Dec 21, 2019

Trump admin sides with Bayer in court battle over weedkiller

Roundup weed killer on a store shelf

Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency filed court papers on Friday backing German chemical maker Bayer AG in a "high-stakes court fight" over its weedkiller Roundup, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Context: Bayer is currently appealing a $25 million verdict in a case where a California man blamed Roundup for his non-Hodgkin lymphoma — one of thousands of similar cases, per the WSJ. Bayer argues that Roundup does not pose a risk for cancer.

Why it matters: The cases have caused Bayer's shares to plummet 23% since the original verdict in 2018, per the Journal. The company has divested from several business units and laid off thousands of employees globally.

  • Lawyers for the EPA and Department of Justice argue the verdict should be overturned because it'd be illegal for Bayer to post cancer-risk warnings on its bottles of Roundup, the Journal notes.

Yes, but: Three juries in a row have ruled in favor of the plaintiffs this past year, awarding them hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

Go deeper:

Go deeper