Five-Point Plan to Close the Roundup™ Litigation
Our five-point plan, announced in May 2021, provides a clear path to closure of the U.S. glyphosate litigation, which will allow our company, our customers, and our shareholders to move on, put the uncertainty behind us, and focus on our performance, innovations, and contributions to society.
Five-point plan at-a-glance:
On August 16, we petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Hardeman case. If the U.S. Supreme Court accepts the case and issues a positive ruling on a cross-cutting issue like federal preemption, this would effectively and largely end the U.S. glyphosate litigation. We believe there are strong arguments for the U.S. Supreme Court to accept the case and ultimately issue a positive ruling.
In case of a negative outcome at the U.S. Supreme Court, we have set an additional provision aside $4.5 billion to manage anticipated claims, through settlement and litigation. This covers potential long-term financial exposure and leaves significant upside in case of a positive outcome at the U.S. Supreme Court.
We have already settled ~96,000 of the ~125,000 current cases. We will be very selective in settling the remaining ~29,000 cases as we await the outcome at the U.S. Supreme Court, and we will not entertain further settlement discussions if the Court grants review. We are fully prepared to defend at trial when the demands of hold-out plaintiff firms are unreasonable.
To further reduce future litigation risk, we will replace our glyphosate products in the U.S. residential L&G market with new formulations that have alternative active ingredients beginning in 2023. We are taking this action exclusively to manage litigation risk and not because of any safety concerns. The vast majority of claims have come from residential L&G users, so this action largely eliminates the primary source of future claims. This action does not impact any of our glyphosate-based agriculture or professional products.
End of 2021, we created a new webpage (EPA's Review of Glyphosate Safety | Global (bayer.com)) that hosts links to scientific safety studies on our glyphosate products. The webpage brings even more transparency and information to customers about the products they choose. We will request permission from the U.S. EPA to promote the webpage on glyphosate product labels.
We stand fully behind the safety of our glyphosate products
Our five-point plan does not include any admission of liability or wrongdoing. Rather, the actions we are taking are a result of the mass tort system in the U.S.
We have great sympathy for anyone who suffers from disease, and we understand their search for answers. At the same time, the extensive body of science continues to show that our products are not responsible for the illnesses alleged in this litigation.
For nearly 50 years, leading health regulators around the world have repeatedly concluded that our glyphosate products can be used safely, and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic. This includes recent conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EU’s Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), and the leading health authorities in Germany, Australia, Korea, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan.
Glyphosate-based herbicides are one of the most thoroughly studied products of their kind, which is one reason so many growers and others continue to rely on these products to help them safely, successfully, and sustainably control problematic weeds.
We are investing and innovating to develop additional weed-control solutions
Growers need to control weeds in order to successfully grow crops. There is no single solution – instead, growers use a range of tools and practices to control weeds. While glyphosate will continue to play a key role in our herbicide portfolio and in agriculture overall, we are leading the way in developing additional tools and advancing integrated weed management (IWM).
We invest over $2 billion in R&D for farming solutions every year. We recently announced over $5 billion of that investment will go to furthering IWM over the next decade. As part of these efforts, we also recently announced the discovery of a new breakthrough herbicide molecule, the first of its kind in more than 30 years.
As a leader in agriculture, we know we have a heightened responsibility and the unique potential to advance farming for the benefit of society and the planet. We are committed to living up to this responsibility, and our five-point plan to end the U.S. glyphosate litigation will enable us to reach our full potential.