Bayer Stocks Plummet Thanks to Newest Acquisition, Monsanto and Links to Cancer
German pharmaceutical company Bayer has taken a stock market dive owed to its newest acquisition Monsanto, and recent media surrounding the carcinogenic impacts of their products.
After a San Francisco court sided with a groundskeeper who blamed the weedkiller Roundup for his non-Hodgekins lymphoma, the Bayer stock dropped by 11.3 percent on Monday, a record low since May 2016.
Monsanto will pay almost $290 million in damages, but the impacts of the verdict on investors wiped about $10.7 billion from the value of the Bayer stock.
The California Supreme Court decided to add Roundup to a list of carcinogenic chemicals on Wednesday, and the share price fell an additional 6.1 percent the next day. The Bayer stock value is now lower than it has been in five years.
Bayer paid $66 billion to acquire Monsanto as a subsidiary company, and the deal was just completed in June 2018.
Amidst public disapproval of the Monsanto brand during the negotiations for this acquisition, Bayer argued that investors would benefit from the move and that Monsanto shares would raise their stock value. With the two companies consolidated, Bayer owns more than a quarter of the global seed and pesticides market.
Monsanto has remained firm that the conclusion of the San Francisco trial was incorrect, and that their product was not to blame for the plaintiff’s illness. As a new parent company, Bayer has echoed that sentiment.
“On the basis of scientific conclusions, the views of worldwide regulatory authorities and the decades-long practical experience with glyphosate use, Bayer is convinced that glyphosate is safe and does not cause cancer,” said Bayer representatives in a statement.
Also following the trial verdict, a report conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that an unhealthy level of glyphosate – the chemical component in Roundup – is also detected in most non-organic cereal brands and several Quaker products, exposing children to its impacts at a dangerously early age.
The value of Roundup and the impacts of glyphosate extend far beyond the weedkiller product. Monsanto manufactures and sells genetically engineered seeds for corn, soybeans and more which are resistant to Roundup. The revenue of these seeds is now higher than the revenue for the herbicide itself.
Monsanto expects a number of these trials in the near future, as more than 5,000 plaintiffs have submitted complaints in the U.S. that blame Monsanto for not warning them that Roundup could lead to cancer.