Manufacturer of Roundup via its subsidiary Monsanto, the German group Bayer has preferred to sign a series of agreements for compensation with the 100 000 complainants americans who have attacked the company in legal proceedings. They claim that the pesticide is the source of their cancers.
Ten billion dollars, the amount seems staggering, but this could actually be a good deal for Bayer – which acquired Monsanto in June 2018 by paying € 63 billion.
First of all, the agreement puts an end to 75 % of the judicial proceedings against the Roundup in the United States and thus, in the words of the press release of Bayer, ” a long period of uncertainty.” The price of the lawsuits will, in fact, beyond the financial cost, it is also legal and réputationnel, Roundup, glyphosate, is somehow the emblem of pesticides controversial.
Another strand of the agreements focuses on the future (and potential) disputes. A scientific committee was announced as independent must determine, under the auspices of a judge, if the Roundup may – or may not – lead to a lymphoma, such as the claim of the complainants. Its findings will then serve as a basis for the settlement of future disputes.
The danger in question
For Remy Courbon, Bayer France, cited by The Cross, there is no scientific evidence of the dangerous nature of the Roundup.
In 2015, the Roundup has been classified as a “probable carcinogen” by an instance of the WHO, the international Centre against cancer. The scientific debate however is always on the table, since, according to the Bayer group, the us Agency for environmental protection (EPA) estimated last January that she had not found a risk to the health of people in case of exposure to glyphosate.
For its part, the european food safety Authority (EFSA) is currently conducting a “risk assessment” related to the pesticide. But the results are not expected before December 2022.
In the meantime, Bayer may continue to sell Roundup, more than 850 000 tons each year in the world.