A cynical calculation with human lives
BAYER fobs of glyphosate victims
Yesterday, on Wednesday, the 24th of June, BAYER announced the settlement of the mediation process for the claims of glyphosate victims in the USA. With the payment of 8.8 to 9.6 billion US dollars, the company wants to close three quarters of the 125,000 cancer lawsuits pending. BAYER has also reserved another 1.25 billions for potential future settlements with victims suffering from non-Hodgin's lymphoma caused by the agricultural toxin marketed by the company primarily under the product name ROUNDUP.
What sounds like a huge amount of money to the public, however, means nothing but miserable breadcrumbs for cancer patients. US journalist Carey Gillam, research director of U.S. Right to Know criticizes: "After the attorneys' fees and costs are deducted, some plaintiffs will receive very little money, compared to the large jury awards we've seen so far in the three cases that went to trial. As well, Bayer is working to bar future plaintiffs from being able take their claims before a jury.“
James Hayes, a glyphosate plaintiff in the USA, told the CBG:“It is disappointing to hear, that no warning label will appear on their (BAYER/MONSANTO) product. Cigarette companies took that step decades ago.“
Indeed, a first estimate of the Coordination Against BAYER Dangers (CBG), under the caveat of BAYER‘s figures being intransparent, yields only 60,000 to 70,000 dollars per plaintiff. Assuming that the cancers caused by glyphosate, which cause high psychological stress as well as extensive material damage, cost those affected an average of twenty years of their lives, the plaintiffs are left with just $300 in compensation per month of life lost.
"To BAYER, human life is worth less than a minimum wage", CBG managing director Marius Stelzmann says. "Not only does the so-called compensation not appreciate the loss of health and quality of life of the affected people, it is far from enough to cover the considerable medical and other consequential costs they and their families have to suffer. This is inhuman cynicism." For comparison: In a first trial on glyphosate, Dewayne Johnson, a school‘s janitor, who also litigated in the US, was awarded damages in the magnitude of 39 million dollars.
As part of the settlement, the Leverkusen-based agricultural and pharmaceutical company wants to prevent all those who suffer health damage, often resulting in death, from litigating in the future. Their complaints will no longer be dealt with by a court of law, but by an "independent Class Science Panel" organized by BAYER. This is to decide "whether ROUNDUP can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma", the chemical giant states. However, he still needs US judiciary‘s blessing for these corporate-run courts.
BAYER persistently denies any guilt despite the obvious evidence. Resulting from that, the agricultural giant again announced that the agreements do not contain any admission of guilt or misconduct. This goes in spite of the fact that clear evidence of said guilt exists. This evidence was provided by MONSANTO, currently a BAYER subsidiary. According to internal company documents, US toxicologist Donna Farmer was timely informed by colleagues about an investigation into the link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. “The case-control study finds a 2.02 odds ratio (OR) for exposure (two
times the chance of contracting the illness) to glyphosate,” the mail said. Farmer's colleague William Heydens had found out even more precisely where the neuralgic point in the herbicide was. It wasn‘t found in the active ingredient glyphosate itself, but in the final composition ROUNDUP, which is enriched with potentiators and other substances that "cause harm to human health". „Glyphosate is okay but the formulated product does the damage."
BAYER claims to have ended the ongoing wave of litigations by making these settlement payments.
Marius Stelzmann of the Coordination strongly refutes that claim: "Approximately 35.000 other lawsuits are pending in the USA alone, and many plaintiffs have not agreed to the settlement. In addition, further lawsuits are certain. The Group keeps dumping millions of liters of the highly toxic substance into the environment. This happens here in Germany and the EU as well. The shareholder value has gone down more than fifty percent as a result of the glyphosate crimes. It continues it‘s way down, despite the settlement celebrated by BAYER".
Axel Köhler-Schnura, boardmember of the Coordination, states on the deal: "The normality hoped for by BAYER will not come as long as the mass poisoning continues. The protests, the resistance, the trials against BAYER will continue. The company is mercilessly contaminating people and the environment on a grand scale. This happens for only one reason: maximum profits. We‘re speaking about bodily injury, if not murder. Not to mention the high material damage and irreparable destruction of the environment. The responsible BAYER managers must be punished with the full force of the law. Production and distribution of glyphosate must be stopped immediately. The people affected must be fairly compensated, as must be their families and surviving dependants. The same goes for plaintiffs who live in countries under corrupt regimes, which are under corporate influence."
Marius Stelzmann (CBG) +49211/33 39 11