Bayer agrees to pay billions to settle Roundup litigation


Bayer, the maker of Roundup, has agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle thousands of claims its weedkiller causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer.

The lawsuits were inherited from Roundup’s former parent company Monsanto and resolution will bring closure to about 95,000 claims. As part of the settlement, Bayer will not have to admit any liability.

“First and foremost, the Roundup™ settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” said Werner Baumann, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer. “It resolves most current claims and puts in place a clear mechanism to manage risks of potential future litigation. It is 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. The decision to resolve the Roundup™ litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of healthcare and food. It will also return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.”

This settlement, according to experts, is out of the ordinary.

“It’s rare that we see a consensual settlement with that many zeros on it,” Nora Freeman Engstrom, a professor at Stanford University Law School, told the New York Times.

The $10 billion figure includes more than $8 billion for current litigation. An additional $1.25 billion was set aside for future claims and establishing an expert panel to determine whether or not glysophate, the active ingredient in Roundup, does in fact cause cancer.

Many farming organizations as well as the EPA have said that it is not a carcinogen.

“EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen,” the agency said in January.

Bayer still faces about 25,000 similar claims that were not settled. All three cases that did go to trial saw favorable rulings for the Plaintiffs, including one couple being awarded a staggering $2 billion.