News Recap for 9-18-20
National Law Review: First Amendment Litigation and California’s Proposition 65: Conversation with Trenton Norris — Trenton Norris, a leading national expert of California’s Proposition 65, breaks down how the law implicates the First Amendment. “It is well-established that businesses have free speech rights and that compelling speech (in the form of mandated notices or warnings), just like prohibiting speech, must meet First Amendment standards,” he says. “Businesses often believe Prop 65 warnings are misleading and they sometimes believe the warnings are untruthful. The Government can say what it wants, but there are limits on what it can force others to say.”
Bloomberg: Bayer settles 15,000 more cancer suits, a ‘huge step’ toward ending glyphosate litigation — Bayer AG settled thousands more U.S. lawsuits over its Roundup weed killer after criticism that the company was failing to uphold an $11 billion deal it announced in June to resolve the massive litigation. At the hearing last month, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said he had paused the federal Roundup litigation based on Bayer’s representation that it had been settled. After learning details falling short of his expectations, the judge threatened to lift the pause, allowing the cases to go to trial. It remains to be seen whether the settlements revealed Monday will satisfy him.
The Free Press: EPA administrator: Chemours should make newer, safer PFAS chemicals — Ahead of a visit to Fayetteville, NC for a roundtable discussion of the PFAS levels in drinking water supplies, the head of the EPA recommended the local Chemours Co. chemical plant should switch production to a newer, less dangerous form of the chemical. The Chemours plant already makes a version of PFAS called GenX. In a statement late Monday, Chemours said its GenX production is safe for the community and it is studying other materials.
AgriPulse: Opinion: Agriculture, consumers and environment prevail in milestone ruling on glyphosate — Dave Milligan, a farmer and the current president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, outlines why the recent decision against California’s attempt to require producers to label glyphosate as a carcinogen was the right move. “Prop 65’s labeling requirement would have effectively required any product to bear a warning stating that the product contains a chemical known to California to cause cancer under Prop 65, when in fact the worldwide regulatory consensus is that glyphosate is not carcinogenic. Farmers, food producers, and businesses up and down the food chain could have faced civil penalties of up to $2,500 per day per violation for failure to provide the Prop 65 warning. Farmers’ livelihoods were in jeopardy from a blatantly flawed regulation, so our leaders decided to act.”
Fayetteville Observer: Chemours manager says Fayetteville plant working for clean water, air — According to its plant manager, the Chemours plant in south Fayetteville has done more to improve air and water quality in the past two years than any plant in the country. Several of the cleanup projects have been completed in record-breaking time, and the plant has reduced PFAS water emissions from the plant site to the Cape Fear River by about 95 percent. The company has also installed equipment that is significantly reducing PFAS air emissions, such as carbon filtration units that are filtering out GenX and other PFAS compounds.