Bayer shares slide after Roundup cancer trial

Bayer shares slide after Roundup cancer trial

Bayer completed its takeover of Monsanto on June 7.

The 22 analysts who cover Bayer stock, mostly with Buy ratings or the equivalent, seemed to take the news in stride, based on a lack of early downgrades.

"If a settlement were to emerge, following more lost suits, the total cost, in our view, could easily reach USD10bn (assuming United States dollars 1m per plaintiff, and twice the current number of plaintiffs) or about 11% of the current market cap of Bayer", writes Leacock.

"Investors might worry that this will become a 'Lipobay 2.0, '" Mayer said.

The share price of German agrochemicals giant Bayer AG has dropped by more than 10 percent on Monday after a US court ordered its subsidiary Monsanto to pay a total of 298 million USA dollars in damages for selling a carcinogenic weed killer. That extended its rout this year to 19 percent.

Backed by the European Commission, assessments by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency have not yet found any link between glyphosate and cancer in humans.

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Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, was first approved for use in Monsanto's weedkiller in 1974. While it became the world's most popular and widely used herbicide, the question of whether it causes cancer has been hotly debated by environmentalists, regulators, researchers and lawyers - even as Monsanto has insisted for decades that it's perfectly safe.

Throughout the proceedings, attorneys for Johnson told the court that Monsanto's negligence has amounted to a death sentence for their client, as doctors have now given him less than two-years to live after regularly working with Roundup and the weed-killing chemical Range Pro over a three year window. Monsanto genetically engineered the DNA of corn, soybeans and other crops to make them resistant to Roundup; it now makes more revenue from seeds and traits than it does from herbicide.

The jury awarded Johnson, who doctors testified that he is not expected to live past 2020, $250 million in punitive damages and nearly $40 million in compensatory damaged. The company will be appealing the verdict. Monsanto has stated that it will appeal the verdict.

The jury ruled that Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper, developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma due to regularly using Roundup.

The state Superior Court jury agreed that Roundup contributed to Johnson's cancer and Monsanto should have provided a label warning of the potential health hazard.

Mr Johnson was seeking $412m in damages. In 2014, Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer which kills millions of Americans each year. Brice concludes saying, "what is fascinating about this case is that the environmental protection agency, there is an office of pesticide programs".

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