Quantcast

Beekeepers File Legal Complaint Against Bayer Over Glyphosate in Honey

Pexels

Bayer, which recently wrapped up its takeover of Monsanto, now owns glyphosate and the liabilities surrounding it.


Last Thursday, the same day the $63 billion acquisition closed, a beekeeping cooperative in northern France filed a legal complaint against the German chemical giant after the controversial weedkiller was detected in honey produced by one of its members, AFP reported.

Famille Michaud, one of France's largest honey marketers, found the chemical in three batches supplied by one of its members, according to Jean-Marie Camus, the head of the 200-member beekeeping union, L'Abeille de l'Aisne.

"They systematically analyze the honey shipments they receive, and they found glyphosate," Camus told AFP.

Vincent Michaud, president of Famille Michaud, confirmed to AFP that "we regularly detect foreign substances, including glyphosate." He noted that if glyphosate is found, the supplier's entire shipment is rejected.

The supplier of the tainted honey lives near an area of field crops, including rapeseed, beets and sunflowers, Emmanuel Ludot, a lawyer for the cooperative, explained to AFP.

"But you also can't forget the weekend gardeners who often tend to use Roundup," he added, referring to Monsanto's widely used glyphosate-based herbicide brand.

The initiators of the legal complaint hope their action will open an investigation that will determine the percentage of glyphosate in honey batches and whether the contamination could lead to any health consequences for consumers.

"It's also a matter of knowing how widespread this might be. Famille Michaud tells me this isn't an isolated case," Ludot said.

In 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the substance as "probably carcinogenic," although Monsanto and other scientific panels, including the European Food Safety Authority, disagree.

In November, a majority of European Union member states voted to renew the license for the product for five years. French President Emmanuel Macron, however, has vowed to ban glyphosate within three years.

Bayer told French publication Le Figaro that it was informed about the legal complaint by the press and "no judicial information has been notified to date."

Monsanto faces more than 2,000 lawsuits in the U.S. alone over Roundup cancer claims. As German newspaper Handelsblatt Global noted, "Bayer is pointing to studies that suggest glyphosate is safe, but this will likely not spare Monsanto, and therefore Bayer, incalculable costs in terms of financial resources and time spent on legal proceedings."

Bayer, whose mega-merger with Monsanto has created the world's largest seed and chemical company, will retire the St. Louis-based corporation's 117-year-old name.

"Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio," the firm announced.

Critics have dubbed the purchase as a "merger from hell," over fears that the integrated company will use its dominance in one product to push sales of other products.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

In tea, food, or just on your windowsill, embrace the fragrance and fantastic healing potential of herbs.

Read More Show Less

By Ana Santos Rutschman

The world of food and drug regulation was rocked earlier this month by the news of a change in leadership at the Food and Drug Administration. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigned and will step down in early April. His temporary replacement is Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
MartinPrescott / iStock / Getty Images

On Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first 20 chemicals it plans to prioritize as "high priority" for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Given the EPA's record of malfeasance on chemicals policy over the past two years, it is clear that these are chemicals that EPA is prioritizing to ensure that they are not properly evaluated or regulated.

Read More Show Less
Strawberries top the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of U.S. produce most contaminated with pesticides. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP / Getty Images

Which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are most contaminated with pesticides? That's the question that the Environmental Working Group answers every year with its "Dirty Dozen" list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.

Read More Show Less
A drilling rig in a Wyoming natural gas field. William Campbell / Corbis via Getty Images

A U.S. federal judge temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on 300,000 acres of federal leases in Wyoming Tuesday, arguing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "did not sufficiently consider climate change" when auctioning off the land, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mizina / iStock / Getty Images

By Ryan Raman, MS, RD

Oats are widely regarded as one of the healthiest grains you can eat, as they're packed with many important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Read More Show Less
JPMorgan Chase building in New York City. Ben Sutherland / CC BY 2.0

By Sharon Kelly

A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.

Read More Show Less
Sriram Madhusoodanan of Corporate Accountability speaking on conflict of interest demand of the People's Demands at a defining action launching the Demands at COP24. Corporate Accountability

By Patti Lynn

2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."

Read More Show Less