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The Supreme Court asks the government for views on Bayer's herbicides



(Reuters) – The US Supreme Court on Monday questioned President Joe Biden's administration about its view on whether judges should hear Bayer AG's bid to reject claims from customers claiming its Roundup herbicides cause cancer, as the company tries to avoid potentially billions of dollars in damages.

In August, Bayer filed a motion in the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that set aside $ 25 million in damages awarded to Edwin Hardeman, a California resident, a Roundup user who blamed his cancer on the German medicine and the chemical giant's glyphosate-based herbicides.

The Supreme Court's decision to address the issue is closely monitored while Bayer maneuvers to limit his legal liability in thousands of cases. U.S. Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar will submit a card in the coming months expressing the administration's views.

Bayer said in a statement that it is encouraged by the court's announcement, which often indicates that judges are interested in hearing a case. [1

9659002] The US government "has consistently found that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and is not carcinogenic, and has stated that a cancer warning would be false and misleading and mislabel the product," Bayer said in a statement.

Bayer has lost three appeals against judgments who sided with Roundup users, giving them tens of millions of dollars each. Bayer has raised hopes of relief to the Supreme Court by a Conservative majority, which has a reputation for being business-friendly.

Bayer asked the Supreme Court to review the verdict in Mr. Hardeman's case, which was upheld by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May. Mr. Hardeman had regularly used Roundup for 26 years in his home in Northern California before being diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

There are more than 25,000 related claims that Bayer has not made up yet.

Bayer, which manufactures acetylsalicylic acid, Yasmin birth control pills and the prophylactic drug Xarelto for stroke, has claimed that the cancer claims over Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate go against sound science and product approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has maintained the guidelines that glyphosate is not carcinogenic and does not pose a risk to public health when used as labeled.

Bayer has stated that it should not be penalized for marketing a product that is considered safe by the EPA are sure. would not allow a cancer warning to be issued.

The lawsuits against Bayer have said the company should have warned customers of the alleged cancer risk. Bayer wants the Supreme Court to find that the approval of the EPA label under a federal law known as the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act precedes the "failure to warn" claims brought under state law.

Roundup-related lawsuits have haunted Bayer. acquired the brand as part of its $ 63 billion purchase of agricultural seeds and pesticide manufacturer Monsanto 2018.

Bayer signed a settlement agreement with plaintiffs in June 2020 but failed to win court approval for a separate agreement on how to handle future cases. [19659002] In July, Bayer took an additional $ 4.5 billion lawsuit in case of an unfavorable Supreme Court ruling or if the judges refused to consider its petition. This leaves "significant upside" if the Supreme Court rules in its favor, according to Bayer.

The provision came in addition to the $ 11.6 billion previously set aside for conciliation and litigation in the matter.

Bayer plans to replace glyphots. in herbicides for the US housing market for non-professional gardeners with other active ingredients. It will continue to sell the herbicide to farmers, who are highly dependent on it and whose role in litigation has been described as negligible by Bayer.

By the end of October, Bayer had reached settlements in about 98,000 cases out of about 125,000 cases.

A California jury found last week that Roundup did not cause a woman's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


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