Supreme Court Declines To Hear Bayer’s Appeal
Photo courtesy of Bayer AG

Major farm groups are disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to not hear a case that could have far reaching implications for producers’ use of a prominent herbicide.  The top court announced it would not hear the case Monsanto v. Hardeman, which awarded millions of dollars in damages to a California man who blamed the Roundup herbicide for his non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Among those expressing disappointment is Alan Meadows, who is the American Soybean Association state director in Tennessee…

ASA was joined in its statement of disappointment by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Cotton Council.

Meadows warns that a state-by-state patchwork of labels and restrictions that run contrary to years of scientific studies could follow the court’s decision.

ASA was among 54 farm groups that urged President Biden last month to withdraw his Solicitor General’s brief to the high court asking it not to take up the case.  That brief claimed federal rules don’t preclude states from imposing added labeling requirements—even if they run counter to federal findings.  The groups called the brief a “disturbing departure from previous bipartisan administrative policy.”

The Supreme Court’s move means St Louis-based Bayer CropScience could be on the hook for billions more in damages and out-of-court settlements from about 31,000 pending cases challenging Roundup.  A lawyer representing many of those cases told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that Tuesday’s action left Bayer, “at the end of their rope.”  In a statement, the company says it respectfully disagreed with the court’s decision and that the company was prepared to manage the litigation risk.  Bayer added Roundup to its portfolio when the German chemical giant acquired Monsanto in 2018.