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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 Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer This week, the medical journal Lancet published their annual report on health in relation to climate change, subtitling it: “code red for a healthy future.” The report delves beyond the obvious effects of wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme weather events — looking at food security; livelihoods; human physical and mental […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer The EPA announced Monday that it will move toward regulating perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — manmade “forever chemicals” — that don’t naturally break down and can contaminate both air and water. These chemicals, found in various household products, from dental floss to nonstick pans, can also be harmful […]
The editors of over 230 medical journals said in a statement on Monday that climate change is a health issue and that its effects could become “catastrophic” if world leaders don’t do more to address it. The health impacts of climate change include wildfire smoke–which has been linked to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases–and pollutants […]
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