Bayer shares plunge after Monsanto cancer ruling, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories

The jury said Dewayne Johnson's non Hodgkins lymphoma was partly due to his use of Roundup which contains the primary ingredient glyphosate

Bayer completed its takeover of Monsanto on June 7.

By AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Aug 13 - Shares in German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer tumbled more than 10 percent as markets opened Monday, as investors reacted to a shock USA ruling against freshly-acquired Monsanto.

Shares of Bayer plunged more than 10 per cent to their lowest in nearly two years after a California jury ordered the German company's subsidiary Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages last week. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access! He was told there were no ties to Roundup and his cancer, and he continued to use the herbicide.

Monsanto lost a key case in a California court last week because of its product glyphosate, opening up more lawsuits across the country.

Monsanto in a statement said it would appeal the verdict.

Monsanto denies that glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide, causes cancer and says decades of scientific studies have shown the chemical to be safe for human use. It is appealing the California jury's verdict.

Monsanto's vice-president, Scott Partridge, has also insisted that Roundup is safe, and the company intends to appeal against the decision. Monsanto genetically engineered the DNA of corn, soybeans and other crops to make them resistant to Roundup; it now makes more revenue from seeds and traits than it does from herbicide.

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Bayer said it will appeal and US jury awards against companies are often overturned or reduced.

Working for a school district in Benicia, California, about 40 miles east of San Francisco, Mr Johnson mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of Roundup.

"The Johnson vs Monsanto verdict is a win for all of humanity and all life on earth", said Zen Honeycutt, founding Executive Director of non-profit group Moms Across America.

Founded in 1901 in St Louis, Missouri, Monsanto began producing agrochemicals in the 1940s. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014.

Johnson's lawsuit is the first trial case alleging glyphosate herbicides in weed killers might cause cancer. This was the first case tried in court because Johnson was the closest to dying. It was "fast-tracked for trial due to the severity" of his cancer, which Johnson's doctors said he mostly likely won't live past 2020, Reuters reported. "It would be nice if we could tell people why they get it, but we can't".

This article was written by Joel Rosenblatt, Robert Burnson and Naomi Kresge, a reporter for The Washington Post.

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