High-profile lawsuits have accused pesticides of causing cancer and Parkinson’s. But three states are now considering bills that would prevent these lawsuits.

Six years ago, the multinational corporation Bayer made one of the worst purchases in American business history: It bought Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, for $63 billion. Monsanto was already being sued by a school groundskeeper in the Bay Area who said his exposure to the weedkiller had given him non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Two months after the merger, a jury awarded the groundskeeper $289 million. Since then, Bayer has been pummeled with lawsuits, and between settlements and jury verdicts, it has been required to pay out more than $14 billion to plaintiffs. Its stock has lost 70 percent of its value.

Desperate to reassure investors, the company has been fighting back with every means at its disposal. Its latest effort: lobbying state legislatures to shield it from future lawsuits and to annul at least some of the 50,000 claims that are currently active.

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