CTV News, BERLIN -- Bayer said Wednesday that it will pay up to $10.9 billion to settle litigation over the weedkiller Roundup, which has faced thousands of lawsuits over claims it causes cancer.
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in the Roundup herbicide, is recognized as the world's most widely used weed killer and widely used as a desiccate for oat crops in North America.
An increasing number of North American food companies processing oats no longer accept crops spray with Roundup. One major North American oat miller has officially indicated they will not accept oats with Roundup, while we are hearing of another major miller that is also following this practice but no public announcement has been made.
The company said the settlement over Roundup, which is made by its Monsanto subsidiary, involves about 125,000 filed and unfiled claims. Under the agreement, Bayer will make a payment of $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve current litigation, and $1.25 billion to address potential future litigation, even as the company continues to maintain that Roundup is safe.
“In short, this is the right action at the right time for Bayer,” CEO Werner Baumann said during a conference call with reporters. In a statement, he called the settlement “financially reasonable when viewed against the significant financial risks of continued, multi-year litigation and the related impacts to our reputation and to our business.”
Monsanto developed glyphosate - a key ingredient in Roundup - in the 1970s. The weedkiller has been sold in more than 160 countries and widely used in the U.S.
Bayer, which bought St. Louis-based Monsanto in 2018, said last year that all government regulators that have looked at the issue have rejected a link between cancer and glyphosate.