Bayer reaches record-breaking weedkiller settlement

June 24, 2020

Bayer finally knows how much it’s going to have to pay to settle the nearly 125,000 lawsuits it took over as part of its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto.

This week, Bayer agreed to pay up to $10.9 billion — the largest settlement ever paid by a pharma company — to end the lawsuits claiming that Monsanto’s Roundup, the world’s most popular weedkiller, is linked to cancer.

Monsanto has been facing the torrent of lawsuits for years, and the settlement will take care of about 95 percent of the cases that were set for trial. Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will pay $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion cover the current lawsuits, along with another $1.25 billion to resolve a class action lawsuit that addresses potential further litigation. 

Bayer has long taken heat from analysts and investors for acquiring Monsanto in 2018 given that it was unknown how much the company would have to shell out to settle the suits. Bayer’s CEO said the settlement will “bring a long period of uncertainty to an end.”

Despite the myriad of claims and studies linking Roundup to cancer, research has, overall, been conflicting, and Monsanto and Bayer have continued to insist that the glyphosate-based weedkiller is safe for human use.