Monsanto glyphosate weed killer could cost Bayer billions in damage lawsuits
United States agro-chemicals company Monsanto is facing a surge in lawsuits that may cost its new owners, Bayer, billions in damages. Monsanto manufactures glyphosate-based weed killers which some believe are carcinogenic. Last month it lost a US$ 289m court case that alleged its products Roundup and RangerPro had led to a Californian man's terminal cancer.
Bayer said the number of outstanding cases had risen from 5,200 to 8,000. The German firm's shares have lost 11% of their value since it lost the case in a California court to groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who claimed Monsanto herbicides containing glyphosate, had caused his non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Bayer shares fell another 1.7% on Thursday.
Chief executive Werner Baumann said that when it bought Monsanto, Bayer “could not foresee the scope of the current lawsuits.” The US$ 63bn deal was completed earlier this month.