Mexican Glyphosate Case Hangs over Bayer

14.05.2021 - A Mexican court has reversed a ruling that favored Bayer in a legal challenge brought by the German pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals group against Mexico’s plan to ban glyphosate. In a statement, the country’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources said the Collegiate Court had revoked the provisional suspension of plans to prohibit use of the chemical, of which Bayer is a leading producer.

The US government is also opposing the ban on the controversial active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

The proceedings go back to a decree issued in late 2020 by Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that seeks to ban the herbicide completely by 2024. In the initial April hearing, the judge agreed with Bayer that the inability to use glyphosate could negatively affect the country’s agricultural production as it would endanger food security and sovereignty and force it to import more corn.

If the reversal is allowed to stand, Bayer would be in danger of losing its glyphosate permits, which were filed under Monsanto. The group is still in the throes of settling some 125,000 US lawsuit charging that Roundup causes cancer. In February, it reached a $2 billion settlement with plaintiffs’ lawyers to resolve future legal claims.

The February proposal, part of a larger nearly $9 billion settlement plan that Bayer hopes would end litigation permanently, is still in limbo as the courts have yet to improve the terms. The next hearing is scheduled for May 19. Speaking at Bayer’s annual general meeting this month, CEO Werner Baumann said he was optimistic about the hearing, which is being chaired by Judge Vince Chhabria. This judge has been overseeing related proceedings for several years.