Bayer to invest €5bn in new weed killers

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Bayer said it would invest €5 billion in developing new weedkillers and reducing its environmental impact by 30pc by 2030, as it seeks to address the fallout from U.S. class-action litigation over glyphosate.

“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,” Bayer said in a statement on Friday.

Bayer said these measures seek to address public concerns arising from its acquisition of Monsanto, the maker of RoundUp, a glyphosate-based weedkiller which, according to thousands of U.S. plaintiffs, causes cancer. Bayer contests this.

“We’re making good progress on integrating the acquired agriculture business, and are now starting to implement a series of measures to drive transparency and sustainability across our business,” Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG, said on Friday. These measures address questions and concerns Bayer has heard about its role in agriculture in the year following its acquisition of Monsanto.

Going forward, the company said it will pilot a program inviting scientists, journalists and NGO representatives to participate in its scientific preparation for the upcoming EU glyphosate re-registration process, which will start later this year.

The company also said it would apply consistent safety standards to its products—even when it means exceeding local regulations.

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