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The company that produces a widely-used weedkiller is intensifying its legal battle against lawsuits linked to cancer

A billboard (Via Jeremy Taylor/Shutterstock)

After facing setbacks in several U.S. states this year, global chemical maker Bayer announced on Tuesday its intention to increase efforts to establish legal protections against a wave of lawsuits claiming it didn’t warn about the potential cancer risks of its popular weedkiller.

Bayer, which disputes these cancer allegations, is dealing with approximately 170,000 lawsuits related to its Roundup weedkiller and has allocated $16 billion for settlements. However, the company argues that continuing these legal battles is unsustainable and is seeking support from state lawmakers.

Bayer pushed for laws that could have countered a key legal argument this year in Missouri, Iowa, and Idaho—states where it has significant operations related to Roundup. Despite progress in Iowa and Missouri legislatures, these efforts failed in all three states.

Looking ahead, Bayer plans to renew its efforts during next year’s legislative sessions and may extend its campaign to other states.

A billboard (Via Jeremy Taylor/Shutterstock)

“This issue goes beyond those specific states and beyond Bayer,” said Jess Christiansen, who leads Bayer’s crop science and sustainability communications. “It’s fundamentally about the tools farmers rely on to ensure crop production.”

Many U.S. farmers depend on Roundup, introduced 50 years ago to improve weed control and reduce soil disturbance in crops like corn, soybeans, and cotton, which are genetically engineered to resist Roundup’s effects.

Lawsuits claim that glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma. While some studies suggest a link between glyphosate and cancer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maintains that glyphosate is unlikely to be carcinogenic when used correctly.

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