Wednesday, September 2, 2020

National Black Farmers Association asks for a court injunction ending Roundup sales

 Two weeks after spraying with Roundup. Courtesy UC
Roundup may be the most widely used and thus financially successful herbicide in history. But brand owner Bayer is already facing a reckoning after agreeing to pay $10.9 billion to settle claims that the weedkiller causes cancer.

The National Black Farmers Association wants more than just money: it wants Roundup rounded up and taken out of the pasture, for good.

I'm a little surprised the NBFA's lawsuit, filed last week in Missouri federal district court against Bayer subsidiary Monsanto, hasn't attracted more attention. If successful, it could have an enormous impact on farming nationwide, with worldwide repercussions. And given the successes that lawsuits alleging that Roundup causes cancer have had in court, it would be short-sighted to say the NBFA doesn't have a chance of winning.

Bayer's corporate statement characterized the NBFA as a lawsuit by two legal firms that refused to join the $10.9 billion settlement. According to one of NBFA's attorneys, more than 25,000 cancer victims have not settled with Bayer.

Bayer bought Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, thus acquiring Roundup and its financial successes and legal liabilities. You have to wonder at what point Bayer will decide the latter outweigh the former, especially as countries all over the world are taking various steps to ban Roundup.

What the NBFA is arguing is that black farmers were uniquely vulnerable to Monsanto.