Pharmaceutical Bayer says that jurors in Roundup trials involving allegations that its key ingredient glyphosate causes cancer are only seeing a small sample of what regulators consider when studying the product.
Bayer and former Roundup manufacturer Monsanto have faced three trials since 2018 over numerous claims that the glyphosate in the weed killer is linked to types of cancer, having lost three trials in California with the plaintiffs all being awarded damages. While jury awards have been significantly reduced in those cases, Bayer is appealing on merits.
The company contends that jurors aren't given a comprehensive summary of evidence, as much of it is not allowed to be introduced.
Bayer released a statement to St. Louis Record detailing that glyphosate has been scientifically proven to be safe to use.
"Leading health regulators consistently have confirmed that glyphosate‐based products are safe when used as directed and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic,” the statement reads. “Their assessments are based on an extensive body of science that is much broader than the snapshot jurors have seen in the trials, which includes a number of unreliable studies. There also have been significant restrictions set by the courts on evidence admitted at trial that have limited the juries’ awareness of the full scope of favorable regulatory assessments worldwide.”
As of now, there are around 18,400 claims filed against Bayer, according to an article published in Bloomberg.
In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) labeled glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans,” which has been stressed constantly as key evidence presented during the trials.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, has examined 1,700 studies of glyphosate exposure to both humans and mammals and found it to be safe.
Last Friday, the EPA also indicated it would take action in California to stop false labeling and provide accurate risk information to consumers.
“EPA will no longer approve product labels claiming glyphosate is known to cause cancer – a false claim that does not meet the labeling requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)," the EPA announcement stated. "The State of California’s much criticized Proposition 65 has led to misleading labeling requirements for products, like glyphosate, because it misinforms the public about the risks they are facing.”