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Bayer to invest $7.5 billion in new herbicides

Bayer's cross symbol hangs in a terminal at Frankfurt International Airport. (Typhoonski/iStock Editorial/Getty Images)

Berlin | Reuters — Bayer said it would invest five billion euros (C$7.5 billion) in developing new weedkillers and reducing its environmental impact by 30 per cent by 2030, as it seeks to address the fallout from U.S. class-action litigation over glyphosate.

“While glyphosate will continue to play an important role in agriculture and in Bayer’s portfolio, the company is committed to offering more choices for growers,” Bayer said in a statement on Friday.

Bayer said these measures seek to address public concerns arising from its acquisition of Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide which, according to thousands of U.S. plaintiffs, causes cancer. Bayer contests this.

Reducing the environmental impact of Bayer’s ag portfolio would be done by “developing new technologies, scaling down crop protection volumes, and enabling more precise application.”

The company said its R+D investment will go toward “improving the understanding of resistance mechanisms, discovering and developing new modes of actions, further developing tailored integrated weed management solutions and developing more precise recommendations through digital farming tools.”

It said it will also partner further with weed scientists around the world “to help develop customized solutions for farmers at a local level.”

Reporting for Reuters by Tassilo Hummel. Includes files from Glacier FarmMedia Network staff.

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