A Legal Roundup of Glyphosate: History & Outlook


Brigit Rollins, NALC staff attorney

Glyphosate is one of the most-used pesticides in the United States. It is the active ingredient in Roundup, which has been used for decades to combat stubborn weeds. In recent years, glyphosate has been at the center of several high-profile lawsuits where the plaintiffs claim that exposure to glyphosate caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The lawsuits have thus far resulted in several large awards granted to plaintiffs following jury trials, a large settlement available to thousands of plaintiffs, and an emerging legal issue that may ultimately be heard by the Supreme Court.

As these lawsuits have progressed through the court system, a question has arisen regarding preemption. Preemption occurs when a higher form of government reduces the authority of a lower level of government. If a federal law and a state law conflict, then the federal law has authority and will preempt the state law. Plaintiffs in glyphosate lawsuits tend to bring state law claims to argue that the manufacturer failed to warn them of the dangers posed by use of Roundup. However, pesticide labeling is largely regulated by federal law. Bayer, the company that manufactures Roundup, claims that federal pesticide labeling laws preempt the state law claims raised by plaintiffs in such a way that would prevent the plaintiffs from bringing those claims to court. Currently, the issue is on appeal to the United States Supreme Court. A ruling on the matter could potentially alter the course of pesticide litigation.

This webinar will provide an overview of the glyphosate litigation, including a brief history of how we got here, a breakdown of where things are currently, and an in-depth look at the issue of preemption and what it could mean for pesticide lawsuits.


Time and Date:


 Wednesday, February 16, 2022

12:00 – 1:00 (EST)

11:00 – 12:00 (CST)


View a recording of the webinar here.


Brigit began her life in Sonoma County, in the heart of California’s wine country. Growing up, she was surrounded by small farms, dairies, and wineries, which ultimately led to a passion for agriculture and the environment. She attended Sonoma State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies, and a minor in studio arts. While at Sonoma State, Brigit studied different types of agricultural methods and how those methods could be used to promote environmental sustainability. After graduating from Sonoma State in 2015, she started as a law student at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. While at Lewis & Clark, she worked as a student clerk for the Western Resources Legal Center, where she worked on cases assisting small ranches, farms, and municipalities. During her time at Lewis & Clark, she also interned with the California Farm Bureau Federation, and worked as a law clerk for the Sacramento-based environmental law firm Somach Simmons & Dunn. While at the California Farm Bureau, Brigit focused on Environmental Species Act issues and water law issues, as well as issues specific to California. While at Somach Simmons & Dunn, Brigit expanded her work on water law and participated in work involving federal Indian law. On campus, Brigit was on the board of Lewis & Clark’s Food & Ag Law Society and served as a student member of the ABA Public Lands Committee.  She is licensed to practice law in Oregon.

Brigit began her work at the Center as a research fellow during her second year of law school. As a research fellow, Brigit worked on a wide variety of agricultural law topics ranging from liability issues to the new frontier of lab-grown meat. In 2019, Brigit graduated from Lewis & Clark and joined the Center full-time. At the Center, her primary area of research and scholarship is environmental law as it intersects with agriculture. She maintains an interest in promoting sustainability and environmental health through agriculture and resource use.

Research & Materials:

Glyphosate webinar supplemental materials