Farm groups ask Biden administration for Supreme Court intervention on glyphosate

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Several years ago, when Bayer CropScience lost the first lawsuit involving glyphosate and plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, the company promised to appeal the decision “all the way to the Supreme Court.” And it looked like that was exactly where the case would end.

However, Bayer and many in the farming community were first waiting to see the written opinion of the nation’s solicitor general, Elizabeth Prelogar, on the matter. It was published on May 10.

This was not what the industry was hoping for.

In the letter, the Solicitor General advised the Supreme Court against hearing the case. Essentially, Prelogar stated in its letter that “federal pesticide registration and labeling requirements do not preclude states from imposing additional labeling requirements, even if those requirements run counter to federal conclusions”.

Once this first letter was published, Bayer issued the following statement“The company continues to believe that there are strong legal arguments to support the Supreme Court’s review and reversal in Hardeman, as highlighted by its motion and the numerous amicus briefs filed in support of the This is because the expert US agency, the EPA, has consistently found that glyphosate herbicides can be used safely and are not carcinogenic, therefore a cancer warning would be false and misleading and would be pre-empted by the Federal Insecticides, Fungicides, and Rodenticides Act (FIFRA).

Now, 54 agricultural associations and professional groups sent a letter directly to President Joe Biden, asking him to “quickly withdraw” the Solicitor General’s brief. These included the Agricultural Retailers Association, CropLife America, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association (ASA). These groups warned that the proposed new policy “would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the scientific regulatory process”.

“Federal law is clear that pesticide labels cannot be false or misleading,” ASA President Brad Doyle wrote. “Allowing states to require health warnings contrary to decades of sound science is more than disturbing and obviously not in accordance with federal law. I and other farmers worry that this new policy will open the floodgates to a patchwork of state labels that will compromise growers’ access to the safe and effective pesticides needed to grow productively and sustainably.

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