Bayer AG disclosed another jump in the number of lawsuits from victims who are suing over the German company’s recently acquired weedkillers- Roundup. Roundup, which is in GMO foods like Cheerios, can cause cancer, elevating an issue that has wiped billions off Bayer’s market valuation.
At the end of October, lawsuits from 9,300 victims were pending, compared with 8,700 at the end of August. In the suits, plaintiffs and experts state that Roundup weedkillers, which Bayer acquired in its takeover of Monsanto Co., have made people ill or given them cancer- including terminal cancers- and that Monsanto knew or should have known of the risks but failed to warn the public adequately.
“The latest increase in the number of cases highlights the challenge for Bayer to assuage investor concerns that its acquisition of Monsanto this year had burdened the pharmaceutical and chemicals company with a problem that could take years to “resolve” and could weigh on its share price for some time.”1
Here at HNN, we disagree with the money hungry Wall Street Journal. We think the real burden is on the victims who have been killed or harmed at hands of Monsanto.
Bayer’s troubles really picked up on Aug. 10th when a San Francisco jury found Monsanto liable for Dewayne Johnson’s terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma and ordered them to pay out $289 million. “At the time, Bayer had limited latitude to defend itself as it didn’t yet officially control Monsanto, pending asset sales required by antitrust authorities to close the $63 billion acquisition of the U.S. agricultural giant.”2
Although Bayer has been fighting back, markets remain skeptical; since the verdict, Bayer has lost around $33.7 billion in market capitalization due to investors fears.
In late October, when the San Francisco judge reduced the award to $78 million but maintained the jury verdict, Bayer shares went down again. And they are now appealing the verdict. However, plaintiffs’ lawyers have begun to air ads “seeking new Roundup plaintiffs, particularly since the San Francisco verdict came out. So far this year, some 24,000 such TV ads have run at an estimated cost of $5.7 million.”3
Despite the fact that Monsanto continues to say Roundup is safe, the IARC classified glyphosate as likely having the potential to cause cancer in 2015. And that seems to have been the first blow. We will continue to watch all of these cases.
I can feel it. The end of Monsanto’s ability to do damage to us and our planet is in sight.