Senate Passes Bill Providing Liability Protection to Chemical Companies

by Brian Wilson
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A bill that’s passed the Iowa Senate would block lawsuits against farm chemical companies based on how the products are labeled. It means the companies couldn’t be sued for failing to warn of potential health risks if product labels meet federal guidelines. Senate President Amy Sinclair, a Republican from Allerton, says the development of farm chemicals has led to advancements in agriculture.

In February a federal appeals court refused to dismiss a lawsuit claiming Roundup causes cancer and the C-E-O of Bayer, the company that produces Roundup, recently told investors lawsuits are a huge burden for the company. Senator Jeff Edler, a Republican from State Center, says the costs of Bayer’s legal predicament are passed along to farmers.

Thirty Republican Senators voted for the bill. Four other Republicans joined Deomcrats in the Senate in voting against it. Senator Molly Donahue, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says the legislature should be looking out for farmers.

Senator Janice Weiner, a Democrat from Iowa City, says the legislature should be focused on responding to the fact Iowa has the fastest rising cancer rate in the country.

A key lawmaker in the HOUSE says the bill could soon come up for a vote in a House committee. Similar legislation has been introduced in Missouri and Idaho, but Idaho’s Senate rejected the bill in February.

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