Monsanto and Bayer, the two companies that own the popular weed killer Roundup, have settled with people who filed a lawsuit over alleged links between glyphosate exposure and cancer.
While Bayer has said that it plans to continue selling Roundup as well as other glyphosate-based products such as Ranger Pro, there may be a reason for concern about the future of one of America’s most popular pesticides.
In this post, we’ll explain what exactly happened in this lawsuit settlement and what it means for Monsanto/Bayer’s future business plans.
The Roundup lawsuit payouts and settlement amounts have put a significant financial burden on Monsanto/Bayer, as they have had to pay out billions of dollars in damages to plaintiffs who claim that glyphosate caused their cancer. This financial strain is expected to continue as more cases are settled, which could have long-term financial implications for the company.
TorHoerman Law, LLC, a law firm handling Roundup lawsuits, states that the Roundup settlement amount as of June 2020 was $11 billion. The average Roundup settlement, according to the firm, could be anywhere between $5,000 to $200,000, depending on various factors like the severity of the injury, the extent of treatment, etc.
The financial impact of the settlement may lead to a decline in the company’s stock price due to the uncertainty of future lawsuits and the financial burden of the settlements. It could also impact the company’s profits, as they may need to divert resources toward legal fees and settlements instead of investing in research and development.
This could harm the company’s ability to compete in the market and innovate in the herbicide industry. Additionally, the controversy surrounding glyphosate and Roundup could damage the company’s reputation and lead to decreased consumer trust and boycotts of its products, which could further impact its financial performance.
The Roundup lawsuit settlement has not only had financial implications for Monsanto/Bayer, but it has also brought increased regulatory scrutiny to glyphosate-based herbicides. As concerns about the safety of these herbicides grow, some countries have banned or restricted their use.
For example, in 2019, Austria became the first European Union country to ban the use of glyphosate-based herbicides, and other countries, such as Germany and France, have also restricted their use.
According to Lifegate, Luxembourg was the first European Union member state to completely prohibit the use of glyphosate. On January 16th, 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture declared the decision and established December 31st, 2020, as the deadline to phase out the chemical. By the end of that year, all products that contain glyphosate, including, Roundup, were prohibited.
This increased regulatory scrutiny could have a ripple effect on the industry as a whole, with other companies that produce similar herbicides facing increased pressure to demonstrate the safety of their products.
This could lead to more research and testing being required before such herbicides are approved for use, delaying the introduction of new products to the market.
BBC, in a report, states that after being introduced in the 1930s to safeguard crops in the US, the use of pesticides became widespread in many agricultural communities due to their significant impact on crop yields. Presently, roughly one-third of the world’s agricultural production is reliant on pesticides.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there are over 1,000 types of pesticides used across the globe, with herbicides (49%), fungicides and bactericides (27%), and insecticides (19%) being the most prevalent.
In 1990, worldwide pesticide consumption amounted to 3.72 billion pounds (1.69 billion kilograms). This figure increased by over 57% in the last two decades, reaching 5.86 billion pounds (2.66 billion kilograms) by 2020.
The Roundup lawsuit settlement has had a significant impact on public perception of Monsanto/Bayer and glyphosate-based herbicides. While some continue to defend the safety of these products, many others now view them as dangerous and harmful to human health.
This shift in public perception could have significant implications for consumer behavior, with some individuals and businesses opting to use alternative products or avoid glyphosate-based herbicides altogether.
As a result, the demand for alternative herbicides and organic products could increase, and the sales of glyphosate-based herbicides could decrease. This could impact the sales and profits of companies that produce these herbicides, leading to a decline in market share and competitiveness.
The impact of public perception could also extend beyond the herbicide industry, affecting other industries that use glyphosate-based herbicides, such as agriculture. Consumers may also start to demand more transparency and information about the use of glyphosate-based herbicides in products, which could lead to increased regulation and scrutiny.
Innovation and Research
According to EcoWatch, exposure to glyphosate is linked to autism in children, as well as neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Glyphosate has also been associated with depleting amino acids, which can lead to obesity and depression and can contribute to gluten intolerances.
A 2016 report by Food Democracy Now disclosed that PepsiCo’s products, such as Oreos, Doritos, Goldfish, Ritz crackers, and Stacy’s Pita Chips, were found to contain glyphosate. Additionally, glyphosate was detected in personal hygiene products, including Proctor and Gamble’s Always pads and Tampax tampons.
A bio-monitoring study conducted by the Center for Environmental Health reported that 90% of the tested families had traces of glyphosate in their bodies.
The Roundup lawsuit settlement could also have implications for innovation and research in the herbicide industry. The settlement has brought increased scrutiny to glyphosate-based herbicides, and companies may be motivated to invest in developing new, safer herbicides that can meet the same needs as glyphosate without the potential health risks.
This could lead to new opportunities for innovation and growth in the industry, as well as improving public health outcomes.
Investing in the development of new, safer herbicides could also help companies to maintain their competitive edge in the market. The public demand for safer herbicides may also drive research into organic and natural alternatives to chemical herbicides.
Moreover, increased research into the effects of herbicides on human health and the environment could lead to a better understanding of the potential risks associated with the use of these chemicals and the development of safer and more effective products.
The Roundup lawsuit settlement is a big deal for Monsanto/Bayer and will likely have a significant impact on how they continue to market glyphosate-based herbicides.
With this in mind, we must understand what exactly happened in court and why the outcome was so favorable for plaintiffs who were suing the company over their alleged injuries. We hope this post helped clarify some of these issues.