All the news surrounding Bayer lately has focused on its massive Roundup settlement of up to nearly $10 billion. Lesser known are two other lawsuits the German pharmaceutical and life sciences giant is considering settling, both of which like Roundup are linked to carcinogenic chemicals.
In addition to the $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion Bayer is setting aside to settle more than 90,000 Roundup cases, the company will allocate $400 million to settle dicamba lawsuits.
Dicamba may not have the same notoriety as glyphosate but the herbicide is ubiquitous. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, dicamba features in 1,100 herbicide products. Although the EPA says dicamba is likely not a human carcinogen, the National Institutes of Health, in May, found that dicamba can increase the risk of developing numerous cancers, including liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancers, acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and mantle cell lymphoma.
However, the focus of the dicamba lawsuit won’t be carcinogenic-centric. Rather, the lawsuits stem from “dicamba drift,” which occurs when dicamba vapors from one farm migrate to an adjacent farm, sometimes resulting in violent confrontation among neighboring farmers.
PCB Environmental Contamination Lawsuits
Besides Roundup, another legal headache that Bayer inherited from Monsanto when it acquired the company in 2018 for over $60 billion, relates to PCBs. PCBs are a toxic brew of over 200 compounds, manufactured for decades by Monsanto. The chemical has been linked to cancer in humans, has contaminated waterways and killed wildlife. Bayer will likely set aside over $800 million to settle PCB litigation.
Roundup Lawsuit Settlements To Be Restructured?
The latest news with the Roundup cancer settlement is that a court has upheld the trial victory for the first plaintiff to sue Monsanto, former groundskeeper Dwayne “Lee” Johnson, who developed a rare type of cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after allegedly spilling the weed killer on his body.
A judge also hinted that he would reject Bayer’s settlement offer for future Roundup lawsuits, in large part because the power of determining whether or not the controversial active ingredient, glyphosate, would be taken out of judge’s and jury’s hands, and instead be permanently fixed based on the findings of a scientific panel.