St. Louis Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Roundup sales are up despite tens of thousands of lawsuits, company spokesperson says

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By Karen Kidd | Nov 11, 2019

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JEFFERSON CITY – If sales figures from Bayer AG, which owns Roundup manufacturer Monsanto in St. Louis, are anything to go by, farmers still have faith in the weed killer despite tens of thousands of lawsuits and an explosion of advertising paid for by trial lawyers.

Roundup sales appear to be up, a spokesperson for Bayer AG said in an email to the St. Louis Record.

"While our sales figures are not broken down by individual product lines, our most-recent quarterly results show a year-on-year increase in proforma herbicide sales," the spokesperson said. "Moreover, the sales of consumer Roundup products grew 2 percent year-on-year last quarter."

The spokesperson also pointed to recent news reports in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that say U.S. farmers rely heavily on the weed killer and are very worried it will go away because of Roundup-related litigation.

"We spray the weeds and the crop keeps growing, and it’s just lovely," Lorenda Overman, who farms 4,000 acres in eastern North Carolina, was quoted in the New York Times story.

Monsanto began selling Roundup in 1974 using a formula that no longer is patent protected.

Bayer AG, which faces thousands of Roundup-related lawsuits in the U.S. that claim the product causes cancer, has maintained for years that Roundup is safe and also is an important herbicide used by farmers across the nations.

"Roundup is the cornerstone for safe and effective weed management on farms in Missouri and across the U.S. Growers who know Roundup best continue to rely on these products as a valuable tool to help deliver crops to markets and practice sustainable farming by reducing soil tillage, soil erosion and carbon emissions," the Bayer spokesperson said. "Bayer's focus continues to be on the future, leveraging science and technology and working with our partners to help the world’s farmers grow more healthy and affordable food in a sustainable manner."

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