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Bayer floats $2B plan to resolve future Roundup lawsuits

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The $2 billion settlement is part of broader settlement plan to end an estimated 125,000 Roundup lawsuits.

By Peter Blumberg

Bayer AG will ask a U.S. judge to approve a settlement of as much as $2 billion to resolve future lawsuits over claims that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer, the company said.

The company said it reached an agreement with plaintiffs’ lawyers that it is presenting to a San Francisco federal judge who last year rejected a $1.25 billion proposal, according to a statement issued by Bayer Wednesday. The shares rose as much as 5.9% early Thursday in Frankfurt.

The company said it disclosed in 2020 that it made provisions for the $2 billion amount, which is part of a broader settlement plan to end an estimated 125,000 Roundup cases.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria raised concerns in July about the initial plan’s creation of a science panel to determine whether glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is a carcinogen.

Bayer said in that under its revised plan, the science panel’s findings “would not be preclusive but can be used as evidence in potential future litigation.” The company will also seek permission from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to add a reference link on the labels of its glyphosate-based products for consumers to get access to more information from scientific studies, according to the statement.

--With assistance from Tim Loh.
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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