Bayer: The anger over glyphosate and PCBs is not over yet – economy

Glyphosate could become even more expensive for Bayer than expected. At least this is the “unfavorable scenario” for the group if the Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, rules in the Ed Hardeman case to the detriment of Bayer. As a precaution, the company set aside an additional $ 4.5 billion before interest and taxes in the second quarter for future lawsuits. So far, Bayer has allocated just under $ 2 billion. Bayer had set a total of $ 9.6 billion for the total of 125,000 pending lawsuits, of which 30,000 are still pending. The financial burden of glyphosate would then amount to a good 16 billion dollars.

There is also a second scenario. In August, the group wants to submit the request for review of the Hardeman case to the Supreme Court. If he accepts the case, a final decision is “probably expected in 2022”. Bayer hopes the Supreme Court will render a favorable ruling on the overarching legal issues. If federal law had priority over state law, the group sees, most of the lawsuits would have been settled. If the court accepts the case, Bayer will only enter into settlement agreements “very selectively” in the coming months and “will no longer conduct settlement negotiations.”

“We have to take the uncertainty out of the group,” Baumann said on the conference call: “We have to leave litigation behind.” With Thursday’s announcement, the group spelled out a five-point plan it presented at the end of May. From 2023, Bayer intends to offer private users only glyphosate-free products on the US market. The exact time depends on the review by the EPA and other authorities. Bayer is also interested in discussing with the EPA the advisability of expanding the information on the labels.

PCBs suspected of causing cancer and damaging genetic makeup

It’s an expensive week for Bayer. On Wednesday, the CNIL imposed a fine of 400,000 euros on Monsanto for a public relations agency commissioned by Monsanto which had unwittingly kept lists of people involved in the debate on the reauthorization of glyphosate in 2016 and 2017. According to Bayer, there were a total of 1,475 people on the lists – politicians, government officials, scientists, environmentalists, journalists, including 466 from France and 202 from Germany. Bayer feels wrongly punished by authority because Monsanto is classified as a “data controller”, but the lobbying service provider sees itself as such. Bayer wants to review the decision.

In Washington, a first-instance court ordered Monsanto to pay three teachers a total of $ 185 million for damage to health caused by PCBs. Bayer wants to act against the judgment. “We cannot understand the jury’s verdict,” he said in a statement, and would like to appeal if necessary. The evidence does not support the hypothesis that the applicants were exposed to a dangerous amount of PCBs and that this was the cause of their “alleged damage to health”. According to Bayer, “the investigations showed only extremely low quantities of PCBs in the school concerned”. Teachers complained that they had been exposed for years to lamps contaminated with PCBs and sealants in the walls.

The abbreviation PCB stands for polychlorinated biphenyls. They are suspected of causing cancer and damaging the genetic makeup. PCBs are banned in many countries, in Germany according to the Federal Environment Agency since 1989. PCB was used as a cooling and insulating agent in the electrical industry, as a hydraulic fluid, as a softener and flame retardant for varnishes, paints, adhesives, sealants, plastics and packaging materials and much more. PCBs have a very long lifespan, are only very difficult to biodegrade and accumulate in the food chain.

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