occurs; but that's probably more likely due to improper plowing and wildfire burn scars. Vacant lots "nuked" by glyphosate might be a drop in the bucket, but they shouldn't exist. It's the lazy way of vegetation control required to prevent wildfires. Mechanical removal (cutting off at the base) is the proper way, so that the soil is held.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @06:19AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, @06:19AM (#1255754)

      There are some places I don’t want any vegetation. Like on my driveway. Thankful for broad spectrum herbicides.

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