Jeer: Chemical firms raking in profits from hazardous pesticides

 

Here’s five multinational companies that should be ashamed of themselves and deserve a loud jeer: Bayer, BASF, Syngenta, FMC and Corteva. The firms have made billions from selling hazardous pesticides across the world.

An analysis by Unearthed and Public Eye reported in The Guardian found that the companies raked in about $4.8 billion in profits in 2018. At least a quarter of the sales were of pesticides linked to human health effects including known carcinogens.

A high proportion of the sales were in poor nations, the analysis found. Pesticides, which are nonselective, are harmful to wildlife, pollinators and humans.

Bayer manufactures Roundup, which contains glyphosate. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate in 2015 as a “probably carcinogenic to humans” and concluded that the chemical likely causes a range of cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, renal cancers, skin cancers and pancreatic cancer.

In June 2020, Bayer, which acquired Roundup manufacturer Monsanto in 2018, paid $10 billion in cancer claims to settle lawsuits. The settlement came after losses in previous court cases, including a case in San Francisco in which a jury awarded $289 million in damages to groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson who is suffering from terminal cancer. In March 2019, Sonoma County landowner Edwin Hardeman, who is one of 11,200 product users who have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, was awarded $80.3 million after alleging that the herbicide caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and that the company buried evidence rather than warning consumers of the plausible health impacts.

Friends of Animals is supporting legislation in New York City as well as Connecticut, where its headquarters are located, to restrict the use of toxic pesticides.

“Shareholders should not be applauding profits reaped on the backs of the health of wildlife and humans,” Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said. “We should raise our voices loudly to restrict pesticides in our communities. Our pollinators, wildlife and health is at risk if we remain silent. “

This story was updated on 6/25/20.