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House Farm Bill Provision Could Block Roundup Lawsuits

The Washington Post’s Tony Romm reported late last week that “the approximately 1,000-page House version of the (Farm Bill) contains a single section — drafted with the aid of Bayer — that could halt some lawsuits against Roundup, according to documents viewed by The Washington Post and seven people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.”

The measure “would limit state and local governments from issuing their own rules about pesticide safety warnings,” Romm reported. “Instead, they would be required to follow the lead of the federal government on what to label and when. … That measure could effectively shut down some of the lawsuits against Bayer, legal experts said.”

“The legislation aims to prevent local governments and courts from being able to ‘penalize or hold liable any entity for failing to comply’ with rules for pesticide warnings that differ substantially from what the federal government already mandates,” Romm reported. “At the moment, the Environmental Protection Agency does not treat the underlying chemical in Roundup as a carcinogen. While the agency plans to reevaluate its stance on glyphosate in 2026, its views are at odds with some global health experts, including the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which identified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic’ in 2015. The European Union, for its part, has not found the herbicide to be carcinogenic.”

“The provision builds on an earlier proposal introduced by Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.), two members of the House Agriculture Committee,” Romm reported. “Bayer helped craft that measure, then circulated it among lawmakers to rally support before later pushing the House to add it to the farm bill, the people familiar with the effort said. The House doesn’t yet have a vote scheduled on that package, which expires Sept. 30.”

What Victim Advocacy Groups Are Saying

FERN’s Ag Insider reported Monday that an avowed guardian of victim’s rights said that the measure “amounts to a ‘Get out of jail free’ card for pesticide companies.”

“‘When American farmers develop cancer from dangerous and deadly chemicals, they should be able to hold the mega-corporations who sold those chemicals responsible,’ said the American Association for Justice, which says it protects victims’ rights, when the House committee approved the bill,” FERN’s reported. “The farm bill would override state and local health protections, it said.”

“‘If [Bayer] were successful in preempting state laws that require warnings, they would be successful in cutting off access to justice for the landscape workers and others who have been harmed by glyphosate,’ said Scott Faber, who leads government affairs efforts for the Environmental Working Group, a climate advocacy organization that has opposed Bayer,” according to Romm.

What Industry Groups Are Saying

“‘Recent state actions on labeling have directly and unjustifiably contradicted EPA’s scientific findings on certain pesticides’ safety,’ Alexandra Dunn, the president of CropLife America, said in a statement, adding that these ‘actions create an unworkable, inconsistent patchwork of state pesticide labels,'” Romm reported.

Current State of Roundup Lawsuits

According to a June 11 update from the Lawsuit Information Center, “Monsanto has reached settlement agreements in nearly 100,000 Roundup lawsuits. Monsanto paid approximately $11 billion. Bayer has accomplished this by negotiating block settlement arrangements with plaintiffs’ lawyers who have significant cases in the litigation… and by settling with plaintiffs before trial.”

“Although these settlements account for nearly two-thirds of all Roundup claims, Monsanto estimates 54,000 active Roundup lawsuits remain,” the Lawsuit Information Center said. “Most lawsuits have been filed in state court. But over 4,000 claims in the MDL Roundup class action lawsuit are still pending in California.”

Ryan Hanrahan is the Farm Policy News editor and social media director for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked in local news, primarily as an agriculture journalist in the American West. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri (B.S. Science & Agricultural Journalism). He can be reached at

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