Bayer develops alternative to glyphosate herbicide

Bayer develops alternative to glyphosate herbicide

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Bayer, the chemical conglomerate, has announced its endeavor to develop an alternative to the controversial herbicide glyphosate, as recently disclosed by CEO Bill Anderson to the German newspaper ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung’. Here’s what we know about this new product expected to hit the market by 2028.

Bayer is currently in the process of developing an alternative to glyphosate, the active ingredient in weed killers like Roundup. According to Anderson, the new substance is undergoing plant testing, with plans for market availability by 2028. Anderson stated, “Our aim is to bring the new product to market in 2028”, considering it as a groundbreaking innovation in chemical crop protection after thirty years.

Wide-spectrum action
Jan Cees Bron, responsible for Communications, Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability Benelux at Bayer, emphasizes that the new product should be viewed as an alternative to glyphosate, with potential for reducing its usage. He adds that the new herbicide is expected to cover a broad spectrum and will initially be introduced for soybean cultivation, with later expansion to other crops such as corn and cereals. Whether the product will be as effective as glyphosate against challenging perennial weeds like couch grass, thistles, or blackgrass, Bayer has not disclosed yet.

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30% reduced environmental impact
Bayer anticipates that the new product will have a favorable safety and sustainability profile, aligning with Bayer’s sustainability goals to reduce the environmental impact of crop protection by 30% by 2030.

Increasing pressure on glyphosate
Bayer is currently facing lawsuits from individuals alleging cancer due to Roundup usage. In the United States, tens of thousands of cases are seeking compensation for alleged health damages. To potentially address these costs, Bayer has set aside funds, amounting to $6.3 billion by the end of 2023. Despite mounting concerns about potential harmful effects on humans and the environment, the European Commission recently decided to allow glyphosate use for another ten years.