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Bayer CEO: Management retains backing of supervisory board despite Roundup case

Bayer AG's management retains the backing of its supervisory board despite the fact that a second jury in the United States ruled its glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused cancer, Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in an interview with a German newspaper.

Baumann made the comments to Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, according to a March 24 Reuters report reprising the interview.

“The management board enjoys the full backing of the supervisory board,” Baumann said. Monsanto Co., a Bayer subsidiary, makes Roundup weed killer.

In the interview, the executive said Bayer's recent decline in its stock price has been "greatly exaggerated" and he defended the company's move to acquire Monsanto, saying it "was and is a good idea".

The executive also responded to speculation about a potential break up of the company, explaining that Bayer's strategy is based on its three divisions of pharmaceuticals, crop science and consumer health.

“We want to strategically develop these three pillars, all three markets are attractive," he said.

A jury in California concluded that a man developed cancer after using the company's top-selling product. A jury in U.S. District Court in San Francisco will now assess whether Monsanto should be held liable, The Wall Street Journal reported March 19.