Bayer facing multiple lawsuits alleging Roundup causes cancer

Bayer may not have done its due diligence before its 2018 acquisition of Monsanto, the agrochemical giant that produces the heavily used herbicide Roundup. Bayer has been beset by legal troubles ever since, stemming from claims alleging that Roundup causes cancer.

Philadelphia jurors awarded $2.25 billion to 49-year-old John McKivinson, who said his non-Hodgkins lymphoma was caused by the glyphosate-based weed killer, as reported by Zenebou Sylla and Elizabeth Wolfe for CNN. $2 billion was for putative damages as the jury found Roundup to be “’a defective cancer-causing product, that Monsanto was negligent, and that Monsanto failed to warn about the dangers’ of the weed killer.” McKivinson said he developed the cancer after using Roundup on his property for two decades.[1]

Reuters reported that Bayer’s shares fell almost 6% after the verdict:

Among other successful lawsuits related to glyphosate’s carcinogenicity was a 2020 suit that resulted in a $10.9 billion settlement, as reported by BBC:

The glyphosate-based product has been subject to about 125,000 lawsuits over its allegedly carcinogenic effects.

New York-based law firm Weitz & Luxenberg says it has reached a settlement on behalf of almost 100,000 people.

Bayer denies any wrongdoing but said the payout would end “uncertainty”. [2]

The Conversation.[3] reported on two prior lawsuits. It related that a California court awarded $80 million in damages in 2019 to 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman, who had used Roundup on his property for many years. The jury unanimously decided that the weed killer was a “substantial factor” in causing his lymphoma. And in 2018 Monsanto was ordered to pay $300 million in damages to DeWayne Johnson, a groundskeeper who developed cancer due to his exposure to Roundup. The Conversation noted:

In product liability cases like these, plaintiffs must prove that the product was the “specific cause” of the harm done. The law sets a very high bar, which may be unrealistic for harms such as a diagnosis of cancer. Nonetheless, two juries have now ruled against Roundup.

Peter Hobson, for Reuters, states that Bayer’s troubles are far from over.[4] Referencing the huge award to McKivinson, he said that the company is facing tens of thousands more claims against Roundup following the Pennsylvania ruling:

The company faces more than 50,000 claims in the United States, with the latest ruling requiring it to pay $2.25 billion to a single Pennsylvania man and driving its share price down.

An Australian court, Hobson also relates, will soon decide the merits of a class action lawsuit, with over 1,000 claimants alleging harm from Roundup. The first of its kind in the country, the lead claimant is 41-year-old Kelvin McNickle. He says he used Roundup to spray weeds on his family’s property for over two decades and while working for a vegetation management company. He developed lymphoma when he was 35.


Many Australian farmers are glad that the EU has extended its approval of glyphosate; a ban would have hurt Australian grain exports.[5]  Many Australian farmers believe they can’t farm without using Roundup while the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance emphasizes the need for biodiversity and localized food systems and points to organic farmers who do well without it.[6]

Glyphosate in vaccines injected into children

Glyphosate has become so ubiquitous that it is even found in vaccines. According to an article “Glyphosate Found in Childhood Vaccines” by Zen Honeycutt for Ecowatch, reprinted by The Cornucopia Institute:[7]

Moms Across America received preliminary screening results from Microbe Inotech Laboratories Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri, which showed:

  • MMR II (Merk) vaccine had 2.671 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate
  • DTap Adacel (Sanofi Pasteur) vaccine had 0.123 ppb of glyphosate
  • Influenza Fluvirin (Novaris) 0.331 ppb of glyphosate
  • HepB Energix-B (Glaxo Smith Kline) 0.325 ppb of glyphosate
  • Pneumonoccal Vax Polyvalent Pneumovax 23 (Merk) had 0.107 ppb of glyphosate

The MMR II vaccine had levels up to 25 times higher than the other vaccines. Following our test, additional independent tests have confirmed these findings at or above the same levels. The tests were conducted using the ELISA method.

The Cornucopia Institute gave its take:

 The discovery of glyphosate in vaccines points to the likelihood that the inert ingredients in Roundup, which make the herbicide more toxic than glyphosate alone, are also present. The effects of injecting Roundup into children are unknown. What is known is that this toxic chemical is dispersing widely across the environment. (Emphasis added.)

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at MIT and one of the first researchers to investigate the presence of glyphosate in vaccines, was interviewed  by Dr. Jason Dean in October 2023 regarding glyphosate in vaccines. Dr. Dean tweeted:

“Breakfast with a Dose of Roundup?”

Glyphosate is not just a weed killer, it is also used as a drying agent, sprayed on wheat, barley, oats, and beans. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) commissioned tests by an independent laboratory which showed that:

Glyphosate . . . was found in all but two of 45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. Almost three-fourths of those samples had glyphosate levels higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health with an adequate margin of safety. About one-third of 16 samples made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate, all at levels well below EWG’s health benchmark.

EWG explains, in their article titled, “Breakfast with a Dose of Roundup?” that organic oats and other organic crops can become contaminated with glyphosate by drifting from nearby fields of conventionally grown crops or by cross-contamination when organic and non-organic crops are processed in the same facility.[8]

In the video below, EWG’s Helen Lucey provides an overview of glyphosate:

 Check back as we continue our coverage of measures being taken to counteract Bayer and Big Agriculture’s ongoing efforts to coerce the use of Roundup and Roundup-treated crops while denying health risks.