Chemical firm Bayer is to pay up to $10.9bn to settle cancer claims linked to its Roundup weed-killer. According to a BBC News report, the glyphosate-based product has been subject to about 125 000 lawsuits over its allegedly carcinogenic effects. New York-based law firm Weitz & Luxenberg says it has reached a settlement on behalf of almost 100,000 people.
Bayer denies any wrongdoing but said the pay-out would end “uncertainty”. Roundup was originally launched by US firm Monsanto, which was bought by Bayer in 2018. Since its introduction more than four decades ago, it has become known as the world’s most popular weed-killer.
As part of the settlement, Bayer will pay as much as $9.6bn to resolve outstanding claims, and set aside a further $1.25bn to deal with any future action, the company said in a statement on its web site.
“It has been a long journey, but we are very pleased that we’ve achieved justice for the tens of thousands of people who, through no fault of their own, are suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using a product Monsanto assured them was safe,” Robin Greenwald, practice group chair, environmental pollution and consumer protection at Weitz & Luxenberg, said. Up to $5bn of the agreed pay-out will be released this year, with a further $5bn paid in 2021.
Bayer said an agreement had not yet been reached for about 25% of the outstanding claims. Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer, repeated the company’s view that the science indicates “Roundup does not cause cancer, and therefore, is not responsible for the illnesses alleged in this litigation”.Full BBC News report