Monsanto: Bayer stock price plunges after $289 million Roundup cancer ruling

Cesar Mills
August 15, 2018

In the widely-publicized court case, a terminally-ill groundskeeper who contracted a type of blood-cell cancer after exposure to glyphosate was awarded 39 million dollars in personal compensation. Further, glyphosate has been labeled as "probably carcinogenic to humans" since 2015 by the World Health Organization's cancer arm. New outlets reported in May 2018, however, on internal FDA emails concerning detection of glyphosate at violative levels in unofficial samples of crackers, granola, cornmeal, honey, oatmeal, baby food, and corn (not a designated sample) that were analyzed outside of the planned study.

"More than 800 scientific studies and reviews - and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world - support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer", Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said in a statement Friday.

Bayer may have to shell out a hefty amount in damages for its recent purchase when other cases against Monsanto go to trial.

"The Johnson vs Monsanto verdict is a win for all of humanity and all life on earth", said Zen Honeycutt, founding Executive Director of non-profit group Moms Across America. The court found that Roundup Pro and Ranger Pro has potential risks, that were known and scientifically proven; that it presented a substantial danger to those using the products, but these were not disclosed by Monsanto.

Johnson's case was the first of thousands against the agricultural company to come before a court.

Bayer closed a deal to buy Monsanto for $66 billion in June.

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Working for a school district in Benicia, California, about 40 miles east of San Francisco, Mr Johnson mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of Roundup. He was told there were no ties to Roundup and his cancer, and he continued to use the herbicide.

Another trial against Monsanto is scheduled to begin in Missouri in the coming months.

Johnson's lawyers produced internal Monsanto emails that they said proved the corporation knew of the risks, ignored expert warnings, "ghostwrote" research that was favourable and targeted academics who spoke up against Roundup.

Johnson has been diagnosed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and he, his lawyer, and the jury believe that the herbicide ingredient glyphosate, found in Roundup, contributed to his terminal illness. Monsanto plans to appeal the jury's verdict.

"We think the risk of withdrawal is extremely low, but if it materialized it would be a major blow to the transaction value paid for the company", said Berenberg's Campbell. "As the northern Germans say, 'In court and on the high seas, you're in God's hands'".

Other reports by GizPress

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