Frankfurt — Bayer cut its earnings forecast on Wednesday due to delays to its $63bn takeover of Monsanto, and said sales of its consumer care products fell, hitting its shares, already reeling from a legal battle over the weed killer Roundup. The weaker earnings forecast adds to a number of challenges facing the German drug maker as it braces for years of legal wrangling over the alleged cancer risks of glyphosate-based weed killers. Bayer said the number of plaintiffs seeking damages over Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides had risen to 8,700 from 8,000 from last month, and said that it expected more to sue. It has vowed to defend itself in court, citing regulators and studies as saying the products are safe. The first producers of aspirin in its current form and the maker of Yasmin contraceptive pills is struggling to stem falling sales at its consumer health arm as US consumers switch from drugstores to online shops, and it faces increasing pressure to strengthen its pha...

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