Chemicals giant Bayer has reached a settlement to end most of the current US lawsuits. Its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer, plaintiffs insist, but it's still used in many places in Europe and beyond.
Bayer CEO Werner Baumann was euphoric back in 2016 when he landed one of the biggest takeover in the agribusiness by acquiring Monsanto. But he could have known better at a time when it was already emerging that Bayer would inherit a time bomb with the acquisition of its US rival.
Roundup, the US company's popular herbicide, was already making bad headlines in the wake of a damning 2015 study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The report concluded the weed killer's main component, glyphosate, was "probably carcinogenic in humans."
According to the findings, the cancers most associated with glyphosate exposure were found to be non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other hematopoietic cancers. In addition, the substance can probably cause DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells, as well as genotoxic, hormonal and enzymatic effects in mammals.