Bayer, the owner of Monsanto, announced that it plans to invest $5,6 billion over the next decade in developing new weedkillers. The announcement came when the German company is engaged in numerous legal battles over the Monsanto-heritage product Roundup.
With the acquisition of Monsanto for $63 billion last year Bayer bought a lot of problems as well. The Roundup broad-spectrum weedkiller and its glyphosate agent were the winning tools with which Monsanto could oversell itself to the German chemical and pharmaceutical giant.
Expected or not, but U.S. jurors have determined the liability of the company three times this far and thousands of additional cancer lawsuits are coming to plunge Bayer’s stocks.
Albeit Bayer is sticking to the line that glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup, is not carcinogenic, the company issued a statement that ’they are committed to offering more choices’ for the farmers and that they plan ’to invest about 5,6 billion in developing additional methods to combat weeds’.
The threat of Roundup lawsuits is not the latest of Bayer’s concerns. Lately, Environmental Working Group went after the traces of glyphosate in popular foods and they found them in 21 oat-based cereal and snacks, products that are popular among children. The American activist NGO states that their laboratory tests detected above safe level amounts of the controversial agent in all but four of the inspected products.
More than 100,000 U.S. citizens and 20 companies/public interest groups have joined the petition of EWG filed last September calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to significantly restrict the use of glyphosate.