They're At It Again! Now They Want Immunity from Pesticide Harm!

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In 1986, Congress passed, and President Ronald Reagan signed into law, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which granted vaccine manufacturers immunity from lawsuits alleging vaccine injuries or deaths. An administrative system of Vaccine Courts was established under the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to process any claims of injuries, but these panels were just a thin veneer slapped onto the legislation to ensure that all such claims would end up in a cul-de-sac with little or no recompense. In fact, two-thirds of all vaccine-injury claims submitted to these "courts" are denied. And, yet, even with that major hurdle, in the several decades since the vaccine courts were established, over $5 billion in awards have been paid to vaccine-injured claimants.

But that's not all. Lawsuit immunity greatly encouraged vaccine manufacturers to develop and market an increasing number of vaccines. Unsurprisingly, when you make any commodity "liability free" to manufacturers, it will quite naturally encourage more production and marketing of that commodity without the proper safety studies. After all, why the need for diligent care when you cannot be sued if anything goes wrong?

So, from the 1950s, when children received only 2-3 vaccinations until 1980, when children got 8 shots, after 1986, the vaccine tally ballooned up to 49 doses of 14 vaccines by the age of six in 2012! Of course, it didn't hurt this growth industry at all that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) placed some 70 vaccines on its "recommended" list, or that as of 2017 the CDC itself had become a drug company holding at least 20 patents for various vaccine developments, manufacturing, delivery, adjuvants.[i] Not coincidentally, the number of vaccine injured also exploded as well.

Monsanto/Bayer Battered by Lawsuits

Without the shelter from liability that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 affords vaccine manufacturers, big agricultural corporations like Monsanto (now Bayer) that literally spread glyphosate poisons far and wide across the Globe have had to continually look over their shoulders in fear of litigation. The large litigation reserves on company balance sheets, which have increased with every year from 2014-2017, attest to this. So, given the extremely toxic nature of glyphosate, it was inevitable, then, that lawsuits would be filed against Monsanto and others for the serious harms wreaked by Roundup®.

In fact, Monsanto and Bayer have been hammered by more than 18,000 plaintiffs filing lawsuits alleging harm from their pesticide products. Some of the lawsuits have seen large jury awards handed to those plaintiffs. In the Johnson case, Hardeman case, and the Pilliod case, juries awarded $289.2 million, $80 million, and $2.055 billion in damages, respectively. All of these awards, however, were reduced by the presiding judges.

Still, the lawsuits and judgments against Monsanto/Bayer kept coming. Fast forward to October 31, 2023, when a San Diego jury awarded plaintiff Mike Dennis $332 million in damages against Monsanto/Bayer for the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that his decades of Roundup® use caused him to develop.

Then, on January 26, 2024, a Philadelphia jury gave its verdict that awarded $2.25 billion to plaintiff John McKivison, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup® for twenty years.

Interestingly enough, in the Dennis case, the jury actually found that while Bayer failed to provide warnings of Roundup's risks, the product itself was neither defective nor the company negligent. It would seem, then, that the most effective legal argument to use against the pesticide industry was the industry's failure to warn consumers of the health dangers in using its products. Now, if the pesticide industry could only eliminate that cause of action from legal complaints, then it just might find a way out from under the avalanche of lawsuits and crushing jury awards.

A Page Out of the Vaccine Playbook

So, apparently, Bayer hatched a clever scheme to introduce legislation in the various State legislatures carving out legal immunity for itself when it comes to failing to warn consumers about the dangers of its pesticide products. Bayer lobbyists helpfully assisted in wording the legislation and in arguing in favor of its passage. The bill introduced first in Idaho was seen nationally as the test case for these kinds of bills and used wording similar to the wording in bills currently being pushed in Iowa and Missouri.

In Idaho, Senate Bill 1245 was nicknamed the "Pesticide Immunity Bill." Approved on February 7, 2024, after a 5-3 vote in the Idaho Senate Commerce & Human Resources Committee, the bill went down to defeat in the full Senate on February 15th by a vote of 19-15 despite the urgings of the Bayer corporate lobbyist. The bill would have given pesticide manufacturers immunity against liability for the distribution and sale of any U.S.-approved pesticides that are labeled with EPA-sanctioned labels. While the bill would not have prohibited lawsuits based on other claims, the "failure to warn" claim is one of the strongest and most often used legal claims asserted against Bayer. We can all thank the Idaho Conservation League, the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, the Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, and Vision 2C Resource Council, as well as numerous farmers and other individuals, for their strong and persistent opposition to this sham legislation.[ii]

In Iowa, Senate Bill 3163 is similar to the Idaho bill. Sponsored by Bayer, it also prohibits lawsuits against pesticide manufacturers on a "failure to warn" claim, stating, in pertinent part, that, "a label provides sufficient warning if it complies with any one of three criteria: (1) it was approved by the EPA, (2) it is consistent with the most recent human health assessment performed under the federal Act, or (3) it is consistent with the EPA's carcinogenicity classification for the pesticide. In each case, the label is sufficient to satisfy any requirements for a warning regarding health or safety." On February 15, 2024, the Iowa Senate Committee on Agriculture approved the bill in its report to the State Senate. There is growing opposition to this bill, as with the Idaho bill.

In Missouri, House Bill 2763 tracks closely the Idaho and Iowa bills. It states in its subpart 10 that, "any pesticide registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a pesticide label approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or a pesticide label consistent with the most recent human health assessment performed under FIFRA, or consistent with the United States Environmental Protection Agency carcinogenicity classification of the pesticide under FIFRA, shall be sufficient to satisfy any requirement for a warning label regarding health or safety or any other provision of current law." Again, this bill, if enacted into law, would kick the legs out from under most lawsuits against Bayer and other pesticide corporations.[iii] As of February 22, 2024, the House bill has only reached the stage of a second reading. Opposition to this bill has also formed.

Why You Must Act

If these and other State immunity bills pass, then expect to be drenched in pesticides. Already over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United States each and every year, while approximately 5.6 billion pounds are used worldwide.[iv] On January 24, 2017, the United Nations (UN) published a report in which it stated that although pesticide use has correlated with a rise in food production, it has had catastrophic impacts upon human health and the environment. The report went on to say that "increased food production has not succeeded in eliminating hunger worldwide. Reliance on hazardous pesticides is a short-term solution that undermines the rights to adequate food and health for present and future generations." In fact, the UN blames pesticides for poisoning at least 200,000 people each year.[v] I think that figure is very conservative.[vi]

Touted as an all-purpose weed killer, glyphosate tops the list of poisons applied every day to plants and soil that in turn destroy humans, animals, and our environment. Some 9.4 million tons of glyphosate have been spread on our fields. It is in our water table, our soil, crops, the food industry, and over 90% of Westerners have it in their bodies and even breastmilk. In fact, 33% of our bread contains glyphosate, the World's biggest selling weed killer.[vii] Despite industry assurances that glyphosate is "safe" and "environmentally friendly," there is increasing awareness that glyphosate is nothing more than a replay of DDT with its similar pronouncements of "certified safe" and "completely harmless."[viii] Some experts attribute tens of thousands of deaths to glyphosate usage.[ix]

The science against glyphosate is compelling. In 2008, a study by eminent oncologists Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Mikael Eriksson of Sweden revealed clear links between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer.[x] This study supported the earlier findings of a Danish team that showed Roundup® caused chromosome aberrations; and of course the principal active component in Roundup® is glyphosate.[xi]

Other studies have shown links between exposure to many commonly used pesticides, such as chlorpyrifos and glyphosate, and chronic and degenerative health problems including cancer, Parkinson's disease, brain underdevelopment, and even erectile dysfunction. And that is just on humans alone.

At numerous Codex Alimentarius meetings from Hong Kong to Rome, I argued against the use of chlorpyrifos, glyphosate, and dozens of other pesticides and herbicides. Too often, all I received for my trouble were ripples of barely suppressed laughter from the industry front groups present there. The pesticide industry's influence is both implacable and global.

What You Can Do

Actually, volumes could be (and have been) written about pesticide harm to humans, animals, insects, and the environment as a whole. This relatively brief article cannot do the subject justice. However, what we do know is that granting blanket immunity to pesticide manufacturers - which is essentially what these State bills would do - poses an existential threat to us all. We also know that each and every one of us can take action now to stop these bills from passing.

The National Health Federation has campaigns that are both easy to access and to use in sending your thoughts to the State representatives in Iowa and Missouri. For Iowa, go to:; and for Missouri, go to: Please do so especially if you are a resident in one of those two States. While you are at it, you might take a few minutes to thank those Idaho State Senators who voted down the pesticide-immunity bill in that State ( And please do it now while it's fresh in your mind. Our health and even our lives are at stake here, and this scheme must be stopped before it spreads across the country.


[i] Ginger Taylor, "Examining RFK Jr.'s claim that the CDC 'Owns over 20 vaccine patents,'" GreenMedInfo, Jan 17, 2017, at

[ii] Mark Richardson, "ID coalition helps defeat bill to grant lawsuit immunity to pesticides industry," MSN, Feb 19, 2024, at

[iii] Logically then, if Bayer's claims were correct, and their products do fit within and abide by all of the EPA's classifications and safety terms and conditions, then ultimately, who is the real one to blame and hold responsible for the countless toxic products (not only Monsanto's) flooding the whole country (for decades)? The EPA of course.

[iv] Michael C.R. Alavanja, "Pesticides Use and Exposure Extensive Worldwide," Reviews on Environmental Health, 2009 Oct-Dec, 24(4): 303-309, at

[v] Ryan Rifai, "UN: 200,000 die each year from pesticide poisoning," Al-Jazeera, March 8, 2017; UN News, "UN human rights experts call for global treaty to regulate dangerous pesticides,", 07 March 2017, at,-7%20March%202017&text=Two%20United%20Nations%20human%20rights,move%20towards%20sustainable%20agricultural%20practices.

[vi] And the Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) stated that "pesticides and harmful chemicals cause more than 900,000 deaths annually." See WECF, "Pesticides and harmful chemicals cause more than 900,000 deaths annually," WECF website, Oct. 10, 2012, at

[vii] David Noakes, "The Glyphosate Killer," Health Freedom News, Summer 2016, Vol. 34, No. 2, p. 30.

[viii] Dr. Joseph Mercola, "Toxic Combo of Roundup and Fertilizers Blamed for Tens of Thousands of Deaths,", April 8, 2014, at

[ix] Ibid.

[x] Eriksson M, Hardell L, Carlberg M, et al., "Pesticide exposure as risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma including histopathological subgroup analysis," International Journal of Cancer, 11 July 2008, at

[xi] Rank J, Jensen A-G, Skov B, et al., "Genotoxicity testing of the herbicide Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate isopropylamine using the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test, Salmonella mutagenicity test, and Allium anaphase-telophase test," Mutation Research, June 1993, 300(1): 29-36, at

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