Shares in Germany's Bayer plunge on US weed killer ruling

Shares in Germany's Bayer plunge on US weed killer ruling

A USA jury on Tuesday found Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused cancer, a blow to the company eight months after another jury issued a $289 million verdict over similar claims in a different case.

The report also found it particularly concerning that glyphosate was discovered in 3 out of 4 organic alcoholic beverages tested, despite the fact that weed killer products like Roundup have always been prohibited in the making of organic beer and wine.

Bayer AG slumped after a second major defeat in USA litigation over claims that its Roundup weed killer causes cancer, shaving nearly $8 billion from its market value and raising the likelihood of a costly settlement. "Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup", Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore, Hardeman's attorneys, said in a joint statement. Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them.

He was awarded $US289 million, but that was later reduced to $US78 million.

Bayer faces a total of 11,200 USA cases over Roundup and the outcome of Hardeman's case - which has not yet brought damages against the agrochemicals giant - has been closely watched for an indication if payouts to the others could snowball into the billions. That spurred Hardeman to file a lawsuit in February 2016 and prompted California to declare glyphosate a chemical that is known to cause cancer.

In August, a jury awarded $289 million in damages (later cut to $78 million) in a similar case brought by Californian school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson. His trial moves to the second phase in which jurors will consider the conduct of Roundup maker Monsanto and its potential liability for damages.

Fugitive celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi arrested in London over $2.8 billion fraud
Nirav Modi's counsel George Hepburne said that the case has a political motivation and conditions of Indian jails are not good. Mr Modi is accused of a scam that led to India's second largest bank, Punjab National Bank , being defrauded of $2 billion.

The latest ruling suggests Bayer is "the underdog in numerous reported 11,200 cases pending across the U.S.", Holly Froum, a legal analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a report. But the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a subsidiary of World Health Organization, concluded in 2015 that glyphosate was "probably carcinogenic to humans".

The second phase of the trial to weigh liability and damages will begin Wednesday.

But Monsanto has long maintained that Roundup does not cause cancer, and said the IARC report is greatly outnumbered by studies saying glyphosate is safe.

Bayer, which denies allegations that glyphosate or Roundup cause cancer, said it was disappointed with the jury's initial decision.

Bayer A.G. (OTC: BAYRY) shares plunged on the German stock exchange after a San Francisco jury found one of its customers developed cancer after using its Roundup weedkiller, according to The Wall Street Journal. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2015.

In December 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft human health risk assessment that said glyphosate was most likely not carcinogenic to humans.

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