Additionally, after a California jury ordered Germany’s Bayer’s (BAYGn.DE) unit, Monsanto, to pay $289 million for not warning of cancer risk posed by its most popular weed killer products, Roundup and Ranger Pro, shares of the German company fell more than 12 percent on Monday (equivalent of roughly $14 billion in value) .
The company paid this money in damages to California school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson. The reason is that the company’s weedkillers Roundup and Ranger Pro gave him non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system, and weren’t adequately labeled to detail those risks.
“The jury’s verdict is at odds with the weight of scientific evidence, decades of real-world experience and the conclusions of regulators around the world that all confirm glyphosate is safe and does not cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” Bayer said in a statement.
This year in June, Bayer acquired Monsanto for $63 billion. Currently, it faces more than 5 thousand lawsuits, that are similar to the one mentioned before, across the United States. The company plans to appeal the verdict.
If all 5,000 existing lawsuits return the same verdict as Johnson’s, Bayer could owe $1.45 trillion in damages — more than enough to bankrupt a company with a market cap around $104 billion.
For years, health and environmentally focused agencies have debated whether or not glyphosate, the main chemical in both Monsanto’s weedkillers, actually can cause cancer. In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an agency within the World Health Organization, determined it is probably carcinogenic in humans.”
However, in December 2017, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency analysis of numerous studies led to the conclusion that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans — the data suggested the relationship wasn’t there.