Farm Bill Could Block Roundup Lawsuits

The Washington Post’s Tony Romm reported late last week that “the approximately 1,000-page House version of the (Farm Bill) contains a single section — drafted with the aid of Bayer — that could halt some lawsuits against Roundup, according to documents viewed by The Washington Post and seven people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.”

The measure “would limit state and local governments from issuing their own rules about pesticide safety warnings,” Romm reported. “Instead, they would be required to follow the lead of the federal government on what to label and when. … That measure could effectively shut down some of the lawsuits against Bayer, legal experts said.”

“The legislation aims to prevent local governments and courts from being able to ‘penalize or hold liable any entity for failing to comply’ with rules for pesticide warnings that differ substantially from what the federal government already mandates,” Romm reported. “At the moment, the Environmental Protection Agency does not treat the underlying chemical in Roundup as a carcinogen.

“While the agency plans to reevaluate its stance on glyphosate in 2026, its views are at odds with some global health experts, including the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which identified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic’ in 2015. The European Union, for its part, has not found the herbicide to be carcinogenic.”

“The provision builds on an earlier proposal introduced by Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.), two members of the House Agriculture Committee,” Romm reported. “Bayer helped craft that measure, then circulated it among lawmakers to rally support before later pushing the House to add it to the farm bill, the people familiar with the effort said. The House doesn’t yet have a vote scheduled on that package, which expires Sept. 30.”