Bayer has said it will appeal a court’s decision to award more than $2 billion damages to a couple who claimed Monsanto’s Roundup caused their cancer.
The ag-chem giant, which merged with Monsanto in 2016, has always insisted the glyphosate-based product was not linked to cancer.
In a statement it said the decision had conflicted directly with a review by the US Environmental Protection Agency last month which found glyphosate-based products can be used safely and that glyphosate was not carcinogenic.
A Bayer spokesperson said: “We have great sympathy [for the couple] but the evidence in this case was clear that both have long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), most NHL has no known cause, and there is not reliable scientific evidence to conclude that glyphosate-based herbicides were the ‘but for’ cause of their illnesses as the jury was required to find in this case.
“Glyphosate-based Roundup products have been used safely and successfully for over four decades worldwide and are a valuable tool to help farmers deliver crops to markets and practice sustainable farming by reducing soil tillage, soil erosion and carbon emissions.
“Regulatory authorities around the world consider glyphosate-based herbicides safe when used as directed.”
The ruling is the latest in a series of court defeats for Bayer/Monsanto.
Last month Bayer announced more than 13,000 lawsuits related to the weedkiller had been launched in the US.
It came as France said it would ban the use of glyphosate ‘where no alternative exists’ by the end of 2020 and for all uses by 2022.
The French Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume has called for producers to return to more traditional methods of farming.