Bayer-Monsanto announced today that the company will no longer sell glyphosate-based herbicides to U.S. consumers as of 2023, following a costly litigation battle over their cancer-causing weed killers.
Friends of the Earth and allies have been campaigning to remove Roundup and other glyphosate-based weedkillers from garden retailers based on science linking glyphosate to cancer and other serious health concerns as well as threats to 93% of endangered species.
The decision to remove glyphosate from Roundup is a response to years-long court battles Bayer inherited after acquiring Roundup manufacturer Monsanto in 2018.
The company additionally said that it would replace glyphosate in its Roundup weedkiller with other ingredients when it comes to sales for the U.S. residential lawn care market from 2023, subject to regulatory review of the new ingredients. That is where most of the court cases have come from.
Bayer said replacing glyphosate was aimed at managing litigation risk and was not based on any safety concerns. Products containing glyphosate will still be available for professional and farm use.
Bayer today reported the news in an update on its five-point plan to address future litigation risk after its May 27th decision to withdraw from the national class process, according to a company statement that expressed hope for obtaining a favorable decision by the United States Supreme Court that would effectively and largely end the U.S. Roundup litigation.
Over one hundred thousand plaintiffs allege that their non-Hodgkins lymphoma is linked to Roundup use.
However, Bayer’s decision only applies to consumer markets – the company will continue selling glyphosate-based formulas for agricultural and professional use.
“This is an important victory to protect the health of Americans, but action on this toxic weedkiller can’t wait until 2023,” said Kendra Klein, PhD, senior scientist at Friends of the Earth. “Major home and garden retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s must lead the industry by ending the sales of Roundup immediately.”
“Despite this win, the battle against this toxic chemical is far from over — massive amounts of glyphosate will continue to be sprayed in parks, schools and on food crops,” said Klein. “Retailers and regulators must act now to ban this cancer-linked weedkiller.