German pharmaceutical giant Bayer is hiring an outside law firm to review claims circulating in the French media that its seed firm, Monsanto, compiled illegal lists of influential journalists and lawmakers.
Bayer, who acquired the controversial agrochemical business last year, said on Sunday that the decision to commission the independent review came after its own internal investigation into the matter. It added that it understood the concerns raised over the week.
“This is not the way Bayer seeks dialogue with society and stakeholders. We apologize for this behavior,” the company said. However, it maintained that in the company’s eyes, there was nothing illicit about the way such lists were compiled.
The complaint that Monsanto had illegally compiled a dossier of influential journalists, media publications, and politicians was initially made by the French daily, “Le Monde”. The paper said one of its journalists was among 200 names on the dossier, who would then be targeted by Monsanto lobbyists in a bid to sway their views on glyphosate-based herbicides. A complaint was then made to French police under the charge that the list of personal information was made “by fraudulent, unfair or illicit means.”
The French investigation is the latest in a string of legal woes inherited by “Bayer”, who have seen their share value plummet by almost 40 percent since taking over Monsanto.
German pharmaceutical firm Bayer lost 6.8 percent on share value in trading Tuesday after a US jury awarded a couple from California $2.055 billion in punitive damages for failure to warn of cancer risks of its Roundup herbicide.
According to Monday’s ruling, Roundup weed killer was liable for causing cancer, while US agrochemical firm Monsanto, acquired by Bayer last June, failed to inform consumers about the potential risks. Glyphosate, the basic component in Roundup, was found to be the cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in both Alva and Alberta Pilliod.
The jury awarded $18 million in compensatory and $1 billion in punitive damages to Pilliod, while his wife will get another $37 million in compensatory and $1 billion in punitive damages. The couple has reportedly used the herbicide since the 1970s.
The case marks the third verdict delivered against Roundup since August 2018. Since acquiring Monsanto in a $63 billion deal, Bayer has inherited thausand of lawsuits over the weed killer. The corporation has repeatedly defended the controversial product, claiming that scientific evidence supports Monsanto’s position that glyphosate-based herbicides are not carcinogenic.
The 46-year-old Dewayne Johnson was the first to win the trial. He was diagnosed with end-stage lymphoma and has accused Monsanto of concealing the risks of his weed killer. The jury agreed.
Dewayne Johnson was the first cancer victim to take the company to court. The San Francisco groundskeeper was awarded $289 million, as the court ruled that the popular herbicide was responsible for his lymphoma. While the award was reduced to $78 million on appeal, it opened the floodgates for thousands of similar cases, and there are more than 11,200 such lawsuits currently pending against the German agrochemical conglomerate.
Bayer’s spokesman called the latest decision “excessive and unjustifiable,” saying that the company would appeal the verdict.
“Monsanto? One floor lower…”
My comment: Fuck you Monsanto !!!!! The only thing you have ever been able to give this planet is death, destruction, suffering for humans and animals.
I hope those who serve you will find a miserable death, and because it is so beautiful in hell, take away the corrupt politicians with you!
My best regards, Venus