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Note: Recently, Brazil approved a glyphosate-resistant genetically engineered (GE), also called genetically modified (GM), eucalyptus developed by the FSC-certified company Suzano, for commercial growing. Engineering plants to resist glyphosate results in larger amounts of the herbicide being used, leading to more contamination of soils and water, not to mention drift onto nearby communities. Brazil is already staggering under the massive applications of glyphosate on the enormous GM soy fields there. GM soy, incidentally, was ushered into Brazil by Barbara Wells, who oversaw Monsanto’s GMO soy division in Brazil and later went on to become CEO of ArborGen.

We also know that this new desirable trait will result in Suzano expanding their eucalyptus plantations into more ecosystems and communities. Meanwhile, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is undergoing a public consultation process on a proposal to weaken their anti-GE tree language. Genetically engineered trees are a threat to our collective future and have no place in FSC activities and FSC-certified products. The FSC needs to act to protect our forest ecosystems from GE trees rather than open the door to this dangerous experiment.

Deadline: December 14, 2021

CA Supreme Court Upholds $87M Award in Glyphosate Damage Lawsuit, Bayer/Monsanto Challenge Fails

by Beyond Pesticides 30 Nov 2021

The chronicle of developments in the glyphosate saga has just grown longer: the California Supreme Court has rejected a request by Bayer AG for review of the August 2021 First District Court of Appeal (San Francisco) ruling, for the plaintiffs, that Monsanto knowingly marketed a product — Roundup — whose active ingredient (glyphosate) could be dangerous. The $87 million in damages awarded to the plaintiffs in the litigation, Alberta and Alva Pilliod, has thus survived Bayer’s challenge. This highest state court decision racks up another loss for Bayer (which now owns the Monsanto “Roundup” brand) — despite its dogged insistence, throughout multiple lawsuits (with many more still in the pipeline), that glyphosate is safe. Beyond Pesticides has covered the glyphosate saga extensively; see its litigation archives for multiple articles on glyphosate lawsuits.

Glyphosate has been the subject of a great deal of public, advocacy, and regulatory attention, as well as the target of thousands of lawsuits — particularly since the 2015 declaration by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) that the compound is a likely human carcinogen. In June 2020, facing approximately 125,000 suits for Roundup’s role in cancer outcomes, Bayer announced a $10 billion settlement to resolve roughly 75% of current and potential future litigation; claimants who signed on to the settlement were to receive compensation and were not to pursue any additional legal action.

That said, roughly 30,000 complainants ultimately did not sign on to the settlement, so the queue of potential lawsuits is still potentially enormous. Seeing the writing on the wall, Bayer tried for a second settlement (of roughly $2 billion) to handle any future claims, but in 2021, a U.S. District Court judge (for the Northern District of California) rejected Bayer’s settlement proposal, saying that it was inadequate for future victims diagnosed with cancer after using the herbicide.

For the full article visit Beyond Pesticides.

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