Published: Thu, March 21, 2019
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Roundup weed killer: Jury agrees Monsanto chemical contributed to California man's cancer

Roundup weed killer: Jury agrees Monsanto chemical contributed to California man's cancer

"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms that glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer", Bayer said in a press release.

Roundup products and their active ingredient, glyphosate, have been used safely and successfully for over four decades worldwide and are a valuable tool to help farmers deliver crops to markets and practice sustainable farming by reducing soil tillage, soil erosion, and carbon emissions.

"Following the state court decision previous year, we saw a huge uptick in local ordinances that would regulate the use of Roundup on playgrounds, schoolyards and public parks", said PIRG's Kara Cook-Schultz, who leads a campaign to ban Roundup.

"We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer", it said.

Monsanto, now owned by pharmaceutical company Bayer, faces more than 9,000 Roundup-related lawsuits in the United States, The Guardian reported.

But Bayer points to more recent findings from regulators around the world, especially in advanced economies like the US, Europe and Canada, and reams of scientific studies as proof of the safety of its product.

But last August, in the first state trial over whether Roundup can cause cancer, California jurors awarded former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

Bayer denies allegations that Roundup, or glyphosate, cause cancer.

Another jury reached that conclusion previous year and awarded the plaintiff, DeWayne Johnson, $289 million.

Hardeman's case is expected to help determine the range of damages and define settlement options for more than 760 Roundup cases consolidated in the federal court in San Francisco.

"Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found past year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people", said Ken Cook, EWG president in an EWG news release. The jury found that it was on Tuesday.

The Hardeman's case is considered a landmark trial for hundreds of other plaintiffs in the U.S. with similar claims, which means the verdict could affect future litigation and other cancer patients and families. In the U.S., more than 750 products contain it.

Chhabria has scheduled another bellwether trial for May and a third trial is likely to take place this year.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization say glyphosate is "unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet", a view shared by the EU Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency. Determining causation was just the first phase in the Hardeman v Monsanto trial; the second phase, which begins Wednesday, will determine Bayer's liability.

Hardeman's lawyers, Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore, said they look forward to presenting that evidence to the jury to hold Monsanto accountable.

More than 750 cases Roundup cases against Bayer have been consolidated in San Francisco's federal court.

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