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Bayer AG, a German chemical maker, has lost its weedkiller appeal at the US Supreme Court. The loss at the US apex court is the latest setback for the chemical company, which is defending itself against tens of thousands of cases in the US about its weedkiller Roundup.
The herbicide’s purported cancer dangers are a point of contention for Bayer, who is denying that it provided proper warnings about them. Accordingly, the company should be immune from liability because official authorities have approved the goods. Instead, the business might now be subject to legal claims worth billions of dollars after the Supreme Court rejected its appeal.
Judges ruled that they would not hear the case, upholding a $25 million judgment made to a California man who used Roundup and claimed that using the glyphosate-based pesticide on his land caused his cancer.
Bayer stated on Tuesday that it “respectfully” disagreed with the court’s ruling and claimed that it “undermined the ability of companies to depend on official acts performed by expert regulatory organizations.” Glyphosate, the herbicide on which Roundup and many other weedkillers are based, may be carcinogenic, and Bayer is currently being sued over this possibility. Despite being labeled “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization in 2015, glyphosate is still legal in the US and other countries, including Europe.
In a different lawsuit last week, a federal appeals court determined that the US Environmental Protection Agency had not fully considered the risks that glyphosate poses to humans and the environment. This decision may necessitate further study by regulators.
As part of its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto in 2018, Bayer acquired the Roundup brand. Bayer has defended the chemical’s safety.
In its appeal to the court, Bayer argued that it shouldn’t be held accountable for promoting a product “where the product does not cause cancer,” as is the nearly unanimous opinion of scientists and regulators.
It was mentioned that in 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency really told manufacturers not to put cancer warnings on their labels, claiming that doing so would be deceptive.
Bayer AG has lost three Roundup cases in court, including the one that prompted the Supreme Court appeal, but has won four.
To resolve tens of thousands of complaints, it announced an approximate $11 billion settlement in 2020. Bayer stated that out of a total of over 138,000 instances, approximately 107,000 had been addressed in a March update to investors. The total amount set aside for prospective reimbursements is almost $15 billion.
Bayer has stated that it intends to swap out glyphosate with other active chemicals for herbicides targeted at the US residential market.
The announcement caused shares to drop by about 3%.