Lawsuits Alleging Roundup Causes Cancer To Advance

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Opening statements began in federal court in San Francisco on [July 9] in the trial for the first of thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto alleging its weed killer product Roundup causes cancer.

A federal judge in Sacramento in February blocked California from requiring that Roundup carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer, saying the warning is misleading because nearly all regulators have concluded that there is no evidence glyphosate is carcinogenic.

He spent a week in March hearing from epidemiologists and other doctors.

Lawsuits allege that Roundup maker Monsanto long knew about the cancer risk associated with the week killer but did not warn people.

The outcome of Johnson's case will not affect the hundreds of other lawsuits in state and federal courts, but it may serve as an indicator of how the others might go.

"[There is] absolutely no connection between glyphosate and cancer", Monsanto said in a statement.

There have been conflicting scientific findings on whether glyphosate caused cancer or not.

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Many government regulators have rejected a link between cancer and glyphosate.

Chhabria said the evidence, "viewed in its totality, seems too equivocal to support any firm conclusion that glyphosate causes" non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The plaintiffs will now have to show Roundup caused cancer in individual people whose cases will be selected for test trials, a phase Chhabria called a "daunting challenge". "The best study of human beings who, like Mr. Johnson, are licensed pesticide applicators, concludes that glyphosate has no association with non-Hodgkin lymphoma". Homeowners, meanwhile, used Monsanto Roundup on their lawns and gardens. Monsanto has attacked the global research agency's opinion as an outlier.

But serious doubts remain as the World Health Organization in 2015 classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans".

The weed-killer contains glyphosate, a chemical that the US Environmental Protection Agency ruled was not carcinogenic in September.

In 2014, Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that affects white blood cells. A draft report by the agency previous year concluded the herbicide is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.

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