This article originally appeared on Yahoo Life by Jonathan Stempel of Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Bayer AG agreed on Thursday to pay $6.9 million to settle claims by New York Attorney General Letitia James that it misled consumers by advertising Roundup weedkiller, which has been linked to cancer, as environmentally safe.
The settlement resolves accusations that Bayer and its Monsanto unit failed to substantiate their repeated claims about Roundup products containing the active ingredient glyphosate.
These included that Roundup “won’t harm anything but weeds” and “do not pose a threat to the health of animal wildlife,” as well as suggestions in since-removed YouTube videos that Roundup was safer than detergent and soap.
James said the claims violated state laws against false and misleading advertising, and breached Monsanto’s 1996 settlement with New York over its advertising of Roundup at the time.
“Pesticides can cause serious harm to the health of our environment, and pose a deadly threat to wildlife,” and companies that make them must be “honest” with consumers about the dangers, James said in a statement.
Thursday’s settlement requires Bayer to stop advertising glyphosate-based Roundup as a safe and non-toxic product.
The $6.9 million will be spent on reducing the impact of pesticides on pollinators and aquatic species.
Bayer did not admit or deny wrongdoing.
In a statement, the German company said it was pleased to settle. It also noted that the attorney general probe, which began in 2020, drew no scientific conclusions about Roundup.
Bayer has faced extensive litigation over whether Roundup causes cancer since it spent $63 billion to buy Monsanto in 2018.
It agreed to settle much of that litigation for $10.9 billion in 2020. As of February, about 109,000 of the 154,000 claims Bayer has faced had been settled or deemed ineligible.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Aurora Ellis)