Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

As Monsanto Pays $289 Million to Cancer Victim, Bayer Shares Plunge

As Monsanto Pays $289 Million to Cancer Victim, Bayer Shares Plunge

Johnson's was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes cancer, but Monsanto faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

Bayer shares were down 10.6 per cent at 83.48 euros at 0728 GMT, against a 0.6 decline for the DAX index.

In 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer said the key ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is "probably carcinogenic to humans".

The stock drop sent a cautionary signal to the company that acquired Monsanto, the maker of the weedkiller, in June for $63 billion.

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POOL New/REUTERS/NewscomI am truly sorry that DeWayne Johnson is suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), but years of scientific research has determined that it is exceedingly unlikely, despite the outrageous verdict of a California jury on Friday, that he contracted National Hockey League from using the herbicide glyphosate.

Barclays analysts said Bayer was in for a "litigious headache".

"The judgment marks the beginning of the end of arrogance [for Bayer and Monsanto], the end of this wretched couple's self-importance", Mr Hulot told the French daily Libération, adding that the landmark ruling "corrects the indifference of politicians towards Monsanto".

IARC, the World Health Organisation's cancer agency, said in 2015 that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans," although several global agencies later came to opposing conclusions.

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Monsanto has long argued there is no proof glyphosate is carcinogenic, citing a report conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Assessment Review Committee that says the chemical is "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans" as well as "hundreds of studies" conducted around the world that show glyphosate's safety. Germany and France have meanwhile taken steps to phase out use of the weedkiller. The products of the US agrochemical company will instead become fully-integrated into Bayer's own marketing portfolio.

"The decision confirms what many whistle-blowers have been saying for years about the dangerousness of glyphosate", he continued.

Its top shareholder, Japan's Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd 4005.T , shed 3 percent, while Australian rural services firm Elders Ltd, which retails herbicides, fell 11 percent.

Sumitomo and Elders declined to comment.

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"It's worth always continuing to look at and research - the science is never closed on it - but now all the evidence we have, which is 40 years of it, indicates that at this point in time the benefits far, far outweigh any of these concerns over it". Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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