Bayer gets help from Donald Trump as US regulators veto warnings its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer

Reuters
  • The Trump administration is refusing to approve product labels warning glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller – is a carcinogen.
  • “It is irresponsible to require labels on products that are inaccurate when EPA knows the product does not pose a cancer risk,” the EPA said in a statement.
  • German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer faces thousands of lawsuits claiming Roundup, which is owned by its Monsanto subsidiary, causes cancer.
  • Watch Bayer trade live.

Embattled Bayer is getting a helping hand from Donald Trump.

The German pharmaceuticals titan is currently inundated with lawsuits claiming Roundup, a weedkiller owned by its Monsanto subsidiary, causes cancer. The Trump administration is refusing to approve product labels warning glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – is a carcinogen.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new guidance is a reaction to California regulators, who have required product labels to warn glyphosate potentially causes cancer since 2017.

“It is irresponsible to require labels on products that are inaccurate when EPA knows the product does not pose a cancer risk,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. “We will not allow California’s flawed program to dictate federal policy.”

There isn’t a scientific consensus on whether glyphosate causes cancer. The World Health Organisation’s cancer agency found glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” However, the EPA conducted an independent evaluation and found it’s “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”

Bayer faces Roundup-related lawsuits from more than 13,000 farmers, landscapers, and gardeners. It has lost three high-profile court cases since its $US63 billion takeover of Monsanto last summer. However, it has successfully reduced the combined jury awards from close to $US2.4 billion to less than $US200 million.

The company has proposed to pay as much as $US8 billion to settle more than 18,000 US lawsuits tied to Roundup, Bloomberg reported last week.

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