Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit: Bayer Settles Several Cases Regarding Roundup Including Advertising Deception

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In a landmark development, Bayer and its subsidiary Monsanto have agreed to pay a substantial settlement to address claims of health complications, false advertising regarding the safety of their popular weedkiller, Roundup. The settlement comes as a result of an investigation initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James in 2020. The resolution of this lawsuit highlights the growing concerns over deceptive marketing practices and the potential environmental and health impacts of widely used pesticides.

Key Points: 

  • The recent settlement addresses the misleading claims made by Bayer. 
  • One major assertion is that the companies falsely advertised Roundup as a safe product that posed no threat to the environment, wildlife, or human health. 
  • Bayer entered two separate settlements for the separate issues of health damages resulting from use and allegations of misleading advertising surrounding the safety of the products.  
  • Bayer did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement. 

Roundup, a weedkiller that contains the controversial ingredient glyphosate, has been at the center of controversy for years. Advertised as safe and harmless, the recent settlement addresses the misleading claims made by Bayer and Monsanto regarding the health effects, environmental impact and safety of their product. 

The heart of the issue lies in the accusation that the companies falsely advertised Roundup as a safe product that posed no threat to the environment, wildlife, or human health. The 2023 $6.9 Million settlement requires Bayer and Monsanto to cease advertising Roundup as environmentally safe and to refrain from making unsubstantiated claims in their marketing campaigns. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability in pesticide advertising. She stated, “Pesticides can cause serious harm to the health of our environment, and pose a deadly threat to wildlife, including pollinators and other species vital to agriculture… It is essential that pesticide companies — even and especially the most powerful ones — are honest with consumers about the dangers posed by their products so that they can be used responsibly.” 

As part of the settlement, the monies will be allocated to mitigate the adverse effects of toxic pesticides on pollinators, aquatic life, and potentially fund research, monitoring, education, habitat management, and restoration initiatives. The specifics of the programs and projects that will benefit from these funds are yet to be determined. 

It’s worth noting that Bayer did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement. The company released a statement expressing its satisfaction with the resolution and highlighting that the attorney general’s investigation did not draw scientific conclusions about Roundup’s safety. This stance aligns with the company’s ongoing assertion that glyphosate-based herbicides are safe when used as directed. 

The above-mentioned Monsanto Roundup lawsuit is not an isolated incident but rather a chapter in the ongoing saga of legal challenges surrounding the product. Since Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto in 2018, the company has grappled with numerous lawsuits alleging that Roundup causes cancer. In a significant step in 2020, Bayer settled a portion of these claims for a staggering $10.9 billion. As of the beginning of 2023, a significant portion of the total claims had been resolved or deemed ineligible for compensation. 

The recent settlement follows a series of legal events that have kept Bayer’s legal team busy. In a separate lawsuit, a California federal judge granted class certification to Bayer investors who argued that the company downplayed the litigation risks associated with Roundup after acquiring Monsanto. This underlines the financial and reputational implications of the legal battles surrounding the product. 

Most recently, in May, a Missouri jury ruled in favor of Monsanto, clearing the company of liability in a case where a gardener claimed that Roundup had caused her lymphoma. This victory marked a continuation of a series of favorable trial outcomes for Bayer over Roundup-related claims. 

However, the legal battles are far from over. In June, the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a state judge’s order compelling the former CEO of Bayer to testify in a lawsuit where an individual alleged that Roundup was responsible for his cancer. This decision underscores the persistence of legal challenges at the state level. 

Looking ahead, further Roundup lawsuits are scheduled for trial later in the year in California and Florida courts, suggesting that the legal saga is far from over. The resolution of the New York lawsuit underscores the need for transparency, accountability, and responsible advertising in the pesticide industry. It serves as a reminder that consumer trust and environmental well-being should be at the forefront of corporate priorities, particularly when dealing with products that have far-reaching consequences. 

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