On Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended
glyphosate while testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) said that considering the many glyphosate-related lawsuits
against Bayer, the company could pull the product from the market if it determines
selling the product is not worth the legal risk.
Perdue said such a move would be “devastating,”
adding that the product has “exponentially” increased production in the
last 25 years along with other crop protection chemicals.
“I’m afraid that while groups that oppose these types
of uses have not been able to win on the science side, they've chosen the
litigation route,” he said. “I’m hoping that the appeals court will
see through this and make better decisions about that,” he added.
“What we’re seeing in the E.U. along this route, I call
it the ‘technology-free zone,’” Perdue said. “I think again they will
pay the price for this in the future.”
In 2015, the World Health Organization declared glyphosate to
be “probably carcinogenic.” This prompted many of the pending 1,600 legal cases to
be filed. However, an investigation by
the news agency Reuters later found key information that the pesticide, in
fact, does not cause cancer in animals, and that information had been omitted from
In 2016, the EPA affirmed glyphosate does not cause cancer,
and in 2017 a long-term study by the National Cancer Institute following 50,000
people over 20 years also showed no link between glyphosate and cancer.