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Saturday, December 9, 2023

$1.5 billion: glyphosate verdict

After being sentenced to pay $1.5 billion, Bayer plans to appeal. The ruling is not the first legal setback.

Protest posters in front of a building entrance

Extinction Rebellion protested in front of the entrance to the chemical company Bayer last year Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

LEVERKUSEN afp | The Leverkusen-based chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer wants another ruling from a US court to pay compensation for damage to health caused by the weed killer glyphosate contest. The US courts “unacceptably allowed the plaintiffs to misrepresent the regulatory and scientific facts,” a company spokesman told the afp news agency on Sunday.

A court in Jefferson City, Missouri, ordered Bayer subsidiary Monsanto to pay more than $1.5 billion to three plaintiffs on Friday, according to financial service Bloomberg. The plaintiffs attribute their cancer to years of using the controversial weedkiller.

The plaintiffs were “allowed to claim” that “there were safety concerns during the process of re-approval in the EU and the assessment by the American environmental agency EPA,” criticized the company spokesman. He pointed out that the Just last week, the EU Commission decided to approve the drug for another ten years. “And the EPA continues to confirm that glyphosate is not carcinogenic,” he added.

There has been a global struggle over the use of glyphosate for years. The product is important for agriculture, but can affect the environment and is suspected of being carcinogenic. In the USA, thousands of cases of cancer suspected to be caused by glyphosate have ended up in court. Bayer was partly acquitted and partly legally ordered to pay damages or paid as part of settlements.

Friday’s ruling is the fourth legal setback for Bayer in a month. A number of judgments had previously been in favor of the group. Bayer took over the glyphosate manufacturer Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion and has since been embroiled in numerous court cases. Around 113,000 of the 160,000 cases brought by alleged victims have been completed so far. The group has set aside provisions for this amounting to $16 billion.

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