Bayer has agreed to pay about $10.5 billion to settle claims in the U.S. that its weedkiller Roundup led to cancer in nearly 100,000 patients exposed to the popular herbicide, according to a law firm representing some of the plaintiffs.
What happened: This sweeping agreement is the first settlement to be reached among the flood of lawsuits filed against the company from people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It comes after the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm concluded in 2015 that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, is a probable carcinogen.
Bayer has lost multiple million-dollar cases over glyphosate claims. Thousands of plaintiffs have filed lawsuits across the country against Bayer, which inherited Monsanto’s products after it purchased the company.
Up to $9.5 billion will be paid to settle most of the pending litigation, Bayer said. The settlement also sets aside $1.25 billion to resolve potential future claims and research whether Roundup causes cancer.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump administration has maintained that glyphosate is safe. The European Food Safety Authority has also said the substance is unlikely to be carcinogenic to humans.
What’s next: The court drama is not over. Bayer is appealing the verdicts it lost in three separate cases involving similar claims.
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