The Strategist

Bayer shares fall after US court decides that glyphosate causes cancer

03/21/2019 - 11:50

Jury in San Francisco acknowledged that glyphosate, which is contained in an anti-weed agent, may contribute to development of cancer. Shares of the German company Bayer fell by 13 percent.

Conan via flickr
Conan via flickr
On Wednesday, March 20, Federal jury in San Francisco recognized glyphosate as a "significant factor" that influenced development of cancer in 70-year-old men who had been actively using it for nearly three decades. The jury's decision should be a precedent, as it was first considered in US federal court. In total, there are about 11,000 lawsuits in the US courts against Monsanto, which produced glyphosate as a means to destroy weeds.

The American process has a direct impact on the German economy, since the German concern Bayer bought Monsanto for $ 63 billion in 2018, which was the most expensive foreign purchase made by a German company in history. Since the announcement of the jury’s decision, Bayer shares have fallen by 13 percent. In total, since the purchase of Monsanto, the shares of the German concern fell by 40 percent.

The company was obliged to pay $ 78 million to a cancer patient.

On October 22, 2018, a California court ordered Monsanto to pay $ 78 million to another victim with cancer. The jury found that the herbicide glyphosate "largely" contributed to development of the disease in a 46-year-old man. Previously, he worked as a caretaker of school grounds and used the tool for several years. According to the jury, the company did not warn buyers of their products that herbicides can lead to cancer.

Experts have no consensus on the effect of glyphosate on human health. Earlier, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and a number of regulatory bodies in the European Union reported that there are no risks of developing cancer as a result of the use of this herbicide. In turn, in 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the substance may be a carcinogen.

The American company Monsanto is one of the leaders in the global market for sales of genetically modified seeds and herbicides. Since June 2018, it belongs to the German concern Bayer.


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