Bayer’s Roundup Settlements Soar as Glyphosate Controversy Rages On

Los Angeles, CA – Bayer, the pharmaceutical company that acquired Roundup brands as part of its purchase of Monsanto, has announced a $2 billion settlement to cover future claims related to the controversial weedkiller. The settlement comes after years of legal battles over the chemical glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.

Glyphosate has been at the center of controversy due to differing opinions on its safety. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency concluded that glyphosate was probably carcinogenic to humans. However, many regulatory agencies, including the U.S. EPA, classify the chemical as non-carcinogenic.

Bayer has consistently maintained that glyphosate is safe, pointing to support from the EPA and regulatory agencies in other countries. However, the company has faced significant legal challenges from individuals who claim that their use of Roundup caused them to develop cancer.

As of October 10, 2023, Bayer reported that it had settled or was close to settling about 113,000 of the 165,000 claims filed against it. Despite these settlements, the company still has two appeals pending in federal court on preemption grounds.

In July 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that an incorrect analysis had been conducted on a case filed by John Carson and sent it back for review. In August 2023, a three-judge panel granted Bayer’s motion for supplemental briefing. Additionally, Bayer has a second appeal pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Amidst the legal battles, there have been both victories and defeats for Bayer. In September 2023, a jury in Cook County, Illinois, ruled in favor of Bayer, determining that neither Roundup nor another chemical called polychlorinated biphenyl caused the plaintiff’s cancer. Similarly, in a St. Louis County, Missouri, case, a judge ruled that the plaintiff failed to prove their case.

However, in previous cases, Bayer has faced significant financial consequences. In May 2019, a California jury awarded $2.055 billion in damages to a couple who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after years of using Roundup. The award was later reduced to $86.7 million. In another case, a California jury awarded $80 million to a man with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who had used glyphosate at an animal refuge for nearly 30 years and the damages were reduced to $25.2 million.

The ongoing legal battles surrounding Roundup and glyphosate highlight the complex and controversial nature of the issue. While Bayer continues to assert the safety of glyphosate and secure settlements, the debate over its potential health effects is likely to persist.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: The above text is a product of my own and should be subjected to a thorough review to ensure compliance with AP News Style guidelines)