Bayer shares slide after Roundup cancer trial

Dewayne Johnson who has terminal cancer mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of glyphosate weedkiller

Dewayne Johnson who has terminal cancer mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of glyphosate weedkiller

A jury in USA federal court in California delivered a $289 million verdict Friday on behalf of a former school groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, who said that exposure to Monsanto's Roundup weed killer caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer.

"The jury sent a message to the Monsanto boardroom that they have to change the way they do business", said Robert F Kennedy Jr - an environmental lawyer, son of the late U.S. senator and a member of Johnson's legal team.

Friday was also a losing day for Monsanto, which Bayer AG controversiallyacquiredfor $62.5 billion in June.

Barclays analysts said Bayer was in for a "litigious headache".

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

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Bayer shares dropped to their lowest level since late 2013, preventing an otherwise rather bullish DAX index of the country's 30 largest blue chips from rising. That extended its rout this year to 19 percent.

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, was first approved for use in Monsanto's weedkiller in 1974.

"While Bayer and Monsanto continue to operate independently, Bayer believes that the jury's verdict is at odds with the weight of scientific evidence, decades of real world experience and the conclusions of regulators around the world that all confirm glyphosate is safe and does not cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma", a Bayer spokesman said in an email.

Shares of German pharmaceutical giant Bayer plunged on Monday, the first day of trading after a landmark legal ruling that could cost the company nearly $290 million. 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.

Johnson's attorney Timothy Litzenburg told CNN that Monsanto's appeal will still prove costly for Bayer as the company will have to pay interest on the damages, believed to be about $25 million a year, while the court reviews its findings. The company said it will appeal.

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"Monsanto made a choice to not put a cancer warning on the label", Mr Wisner said.

Founded in 1901 in St Louis, Missouri, Monsanto began producing agrochemicals in the 1940s.

"The jury got it wrong", Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge told reporters.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and in July 2017, after chemotherapy and other treatments, his oncologist gave him six months to live.

Just after the IARC issued its glyphosate monograph, Portier signed lucrative contracts with a couple of big civil litigation law firms to work as an expert witness asserting that glyphosate likely caused specific cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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