ST LOUIS, MISSOURI, US — Bayer AG may be close to reaching an agreement with six law firms in a case involving the weed killer glyphosate, sold commercially as round up.

The law firms represent tens of thousands of plaintiffs alleging that the Monsanto-developed herbicide is carcinogenic.

Bayer has considered making a settlement in the $8 billion to $12 billion range for several weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the case. In January, US Circuit Judge Elizabeth Hogan postponed a jury trial to allow for ongoing settlement talks.

Ken Feinberg, a court-appointed mediator involved in the settlement talks, told Food Business News he is “cautiously optimistic” that a settlement can be achieved but added it would be premature to say it has been reached. An agreement could come sometime in the next few weeks, he said.

Bayer has lost three lawsuits involving Roundup, totaling more than $190 million in rewards, since it acquired Monstanto in 2018. The company announced last year it will invest billions of dollars to develop alternatives to glyphosate.

The chemical was reapproved by the EPA last month after the agency determined it is not a carcinogen and creates no risks to human health when used as directed.