New York State: Gives Bayer and Monsanto, makers of glyphosate-based Roundup herbicides, puny fine of $256,000 annually for continuing to lie for 27 years after agreeing not to.

Roundup Weedkiller Manufacturers to Pay $6.9 Million in False Advertising Settlement, Agrochemical giants Bayer CropScience and Monsanto violated a 1996 agreement to stop making false and misleading claims about the safety of its popular weedkillers, New York’s attorney general found by Liza Gross, June 15, 2023, Inside Climate News

The makers of Roundup, the world’s top weedkiller, will pay $6.9 million for violating an agreement with the state of New York to stop making false claims about the safety of its best-selling herbicides.

Bayer and Monsanto, which was acquired by the German agrochemical giant for $63 billion in 2018, violated a 1996 agreement with the state of New York to “immediately cease and desist” from making false and misleading claims about glyphosate-based Roundup products, the New York attorney general’s office announced Thursday.

Studies have linked glyphosate, the active ingredient in many Roundup products, to a wide range of harmful effects in pollinators, lab animals and people.

In March, a first of its kind study linked Roundup to liver and metabolic disease in children.

Yet Bayer and Monsanto repeatedly advertised glyphosate-based Roundup products as safe and nontoxic without adequate substantiation, Attorney General Letitia James determined in an investigation that started three years ago. 

These claims violated state laws against false and misleading advertising as well as a previous settlement the attorney general’s office reached with Monsanto in 1996. The 1996 settlement cited Monsanto ads claiming its glyphosate-based herbicides are “practically nontoxic” and “less toxic than certain common household products,” claims the attorney general concluded constituted false and misleading advertising.

Monsanto in turn committed to stop making unsubstantiated claims about the safety of its glyphosate-based Roundup products, and agreed to pay the state $50,000 in costs.

In 2020, the attorney general’s office launched a new review of Bayer and Monsanto’s advertising materials and asked the companies to provide evidence backing up claims that the products are safe. 

The investigation discovered multiple instances of false or misleading safety claims on multiple platforms and by Bayer employees, including assertions that ingredients in Roundup products are less toxic than dish detergent and soap.Copycat Frac’ers? Did oil and gas companies steal the idea from Monsanto to claim their deadly frac brews contain nothing more than what’s under our kitchen sinks? Or, did Monsanto copy frac’ers?

“Once again, Monsanto and the company’s current owner, Bayer, made false and misleading claims about the safety of their products, but we will not allow them to get away with endangering our environment,” James said in a statement. “My office will continue to protect the health of New York’s environment by ensuring our laws are respected and followed.”Baloney! This tiny fine will do nothing but make people think they are being protected, when they are not. I expect new lies will emerge quickly.

The agreement cites at least five examples of online videos claiming that Roundup weed and grass killer products “won’t harm anything but weeds.” The ads are no longer publicly available, in keeping with terms of the agreement. 

In one case, Bayer’s website claimed that glyphosate-based Roundup products do not result in adverse effects to honey bees or pose a threat to the health of animal wildlife. “In fact, glyphosate is an important tool that can help preserve the environment Another lie copied by frac’ers? Frac companies and their enablers, including Robert Kennedy Jr and Sierra Club and other EnvNGOs, boasted frac’ing is good for and cleans up our environment and biodiversity,” the chemical giant, valued at $55 billion, said. Bayer removed the web page as required, though it was captured by the Internet Archive. 

The company also removed a page claiming that because glyphosate allows farmers to reduce tillage practices, which releases greenhouse gases from soil, it protects the environment for insects, birds and wildlife, including pollinators. That page, too, is now available only on the Internet Archive

These marketing materials violate state laws on business fraud, false and misleading advertising and Monsanto’s obligations under the 1996 agreement, the attorney general’s office found.

James said in a statement that pesticides can cause serious harm to the 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 Are any giant corporations capable of being honest? History proves they are notwith consumers about the dangers posed by their products so that they can be used responsibly,” she said.

“We are pleased that the New York Attorney General’s Office has completed its investigation,” a Bayer spokesperson said, adding that the company was glad to reach an agreement to resolve the issue. The attorney general “made no findings regarding the safety of Roundup products and no scientific conclusion that they have caused harm to pollinators or aquatic species,” the spokesperson added.Nasty! Only way to protect the environment, humans, other species, notably pollinators, is to ban gylphosate-based products, which jurisdictions have started doing.

The investigation did, however, note several scientific studies reporting evidence of harm to pollinators, whose numbers are declining for multiple potential reasons scientists believe, including widespread use of herbicides like glyphosate and climate change.

Recent studies show that glyphosate disrupts enzymes in gut microbes essential for health in people and other animals and that the herbicide may harm pollinators and aquatic organisms. One study, by a leading expert on how microbes affect their hosts, found that glyphosate upsets microflora in bees’ guts, making them more susceptible to infection. 

The investigation cited these studies to determine that Bayer and Monsanto failed to substantiate advertising claims that Roundup weed- and grass killer products are safe and nontoxic and “won’t harm anything but weeds.”

Refer also to:

Environmental and food groups take Health Canada to court over glyphosate product renewal

… There are many emerging potential risks associated with glyphosate, including impacts on the microbiome, neurodegenerative and reproductive toxicity, adverse impacts on monarch butterflies and ecological harm to freshwater ecosystems that Health Canada has not previously considered. … In December 2022, Health Canada renewed the registration for the herbicide “Mad Dog Plus” for five more years. The product, which contains glyphosate as the active ingredient, is used on a variety of crops and trees. Health Canada renewed the registration without updating the risk assessment for glyphosate.

According to the PMRA’s annual sales report, glyphosate is by far the most heavily used pesticide active ingredient in Canada. In 2020, over 50 million kilograms of glyphosate were sold in Canada. For comparison, only one other pest control product’s active ingredient sold more than 10 million kilograms. …

Where is glyphosate banned?

Glyphosate has been or will soon be banned in at least 10 countries, including Mexico, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam, and at least 15 others have restricted its use, according to Human Rights Watch. Individual cities and counties, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami, Baltimore, Austin, and Portland, have taken action to restrict or ban glyphosate, as have some states.

33 countries ban the use of Glyphosate – the key ingredient in Roundup

Following the landmark case against Monsanto, which saw them being found liable for a former groundskeeper, 46 year old Dewayne Johnson’s cancer, 32 countries have to date banned the use of Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. The court awarded Johnson R4.2 billion in damages finding Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression”. In other words, no one had warned him of the health hazards associated with the herbicide product.

Killing our land

“The danger of using such non-biodegradable products is the long-term impact it has on the land. Normal farming practices mean farm land is given rest periods to recover before new planting begins. This is when insects and bugs normally do their work on the land, which is essential to regain its health and nutrients. That is if there are no pesticides lingering in the soil. Without bacteria processing the planet it becomes dead rock and you have nothing. With Glyphosate in the soil this is exactly what happens.” …

This entry was posted in Other Legal. Bookmark the permalink.