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OPINION

Environmental financing: Someone get the CEO of Bayer an aspirin

Greater consideration has to be given to financing conservation. That includes questioning the financing of firms that produce pesticides and herbicides.

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It was Earth Day in April when we are reminded once again how we need to stop destroying the planet. A trip to the home and garden chain, Lowes, over that weekend underscored the need for reminders. In the garden section, at the front of the store, stood row upon row of Roundup – a glyphosate-based herbicide produced by Monsanto – that’s now Bayer’s headache since it bought Monsanto in 2018. 

People (and some city governments in the US) use Roundup to kill weeds; other living organisms that come into contact with it also die. It is the enemy of land conservation. And if that’s not enough for people to stop buying it, in March a jury in San Francisco awarded a man $80 million in damages after he claimed that Roundup caused his cancer – one of over 10,000 lawsuits filed against Monsanto

Monsanto could turn out to be a very bad buy for Bayer – a $66 billion bad buy. 

When the verdict was announced, the German firm saw its share price drop 40% – it has lost $34 billion of its market cap since August last year.