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Bayer bets on science in bid to prevent future Roundup lawsuits: legal experts

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FILE PHOTO: A man uses a Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller spray containing glyphosate in a garden in Bordeaux, France, June 1, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A man uses a Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller spray containing glyphosate in a garden in Bordeaux, France, June 1, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: A man uses a Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller spray containing glyphosate in a garden in Bordeaux, France, June 1, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

Seeking to forestall further claims, Bayer AG is taking a risky bet that an independent scientific review will ultimately show that its widely used weed killer Roundup does not cause cancer, legal experts said.

The company on Wednesday agreed to pay as much as $10.9 billion to settle about 75% of the 125,000 filed and unfiled claims by Roundup users who say the herbicide caused them to develop a form of blood cancer.

But Bayer had to find a separate solution to mitigate the risk of future claims without pulling the product off the shelves. The company decided to make a calculated gamble on the scientific evidence which so far has overwhelmingly supported its claim that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is safe for agricultural use.