This Monsanto lawsuit “will either require Monsanto to stop selling its dangerous product, or else substantially change its behavior so that Black farmers are adequately warned about and protected from the potentially fatal results of using Roundup in just the way that Monsanto has told (or, really, forced) them to do.” The lawsuit further claims that “failures to warn fell more heavily on Black farmers with smaller acreage.”
Bayer agreed in June to pay nearly $11 billion to settle about 100,000 Monsanto lawsuits to resolve its Roundup claims “without regard to race or other demographics.” However, more than 25,000 plaintiffs chose not to settle their claims and Bayer said these lawsuits were filed by law firms that refused the settlement.
"Bayer worked to settle Roundup cases with hundreds of law firms representing approximately 125,000 claimants without regard to race or any other demographics, and was successful in ultimately resolving roughly 75% of all claims. Any suggestion that claimants who are Black were treated differently in this process than others is completely false," the company said in an email to the Business Journal. Despite countless research and studies, lawsuits and settlements indicating otherwise, Bayer still claims its Roundup product is safe.
The National Black Farmers Association represents about 109,000 farmers in 42 states. It is a non-profit association that represents Black and minority farmers on various issues, including, “civil rights, land retention, access to public and private loans, education and agricultural training, and rural economic development.
Virginia-based farmer John Boyd Jr., founder and president of the association said during a press conference in August that he and other Black farmers were “pigeonholed into using the product without proper warning from Monsanto about how to use it and the negative health effects they could incur,” reported HarvestPublicMedia.org. Boyd said many black farmers are still at risk of developing health problems, namely non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The lawsuit says that some Black farmers have developed cancer.
Bayer responded: “We are sympathetic to anyone with cancer, but the fact is that the National Cancer Institute SEER database indicates that non-Hodgkin's lymphoma incidence for African-Americans is lower than that for white and Hispanic populations, and is largely unchanged over the past 17 years, despite the significant increase in glyphosate sales in the '90s."
It went on: "Bayer worked to settle Roundup cases with hundreds of law firms representing approximately 125,000 claimants without regard to race or any other demographics, and was successful in ultimately resolving roughly 75% of all claims. Any suggestion that claimants who are Black were treated differently in this process than others is completely false," according to the Business Journal.
But Boyd argues that black farmers have been left out of settlements. “We’re glad to have this legal team represent us so we can get some justice this time. Because we’ve been left out for far too long,” Boyd said.
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Social Justice Issue
Also supporting this lawsuit is St. Louis County NAACP President John Bowman, calling the complaint a social justice issue.,” Bowman told HarvestPublicMedia.org the following: “Black farmers have been trapped into using a dangerous product, and they are paying for it with their economic freedom, their health, and in some cases, their lives,” he said “Not only are we dying from the vicious misconduct of police officers, but we’re also dying from the vicious misconduct of greedy corporate owners who are willing to trash and create toxins in our community and to diminish the value of the heritage of Black farmers.