Bayer intends to put around EUR 5 billion of its research and development budget into alternatives to its weedkiller glyphosate over the next decade as it battles more than 13,000 lawsuits claiming the herbicide causes cancer.
Trying to ease concerns about the controversial compound, the German chemical and drug company said it will seek more public feedback during the coming safety certification process in Europe, Bloomberg reports.
Bayer wants to offer farmers new products to combat weeds while standing behind glyphosate-based Roundup, which it acquired via its USD 63 billion purchase of Monsanto.
– While glyphosate will continue to play an important role in agriculture and in Bayer’s portfolio, the company is committed to offering more choices for growers – the company said in a statement made this Friday.
Last month, the German company suffered a third straight trial loss over claims that exposure to Roundup caused cancer, prompting some analysts to raise their estimates for settling the litigation to as much as USD 10 billion.
The shares were little changed at 11:35 a.m. on Friday in Frankfurt. They’ve lost more than 40% since the Monsanto deal closed a year ago.