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In a massive and highly complex legal settlement covering the majority of the claims against Monsanto, a U.S. company that makes the weedkiller Roundup, its parent, Bayer Corporation, will pay nearly $11B to settle approximately 95,000 claims and set aside $1.25 billion for potential claims from Roundup customers who may develop cancer in the future. Roundup is alleged to cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and plaintiffs will receive, depending on the strength of their cases, payments of $5,000 to $250,000. Bayer had revenue of $49 billion in 2019, and bought Monsanto in 2018 for $63B — analysts said a settlement of $10B would be fair, according to CBS News. Mediator Ken Feinberg, who also helped dole out settlement money in the BP Deepwater Horizon case, was instrumental.
Why This Matters: This must end the debate about whether Roundup can still be sold to consumers. Now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should do its job and get these products containing toxic glyphosate off the shelf and protect people, not corporations. Instead, the agency maintains that “there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen.” We doubt the EPA will change direction, even if Bayer has. But that does not make it right.
Thousands of Lawsuits, Many Losses
Last year, a jury in California awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who sued Monsanto saying that exposure to the weed-killer Roundup caused them to contract cancer, including $55 million in “compensatory” damages to make them whole for their injuries, and $2 billion in punitive damages to punish Monsanto for its reckless disregard for human health. The plaintiff’s case relied heavily on a 2015 Report by the World Health Organization that concludes that the chemical in Roundup, glyphosate, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Thousands of similar cases were pending in courts all over the country. Mr. Feinberg is an expert at resolving complex, multi-jurisdictional cases like this one and overseeing the process of payouts for all those seeking redress. Juries also found Monsanto liable in two other cases with big payouts, though judges in each case reduced the awards. These cases are on appeal now and were not part of the settlement.
by Razi Beresin-Scher and Miro Korenha According to recent reporting from The Hill, atmospheric smoke is exacerbating the toll of the COVID-19 virus in Oregon and California. Smoke inhalation weakens the immune systems of those suffering from asthma and other underlying respiratory conditions, compromising their ability to recover from the virus. Researchers at the Harvard […]
Increasing populations, incomes, urbanization, and temperatures could “triple the number of AC units installed worldwide by midcentury, pushing the total toward 6 billion,” as James Temple reported for the MIT Technology Review. This could create one of the “largest sources of rising electricity demand around the world.”
Why This Matters: This is the paradox of climate change. As the world warms, cooling will be even more necessary.
As wildfires rage across the Western United States each summer and fall, the immediate headlines of these disasters focus on the destruction and displacement they cause. However, as we’ve seen this summer, states like California and Colorado have been engulfed by wildfire smoke that’s subsequently spread across the rest of the country. Yet we know […]
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