Croplife America filed an amicus curiae brief on Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing in favor of Monsanto in a petition that it filed a few weeks previously. The lawsuit was initially filed by Edwin Hardeman, an individual who alleged he was harmed by glyphosate which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.
Croplife America, a plant science industry trade association, explained that its membership includes companies who develop and sell herbicides and are very invested in crop protection products. The brief said that it “is committed to safe and responsible use of the industry’s products.”
In the brief, the amicus curiae defended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to approve the product, explaining that the EPA thoroughly reviews the products and the science behind them before granting the registration. Additionally Croplife America explained that the companies it represents spend an average of $286 million to research a product, and registration costs are rising due to an increase in the data required.
The company urged the Supreme Court to grant Monsanto’s petition and hear the case, and noted that it was selected as a bellwether case and will affect the liability of members of Croplife America “in literally thousands of pending cases.”
The brief summarized that the question at issue in this matter is whether juries, acting under state laws, are able to override an EPA decision that a product does not need to have a warning, for this case, the warning that glyphosate causes or could cause cancer.
CropLife America purported that the decision being appealed is “manifestly wrong on an issue of substantial public importance,” because it ruled that the matter should be decided by lower courts and did not consider that under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act it had already been determined that glyphosate-based products do not cause cancer.
Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer AG, has said that it asked the Supreme Court to address this lawsuit specifically because it addresses the questions of federal preemption and expert evidence admissibility.
Croplife America is represented by Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Monsanto is represented by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. Hardeman is represented by Moore Law Group, Wagstaff Law Firm, and Public Justice.