Bayer to appeal against 2 bln USD Roundup verdict

BERLIN, May 14 (Xinhua) — The German pharmaceutical company Bayer will appeal the decision by a jury in the United States ordering the company to pay more than 2 billion U.S. dollars, according to a statement published by Bayer on Monday.

“Bayer is disappointed with the jury’s decision and will appeal the verdict in this case,” Bayer said in the statement.

On Monday, a jury in California ordered Bayer to pay 2 billion dollars in punitive damages and 55 million dollars in compensatory damages to a couple who blamed Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup for causing cancer.

Bayer said that the jury’s verdict conflicted with “the consensus among leading health regulators worldwide that glyphosate-based products can be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic”.

Bayer had already lost two lawsuits relating to the cancer risks of its U.S. subsidiary Monsanto’s weed killer, which the German company has appealed.

The jury ruling on Monday was the third conviction within a few months and Bayer recently reported that it was confronted with around 13,400 lawsuits in the U.S. involving Roundup.

The German company has consistently rejected the health risks posed by the weed killer glyphosate.

Following the jury decision on Monday, Bayer said that the “plaintiffs in this case presented the jury with cherry-picked findings from a tiny fraction of the volume of studies available” on glyphosate.

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann recently reaffirmed that “the acquisition of Monsanto was and remains the right move for Bayer”. The company’s shareholders have accused Baumann of underestimating the risks of the Monsanto-related lawsuits.

Since the completion of the Monsanto acquisition in June 2018, Bayer stock has lost around 40 percent of its value and the downward trend continued at the start of trading on Tuesday.

Bayer’s share price on the German stock market DAX fell by up to five percent to 53.65 euros per share, the lowest level since 2012.

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