The toxic herbicide industry — guilty of causing cancer — is seeking LEGAL IMMUNITY across the United States

The toxic herbicide industry — guilty of causing cancer — is seeking LEGAL IMMUNITY across the United States

The toxic herbicide industry, which continues to blast out carcinogens like glyphosate and atrazine, is seeking legal immunity across the United States. In a last-ditch effort to ward off multi-billion-dollar legal challenges, companies like Bayer and Syngenta are approaching legislators across the country and pushing them to pass legislation that would give their companies legal immunity against the lawsuits. In other words, these multinational corporations seek to harm people with impunity and operate above the law. If these bills pass, these corporations will not be held accountable for the damages imposed by their products.

Bayer-Monsanto seek to poison people and take away their due process rights

Three states – Missouri, Idaho, and Iowa – are already considering the legislation. Missouri is the home state of Monsanto and the infamous chemical glyphosate (Roundup). Six years ago, Bayer bought out Monsanto. The merger has allowed these entities to continue the manufacture of glyphosate-based products, even after Monsanto was ordered to settle multi-million-dollar cases that proved Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Since then, Monsanto has reached settlement agreements for nearly 100,000 Roundup lawsuits, shelling out approximately $11 billion to people who were permanently harmed by the carcinogen. The public is becoming more aware of the damage caused by these chemicals. In 2020, Bayer agreed to a settlement of more than $10 billion for roughly 95,000 federal plaintiffs. On November 20, 2023, Bayer was ordered to settle a $1.5 billion verdict, and on January 26, 2024, they were ordered to settle another $2.25 billion verdict in Philadelphia. There are nearly 54,000 Roundup lawsuits still pending. Bayer has been able to negotiate block settlement agreements with the plaintiff’s lawyers before going to trial. This has kept the lawsuits out of the news and out of the public’s eye. However, Bayer is collapsing and has lost 70% of its stock value.

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Syngenta, the manufacturer of atrazine and paraquat, is currently facing a lawsuit from 5,300 patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease due to paraquat exposures. This corporation would also benefit from new state laws that would shield herbicide-makers from accountability.

Herbicide industry seeks the same protections that vaccine manufacturers mercilessly enjoy

The toxic herbicide industry is seeking the same kind of legal immunity that the vaccine industry has enjoyed for the past three decades. In 1986, Congress and President Ronald Reagan granted the vaccine industry legal immunity and established a special court to handle vaccine industry claims. The corrupt system shields vaccine manufacturers from jury trials and large settlements, permitting the industry to continue manufacturing products that harm people en masse. In return, the vaccine industry committed to paying a small excise tax for every vaccine dose to help fund small settlements for select cases approved by the Special Master of the Vaccine Court.

The toxic herbicide industry may seek something very similar and will make the case that their existence and their chemicals are necessary for the “greater good,” despite the thousands of claims proving them harmful to individuals.

When Idaho Senator Mark Harris (R) introduced the pesticide manufacturer legal immunity bill (Senate Bill 1245) on January 24, he pleaded that the state’s farmers couldn’t afford to lose “the agriculture pesticide products they depend on.” Just outside the senator’s city is Monsanto’s 800-acre compound, which includes their  phosphate mine and processing plant. When Harris spoke with the Senate committee in February, he brought along a Bayer lobbyist to validate his concerns.

The Iowa pesticide manufacturer immunity bill was introduced on January 31st. When it came before a legislative committee, Bayer lobbyists were the only people who came to support the bill. Bayer operates a manufacturing plant in Iowa and employs a large number of people there.

Daniel Hinkle, an attorney with the American Association for Justice, warns that if these bills are successful, Bayer will push similar legislation in another 10 to 15 states next year, while making a stronger case for a federal law protecting them from lawsuits. Hinkle said these bills only “condone” these companies’ “reported history of deception and fraud,” while putting the public at greater risk.

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