Bayer plans to phase out use of harmful chemical in Roundup

Media Contacts
Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

Starting in 2023, company says it will end U.S. sales of certain glyphosate-based herbicides


BOSTON — As Bayer faces ​​$4.5 billion dollars in litigation costs, the company announced Thursday it would remove weed-killing compound glyphosate from its lawn and garden products in the United States as early as 2023. The move comes 13 months after Bayer settled for about $10 billion dollars with 95,000 plaintiffs who alleged that the glyphosate in Bayer’s Roundup, the most widely used weedkiller in the country, causes cancer.

Studies have linked glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup to cancer, reproductive problems and other health issues. To date, at least two U.S. courts — including a federal appeals court in May — have ruled in favor of plaintiffs who blamed their non-Hodgkins lymphoma on glyphosate.

U.S. PIRG and our national network have raised the alarm about the dangers of glyphosate to the public and decision-makers for years. Local campaigns to ban Roundup are picking up momentum, with more and more cities already phasing out or restricting use of the pesticide, including Boulder, Colorado; Dubuque, Iowa; Miami and, most recently, Baltimore and Philadelphia. 

In response, Matt Casale, PIRG environment campaigns director, issued the following statement: 

“It’s absurd that a weed killer, designed to make our lives more convenient and food production more efficient, should be allowed to put public health at risk. Americans shouldn’t be subject to harmful chemicals that could cause cancer when they’re just trying to take care of their lawns.” 

“In the U.S., 26 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on public parks, playgrounds, schools and gardens every year, creating potentially serious health problems for people across the country. Bayer should not only remove glyphosate from its weed killers, including Roundup, but reformulate with alternatives that don’t pose a risk to human health. If that’s how they implement today’s announcement, it will be an important win for the health of all Americans and take us one step closer to zeroing out toxics.”