Bayer leads new group to defend herbicide glyphosate

By Staff
3 Min Read

Dozens of agricultural organizations led by Bayer AG have joined to push for continued use of the herbicide glyphosate, a move that comes as the crop sciences giant looks to overcome mounting litigation against its products containing the active ingredient.

The Modern Ag Alliance, supported by more than 60 national and state industry groups, said it will work with agricultural partners and policymakers to ensure that pesticides registered and labeled through the Environmental Protection Agency are considered compliant with health and safety warning requirements. 

Without legislative certainty, costly litigation against glyphosate and other products will fuel more states to enact a patchwork of regulations that are inconsistent with federal law and not based in science, alliance members said.

“Farmers need legislative certainty that enables them to have confidence in the access of these important crop protection tools,” Renee Fordyce, president of the Missouri Soybean Association, said in a statement. “While states have the option to build on the federal government’s baseline regulations, we’re looking to ensure that any provisions do not directly conflict with the scientific findings of the EPA.”

Farmers have used glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer’s Roundup and dozens of other products, to mitigate weed issues in row crop fields for decades. However, in recent years, mounting litigation has linked the chemical to causing cancer in farm workers and other people with enough exposure to it.

Bayer has vehemently denied such claims and is bolstering its legal defense capabilities to fight thousands of lawsuits. The company has successfully won cases at trial, and has recently seen some verdicts reduced by more than half.  

With the creation of the Modern Ag Alliance, Bayer and other organizations are working to ensure continued accessibility of crop protection products despite market headwinds and external factors.

“Farmers need these critical innovations now more than ever — and certainty to ensure the continued long-term availability of products like glyphosate,” Jess Christiansen, head of crop science communications for Bayer, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with our partners in the Alliance to advance this important work.”

Alliance partners include the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, the American Seed Trade Association and other commodity industry groups.

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