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When the Law Isn’t on Your Side, Politics Might Be

Bayer deploys Big Ag buddies to push Biden on Roundup litigation issue

Two weeks after a top Justice Department official advised the U.S. Supreme Court there was “no sound reason” for the high court to review a loss by Monsanto owner Bayer AG in nationwide Roundup cancer litigation, a coalition of large agricultural groups is demanding that President Joe Biden withdraw the opinion.

Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, has looked to the U.S. Supreme Court as its last and best hope for putting an end to ongoing litigation over allegations that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL.) Bayer has asked the Supreme Court to take up the case.

But Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar advised the court earlier this month that Bayer’s arguments for seeking Supreme Court review were “misconceived,” and there was no valid dispute for the high court to consider.

The agricultural groups responded Monday with a blistering letter to President Biden. The May 23 letter to the White House alleges that the May 10 brief filed with the Supreme Court by Prelogar established “new policy” that “poses great risks to our science-based regulatory system and global food systems.”

The groups called on Biden to withdraw Prelogar’s brief and “consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the implications of this decision for food production, environmental sustainability, and science-based regulation.”