Bayer Sentenced to Pay US Farmer USD 265 Million over Monsanto’s Dicamba Weedkiller

Bayer Sentenced to Pay US Farmer USD 265 Million over Monsanto’s Dicamba Weedkiller

The sentence is the first in a total of 140 lawsuits against Bayer over Monsanto’s dicamba herbicide.

German agrochemical giant Bayer has been sentenced to pay a massive compensation and damages totaling USD 265 million (EUR 245 million) to Bill Bader, a farmer from the US state of Missouri, over a dicamba weedkiller produced by Monsanto.

Bayer acquired American agrochemical and biotechnology corporation Monsanto back in 2018 for the price of USD 63 billion, inheriting numerous lawsuits against the latter over its Roundup and dicamba herbicides.

In 2019, Bayer revealed that Monsanto had kept a watch list of GMO opponents in seven EU member states.

Missouri farmer Bill Bader sued Bayer and chemical producer BASF, arguing their weedkiller had drifted onto his peach orchard from nearby farms. The jury awarded him USD 15 million in compensation and USD 250 million in punitive damages.

“We are disappointed with the jury’s verdict,” German agrochemical giant Bayer said in a statement on Sunday, as cited by DW.

Bayer added that it would launch an appeal, and so did BASF, with both companies declaring that their dicamba herbicides were safe when used as per instructions.

“We believe the evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Monsanto’s products were not responsible for the losses sought in this lawsuit and we look forward to appealing,” Bayer said.

The USD 265 million damages award to American farmer Bill Bader is the first of more than 140 Monsanto dicamba cases to come to trial.

The award is separate to the multi-billion-dollar litigation against Bayer over Monsanto’s other weedkiller, Roundup, Monsanto produced both Roundup and dicamba.

Bayern is being sued over both products. BASF makes its own dicamba-based herbicide.

In November 2018, the US Environmental Protection Agency imposed a number of restrictions on the use of dicamba over concerns about possible destruction of crops surrounding those it gets applied to.

Bayer’s genetically engineered soy seeds are designed to be resistant to the herbicide.

Campbell-based Bader Farms alleges that BASF and Monsanto knew their dicamba-related products would cause damage to other farms and released them anyway to increase demand for their products, InvestigateMidWest.org reports.

Founded in Wuppertal in western Germany in 1863, Bayer is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Monsanto, the US agrochemical and biotechnology corporation Bayer bought in 2018, was founded in 1901. Monsanto has become the object of widespread criticism due to its championing of genetically modified organisms.

(Banner image: Bill and Denise Bader, owners of Missouri’s largest peach farm, File photo | Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio)

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