News Recap for 7-24-2020
RealClear Science: Why Have Courts Abandoned the Scientific Method? — A recent decision by a U.S. District Court judge to prohibit scientists from conducting an objective and unbiased research study on glyphosate’s cancer-causing capability flies in the face of the principles of the scientific method, and is further evidence of the growing disconnect between fact-based science and economic coercion in courtrooms across the United States. This a massive loss for science and for those who respect expertise in both the courts of law and public opinion. The decision has the potential to elevate emotion over objective evidence in the courtroom, a move that puts businesses and consumers with legitimate claims in limbo and at the discretion of bias.
WSJ: Bayer Loses Roundup Weedkiller Appeal — Bayer lost an appeal in the first case to go to trial linking its Roundup weedkiller to cancer, though the California court greatly reduced the amount of damages awarded to $20.4 million. Though Bayer has steadfastly said that Roundup and the weedkiller’s active ingredient, glyphosate, are safe—and their claim is backed by regulators including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—the court disagreed, finding that while the EPA currently says glyphosate isn’t harmful to humans and that no cancer warning is needed, “that opinion, in the abstract, isn’t binding on this court.”
About Lawsuits: New PFAS Studies To Examine Health Effects Nationwide — The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced an investigation into the PFAS found in drinking water, in concert with a new national effort designed to better understand the long-term health effects. The study joins similar research that will be conducted in Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and California, which are based on protocols put together by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and funded with $40 million provided by Congress, as part of the Department of Defense appropriations.
Genetic Literacy Program:Mexico’s activist government pushes glyphosate ban that threatens food security and farmer welfare — While the legal battle in the US over glyphosate dominates the headlines, the debate over glyphosate is an international affair. Mexico, building on earlier efforts to restrict GMOs, is moving perilously close to an outright glyphosate ban, which could be disastrous for Mexican farmers and consumers. The glyphosate ban could stifle productivity, obligating Mexico to import food that is usually produced locally and moving the country further away from food security.
Bloomberg Law: New York Lawmakers Vote for Ban on Glyphosate Use on State Land — New York lawmakers voted Wednesday to prohibit the use of the herbicide glyphosate on state land, such as parks, certain campgrounds, and on state colleges and universities, by the end of 2021. It passed the state Senate 45-15 and the Assembly 101 to 41. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not said whether he would sign the legislation.