A draft settlement of lawsuits alleging a connection between Roundup exposure and cancer has been agreed to by Bayer and lawyers representing “tens of thousands” of plaintiffs, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing “people familiar with the matter.”
The newspaper reported the settlement “appears poised to end up” in the $10 billion range, but also that the deal has not been signed “and could yet fall apart.”
Bayer issued a brief statement, saying, “Mediation discussions continue in good faith under a court order requiring confidentiality, and the company cannot comment on speculation about outcomes, timing or progress.”
Bayer has reported nearly 50,000 Roundup cases have been filed against it. In a recent earnings call, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said the steady increase in lawsuits has not changed Bayer’s stance on the safety profile of glyphosate.
Three cases in state and federal court resulted in jury verdicts of more than $2 billion, but those awards were reduced significantly by the courts, and Bayer is now appealing.
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On its website, Bayer said hundreds of studies over the years “confirm that glyphosate and our glyphosate-based formulated products can be used safely and are not carcinogenic.” The company specifically cited reviews by the European Food Safety Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency.
In an interim registration review decision issued in January, EPA reaffirmed its conclusion that “there are no risks to human health from the current registered uses of glyphosate and that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” The plaintiffs disagree, citing in particular a 2015 report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer that found glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans."
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