Bayer shares are higher Wednesday, following news Monsanto has lodged a court filing requesting a California court overturns its Roundup cancer case verdict. The filing states that the scientific evidence was flimsy and that it was confident the elements of its flagship weed killer product aren’t carcinogenic.
By 1200 BST, Bayer shares were 0.80% higher at €73.89. The stock has been trading in negative territory in recent weeks, following the initial verdict in the case.
Bayer’s Monsanto stands by weed killer product
A jury found Monsanto was guilty of not informing customers that there could be carcinogenic properties in its flagship, glyphosate-based weed killer products, Roundup and Ranger Pro.
The court ordered Monsanto to pay the plaintiff, school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, $39 million compensation and $250 million in punitive damages. The case was fast tracked as Johnson has a severe form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which it is claimed is a result of his long-term usage of the glyphosate-based weed killers.
However, Monsanto Tuesday filed papers with a Californian court, requesting the judge either, overturn the verdict, reduce the award or order a retrial.
Monsanto said the jury’s decision was not suitably supported by enough scientific evidence.
“The jury’s decision is wholly at odds with over 40 years of real-world use, an extensive body of scientific data and analysis … which support the conclusion that glyphosate-based herbicides are safe for use and do not cause cancer in humans,” Bayer said in a statement, according to a Reuters article.
Uncertainty over Glyphosate’s carcinogenic properties
In recent years there have been two bodies who have issued differing views on the carcinogenic properties of glyphosate.
In 2017, the US Environmental Protection Agency said, after a decade’s long investigation and assessment of glyphosate, that the chemical is unlikely carcinogenic to humans.
However, in 2015, the World Health Organisation classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Monsanto and Bayer’s own scientific understanding is that glyphosate is non-carcinogenic to humans and this is the basis of its appeal against the original verdict.