News recap for 8-28-20
AP: Thousands allowed to bypass environmental rules in pandemic — Thousands of oil and gas operations, government facilities and other sites won permission to stop monitoring for hazardous emissions or otherwise bypass rules intended to protect health and the environment because of the coronavirus outbreak. Almost all those requesting waivers told regulators they did so to minimize risks for workers and the public during a pandemic.
New York Times: Bayer Acknowledges ‘Bumps’ in $11 Billion Roundup Deal After Judge Raises Doubts — U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria threatened to restart litigation and let it move forward after questioning if Bayer was going back on the settlement. While Bayer has reached an agreement on 75% of 75% of the 125,000 claims stemming from its Roundup product, the company has indicated that settling existing cases is contingent on some form of agreement on future cases. Bayer proposed a scientific panel to rule on any future claimants that agree to submit to the out-of court procedure—a proposal thrown into question by Chhabria.
Newsday: A cocktail for COVID relief — A final report released by the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will direct the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services to update the next edition of its Dietary Guidelines for American to recommend men consume no more than one alcoholic drink per day (down from two), and women consume no more than half a drink. In his analysis of these new recommendations and the corresponding study, Center board member Richard Williams notes “The point is not to downplay the risks of alcohol use. It’s merely to acknowledge that (as with many of the things we consume) there are both benefits and drawbacks. Moderation is key.”
Legal Newsline: New Roundup litigation: Healthy customers complaining there’s no warning label — Class action lawyers are advancing a new theory—the makers of Roundup failed to disclose that their product could cause cancer in humans on its package, despite the fact that nearly every regulatory body in the world says glyphosate is not carcinogenic. The new lawsuit makes false advertising claims under Delaware’s Consumer Fraud Act.
Legal Newsline: PFAS litigation heats up in Michigan; AG files two more, readies for discovery in another — A Michigan judge cleared the last barrier preventing the state from suing several manufacturers of PFAS. The lawsuits portray health risks associated with PFAS as scientific fact that chemical companies hid from the public, however industry representatives say studies so far have not produced conclusive evidence the chemicals are toxic.