Bayer Shares Plummet Upon Verdict That Roundup Caused Man's Cancer


Bayer denies allegations that Roundup, or glyphosate, cause cancer.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said Tuesday's decision showed that the August jury verdict was not an aberration and that the Hardeman case could be an indication of what may happen in future similar cases.

"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer", said Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018.

Edwin Hardeman, the plaintiff in the case, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in 2015 after using Roundup to kill poison oak and weeds on his property for over 20 years. "As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up". That award was later reduced to $US78 million and is on appeal. We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and that the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer.

Monsanto, which has sold Roundup worldwide for more than 40 years, contends that scores of studies show the products are not risky if properly used.

It was reported in April a year ago that Bayer sold 3.6 per cent stake to Temasek for 3 billion euros at 96.77 euros per share.

In the first federal case of what could become thousands of lawsuits, a jury found the world's most widely used herbicide was likely responsible for a California man's cancer, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them".

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Chief executive Werner Baumann said last month the company faced a total of 11,200 United States cases over Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate, a herbicide key to Monsanto's business model that has come in for intense scrutiny around the world. Together with its existing holding in Bayer, Temasek would then own about 4 percent in Bayer after the transaction.

The next stage of the trial will consider Bayer's liability and damages. It's set to appear in six more trials in federal and state courts this year.

Bayer, which closed on the purchase of Monsanto last summer, faces more than 11,000 USA lawsuits alleging that glyphosate causes cancer.

As at yesterday's closing, Bayer's share price was 69.70 euros.

But last August, in the first state trial over whether Roundup can cause cancer, California jurors awarded former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

The EU's executive body, the European Commission, pointed to the approval of glyphosate by its two scientific agencies, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency, which do not classify the substance as carcinogenic.

Hardeman's lawyers, Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore, said they look forward to presenting that evidence to the jury to hold Monsanto accountable.