Controversial weed killer: Bayer wins another glyphosate process

Status: 10.12.2021 10:13 a.m.

After an initial success in October, Bayer has also won a second lawsuit against possible cancer caused by the weed killer glyphosate in the United States. Is there now a supreme court vote?

In the year-long dispute over the health damage caused by the weed killer glyphosate, the DAX group Bayer has won a second legal victory in the USA. A California jury found that the drug was not the cause of a woman’s cancer. The plaintiff had attributed her illness to the glyphosate-containing weed killer Roundup, which she had used for several years.

“The jury’s verdict in our favor ends the proceedings and confirms that Roundup is not the cause of Donnetta Stephens’ cancer. We have great sympathy for Donnetta Stephens, but we share the jury’s view that Roundup is not the cause of her illness.” , explained the Leverkusen-based agrochemical and pharmaceutical company.

The ruling is the fifth of its kind in the US wave of lawsuits over glyphosate. So far, Bayer has lost three lawsuits in the first instance with multi-million dollar damages in the dispute over the allegedly carcinogenic weed killer and has suffered defeats in all previous appeals. Bayer brought in the wave of lawsuits with the 63 billion dollar takeover of the American glyphosate manufacturer Monsanto. It caused Bayer’s share price to collapse by over 60 percent. Almost 30 billion euros in market value were destroyed as a result.

Waiting for the Supreme Court

In the morning the shareholders react to the second legal success with price gains. But the joy of investors was limited, because the verdict is not a final decision in the dispute over the weed killer.

For Bayer, a fundamental decision on the matter is unlikely to come until the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court wants to discuss the acceptance of a complaint from Bayer in a glyphosate case today. Whether the judges will accept the landmark case for trial is expected to be announced next Monday, according to the Supreme Court’s calendar of meetings. The decision is of enormous importance for the continuation of the glyphosate cause.

The question is whether Monsanto should have put a warning label on the weed killer containers under current US law. Because the decision about it is incumbent on the US environmental protection agency EPA. However, it classifies glyphosate as safe and saw no need for such a change.

Provisions of $ 4.5 billion

First of all, it is a question of whether the Supreme Court will even accept the case for review. Even accepting the proceedings would be a positive sign for Bayer, because the Supreme Court does this very rarely and only when it sees a need for correction. According to experts, a supreme court decision in favor of Bayer would amount to an exemption for the DAX group. The Leverkusen-based group hopes that it will then end the glyphosate disputes. Above all, possible future lawsuits are in focus.

In the event that the Supreme Court does not want to deal with the glyphosate case or ultimately decides against Bayer, the group had set up provisions of $ 4.5 billion in the summer. Bayer would then use the money to set up a program to deal with claims from new plaintiffs over the next 15 years. Bayer had previously set aside around $ 11 billion for a settlement package to settle US lawsuits.

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