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Bayer Agrees to Pay $10 Billion in Cancer Settlements
USAgNet - 06/25/2020

German pharmaceutical and life sciences giant Bayer has agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle tens of thousands of current and potential U.S. claims that its weedkiller Roundup causes cancer.

The world’s largest seed and agrochemical maker announced the settlement in a news release on Wednesday, saying it will allocate as much as $9.6 billion to resolve current Roundup litigation. The company said the pool will cover roughly 125,000 claims that allege the product leads to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The company said 75 percent of those cases were resolved as part of Wednesday’s agreement.

The Washington Post reports that the company will also set aside $1.25 billion for a separate class agreement for potential future claims, which will be subject to approval in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by Judge Vince Chhabria.

Bayer inherited a public relations and litigation crisis with its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto, a St. Louis-based agribusiness giant, in 2018. At the time, Monsanto maintained that glyphosate — the active weed-killing ingredient in Roundup — had a history of safe use, a stance that Bayer has since echoed.

But in 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled the herbicide as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Bayer emphasized that the settlement was not to be taken as an admission of liability or wrongdoing. Rather, it allows the company to “bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” chief executive Werner Baumann said in a statement.

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