Bayer wins yet another US glyphosate process

KANSAS CITY / LEVERKUSEN Bayer pharmaceutical and agrochemical group won another lawsuit in the US over alleged cancer risk of herbicidal glyphosate. A jury in a Kansas City, Missouri court ruled on Thursday in favor of Dax (local time) and ruled that the herbicide was not responsible for plaintiff Allan Shelton’s illness. Bayer welcomed this, but also sympathized with Shelton. Bayer shares were the only Dax value that opened positive on Friday morning, but then fell. Recently, the paper was about 1.2 percent lower at 64.59 euros. On the stock exchange, however, the glyphosate issue has largely lost its fear, as the agricultural industry is booming, and the outlook for the pharmaceutical division of Leverkusen has also improved in recent months. This year, the share has strengthened strongly against the general tendency and has already gained almost 40%. Bayer took a serious legal risk in 2018, buying the US seed giant Monsanto, which produces the controversial Roundup herbicide containing glyphosate, for $ 60 billion. The group has now won three glyphosate lawsuits in a row in the US, but previously also lost three lawsuits in a row. The Leverkusen team is dealing with many other similar lawsuits in the US. The jury’s verdict reflects evidence that Roundup was not the cause of the cancer, a company spokesman said. “This conclusion is in line with 40 years of scientific evidence and regulatory assessments around the world that Roundup is safe to use and non-carcinogenic.” The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to recognize the case in which Bayer was convicted in 2019 is expected to be relevant to the further development of this important legal construction site. According to court documents, nine judges from the Supreme Court held their debates on Thursday. The result is usually announced the following Monday, but publication on Friday is possible. In the case of plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, the company was sentenced to pay more than $ 25 million in damages about three years ago. Hardeman also blames the cancer of the glyphosate-based weed from Monsanto. Bayer hopes the Supreme Court will review and overturn the verdict – which would send a signal to many other proceedings. However, this has not been the case recently, and the US government has advised judges not to accept the case. While not binding on the US Supreme Court, it makes a trial unlikely. However, it should be noted that only four of the nine judges need to consent to be accepted, so no majority is required. In an application to the Supreme Court, Bayer argues with the so-called “Federal Preemption.” The company’s position is that claims for compensation for allegedly inadequate cancer risk warnings cannot exist under state law if they are contrary to federal law. In addition, the group is of the opinion that the admission of experts as plaintiffs’ witnesses did not meet federal standards in this trial. In case the Supreme Court declines to deal with the glyphosate case or ultimately passes a ruling against Bayer, the company created additional reserves of $ 4.5 billion last summer. The company then plans to use this money to develop a program to deal with claims from potential new claimants in the US in the next 15 years. According to Bayer, Roundup is safe when used as directed. However, if negotiations are held and a judgment is passed in favor of Dax, the rules may be partially waived. Pharmaceutical experts at Switzerland’s largest bank, Credit Suisse, calculate that every billion dollars in reserves corresponds to about 1.4 percent of the market value of Bayer shares. If the proceedings were rejected, not much would change with the rules already established for potential lawsuits. Bayer is looking to reduce the risk of future lawsuits by no longer containing glyphosate in the US version of Roundup herbicide for private buyers from 2023. Most of the current lawsuits come from private consumers. In addition, Bayer was already restrictive in comparing existing cases, which had already been largely investigated anyway. The fact that the group won the Shelton trial in Kansas City this Thursday should reinforce that approach.

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