Nearly 3,000 additional lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto since the agrochemical giant was forced to pay $289 million to a plaintiff suffering from life-threatening lymphoma following continued use of the company’s glyphosate-based Roundup. The total number of U.S. lawsuits against Monsanto has since risen from 5,200 to 8,000.
Shares in Bayer, which acquired Monsanto for $63 billion earlier this year, have fallen more than 10 percent since the August 10 decision, reports Business Insider. Bayer nevertheless remains “fully committed” to integrating the company, according to CEO Werner Baumann.
"In the course of the acquisition, we carried out due diligence as is standard practice when taking over a listed company. In doing so, we of course also considered the legal risks," Baumann said in an interview with Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper. He also noted that the company “could not foresee the scope of the current lawsuits."
Bayer plans to appeal California's verdict.
Baumann also reiterated Bayer's stance that the court’s verdict was not in line with the latest science on glyphosate. He said in a conference call Thursday that the jury's decision was “inconsistent with the robust science-based conclusions of regulators and health authorities worldwide.”
Monsanto also holds this stance. Following the decision, Monsanto vice president Scott Partridge expressed that it “does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews — and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world — support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer.”
The World Health Organization found in 2015 that glyphosate was "probably carcinogenic to humans," but other organizations, including the EPA, continue to deny the link between glyphosate and cancer. Several countries, including France and the Netherlands, have banned the use of glyphosate given the evidence of the dangers of the chemical.